Volume 78 / Number 1 - June 4 - 10, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since

Police Blotter

Soho rape
A rapist followed a Soho woman, 19, from the Spring St. subway station at about 4 a.m. Wed., May 28, asked her for a cigarette, then pulled a box cutter when she got to her Prince St. building, pushed her through the lobby into a courtyard and raped her, police said.

The attack occurred a block away from an April 13 incident when a man pushed his way into the Spring St. apartment of a woman but fled when a neighbor responded to her screams.

The woman who was attacked May 28 had recently moved into the neighborhood and shares an apartment with two other women, according to reports. She was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where she was treated and released.

Police described the attacker as a short, stocky black man with a pockmarked face and wearing a blue baseball cap and a black shirt. The suspect might have a speech impediment or a heavy accent, according to police. The two incidents are not connected, according to police.

A man slashed his girlfriend to death in their Chelsea apartment on either Fri., May 30, or Sat., May 31, then jumped to his death from a Financial District building on Saturday evening, police said.

The murder victim, Margaux Powers, 26, was discovered when her sister, Dana Powers, worried because she had not heard from the victim, went to the apartment at 235 W. 22nd St. about 6 p.m. Sat., May 31, with friends and the building’s doorman. They found the mutilated body under a blanket in the bathtub. Dana Powers had been to the apartment the evening before but did not look in the bathroom, according to reports.

Police found an unsigned note apologizing for the murder, according to reports.

A few hours later, Jonathan Smith, 34, who had been living with the victim on W. 22nd St. for the past two months jumped from 15 Broad St., a 24-story building, to his death on Exchange Place.

The couple was known to have screaming arguments, according to neighbors in the Chelsea building.

Shoots slashers
An off-duty police detective who came to the rescue of a woman friend working as a concierge at 123 Baxter St. on Wednesday night May 28, shot two men who were slashing the woman, killing one of them.

The woman, Artende Gjeli, 26, had called the detective, Martin Carrano, earlier that night to say that her ex-boyfriend had phoned her at work and threatened to kill her. Gjeli had met Carrano a month ago when she made a complaint at the 114th Precinct in Queens that the ex-boyfriend, Aleksander Vacaj, had slapped her around at a Queens nightclub.

Shortly after Carrano arrived at the Baxter St. address, two men entered, asked the concierge if they could rent a room and, after she told them it was not a hotel, one of them slashed Carrano on the back of the neck with a razor and both went after Gjeli.

The detective pulled his service revolver and shot them both. Eugene Morales, 22, of the Bronx, was dead at the scene. Andres Martinez, 22, was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital in critical condition and was awaiting charges. Both had felony convictions.

Gjeli, who received several stitches to close slash wounds to her face, told police she believed Vacaj had hired Morales and Martinez, because Vacaj had threatened to ruin her face. A police spokesperson would only acknowledge the investigation of the harassment complaint against Vacaj.

Survives subway fall
Abdul Haque, of 60 Pitt St., escaped death around 1:40 p.m. Tues., May 27, when he fell from the platform of the Delancey St. station into the path of an oncoming F train, police said. Haque, 55, managed to hunker down in the trough between the rails just before the first two-and-a-half cars passed over him, according to Allen Stern, writer of the blog InsideTransit.com, who was a passenger on the train. Haque crawled out from under the train and was taken to Bellevue, where he remained overnight. The train proceeded after 35 minutes, Stern said.

Bad News bust
Police arrested Tatum O’Neal, 44, the actress who won an Oscar when she was 10, at 7:30 p.m. Sun., June 1, on Clinton St. near E. Broadway and charged her with possession of a crack pipe. Allen Garcia, arrested at the same time, was charged with sale of cocaine, police said. O’Neal at first told police she was researching an acting role as a junkie and asked the arresting officers to forget about the arrest. She was released on her on recognizance pending arraignment.

Re-arrest suspect
Police re-arrested Gary Brown, 27, of Brooklyn on Fri., May 30, after the death of a woman, 85, who suffered a fractured skull five days earlier when she was thrown to the pavement in the P.S. 134 schoolyard on Pitt St. and E. Broadway.

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Kibbie F. Payne had released Brown on the defendant’s own recognizance Sun., May 25, pending a June 5 court date after he was charged with second-degree assault for throwing Liu Mei-Liang violently to the pavement earlier that day. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where she died May 30.

Brown was being held pending filing of new charges, a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney said.

Baruch bandit
Police arrested Keith Barner, 17, of Manhattan, on Fri., May 23, and charged him with robbing a deliveryman of $200 at knifepoint on Wed., May 21, at 306 Delancey St. in the Baruch Houses. The victim spotted Barner in the neighborhood two days after he was robbed and alerted police.

Barner was also charged with attempting to rob another deliveryman in the elevator of 80 Columbia St. in the Baruch Houses on Thurs., May 15, with two accomplices. They fled when they found no money on that victim, police said.

Grove St. robbery
Five women, one charged as a juvenile offender, were arrested in the early morning on Tues., May 27, and charged with assaulting and robbing two women on Grove St. near Seventh Ave. S. Tanika Pearson, 25, and Veneta Clark, 17, both of the Bronx, Katrina Hood, 20, of Yonkers, and Tamaha Savannes, 18, of Brooklyn, were charged with assault and robbery. A 15-year-old girl was charged as a juvenile and her name was not disclosed.

Teens charged
Police arrested two teen boys and an 18-year-old woman on Sun., May 25, and charged them with robbing a cell phone from a woman at about 8:45 p.m. in front of 55 Christopher St.

An accomplice, not apprehended, grabbed the woman while the three suspects engaged the victim’s friends when they tried to intercede, police said. The four muggers fled with the woman’s cell phone, but Mark Wright, of Brooklyn, and Rynil Johnson, of 327 E. 22nd St., both 16, and Nieka Clarke, 18, of Brooklyn, were arrested a short time later.

Arrested in mugging
Police arrested Storm McNeil, 21, and Pyndell Moore, 17, both of Manhattan, and charged them with stealing a cell phone at gunpoint from a victim, 21, at Pier 46 at Charles St. at 11 p.m. Tues., May 27. They were both charged with robbery, and McNeil was also charged with possession of a weapon when police found a pellet gun in his pocket.

Car burglary
A man returning to his Chevrolet Suburban parked on W. 12th St. near Seventh Ave. during the early hours of Sun., June 1, saw a man in the front seat and called police. John O’Keefe, 44, was arrested and charged with burglary and with possession of burglar’s tools after a folding knife and a screwdriver were found in his backpack.

Albert Amateau

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