Volume 78 / Number 9 - July 30 - August 5, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since

Police Blotter

Rape arrest

Police last week arrested a livery car driver suspected in the Sept. 30, 2007, kidnap, rape and robbery of a woman as she was leaving The Box, a club at 189 Chrystie St.

The suspect, Harvey Contento, 39, of Corona, Queens, was arrested in Manhattan on Tuesday night July 22 and was held on $50,000 bail after his arraignment Thursday on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, second-degree kidnaping and third-degree robbery. He was released briefly because he had not yet been indicted, and was rearrested for possession of cocaine.

The victim, 25, was standing outside the club drunk during the early hours of Sept. 30 when the defendant grabbed her arm, forced her into his white S.U.V., and “made her drink an unknown liquid,” the charges say. The suspect then locked the doors and drove away, according to the criminal complaint filed by the office of District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

The victim took out a cell phone, but the driver grabbed it and threw it out the window. He then drove over a bridge to Queens, parked at a warehouse and grabbed the victim as she tried to flee. He threw her into the backseat and raped and sodomized her and then drove her to an A.T.M., took $500 that he forced her to withdraw and left her in the street, according to the charges.

In similar case on Oct. 27 last year, a woman, 23, was outside the same club when she got into a black sedan, believing it was a livery cab. The driver stopped in Red Hook, Brooklyn, got into the backseat and blindfolded and raped the victim.

Police did not connect Contento with the October rape. Contento was being held pending arraignment on the drug charges as the investigation continued on the kidnap/rape case.

Triple attack

An Upper East Side man, 23, told police that someone punched him and knocked him to the ground when he was drunk and walking on W. 15th St. between Ninth and 10th Aves. at 3:30 a.m. Sat., July 19. When the victim got up, another stranger offered to show him where the attacker had gone and led him farther west on 15th St. Then, a third man came from behind, knocked the victim down, straddled him and put a knife to his face and took his credit cards and a Jacobs & Co. watch valued at $27,000, police said.

Peddler rage

Rafael Reyes, 46, pleaded guilty on July 25 to hitting a fellow peddler with a chair on Sunday afternoon July 20 on Howard St. at Broadway during a dispute over a vending location. Reyes, of 32 Rutgers St., threw the chair through the window of a parked car after the attack. He was sentenced to six months in jail, according to a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney.

Christopher switch

Police arrested Roger Gilchrist, 20, at 4:20 a.m. Wed., July 23, and charged him with punching and attempting to rob a man at Christopher and Washington Sts. The suspect approached the victim, lifted his shirt and said, “Do you want to pay for some of this?” When the victim declined, the suspect said, “I’m going to rob you,” and punched him in the head, according to the charges in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Gilchrist, of no fixed address, was being held in lieu of $500 bail pending an Aug. 11 court appearance.

Cart takeout

A man walked up to a food cart on the southeast corner of Thompson and W. Houston Sts. at 9 p.m. Tues., July 8, and grabbed cash from the top of the cart, police said. The victim recognized the thief as someone he formerly worked with and demanded the money back. The thief then pulled a knife, warned him, “Don’t shout,” and fled.

Bench bash

The victim of a July 1 beating by an enraged man in East River Park, spotted his assailant on Mon., July 21, and called police, who arrested Carl Gainey, 44. The suspect, apparently drunk, had shouted, “This is my bench,” and hit the victim, who was sitting on a bench, in the head with a cane, police said. Gainey, a Bronx resident, was being held pending an Aug. 6 court date.

Motorcycle gone

A man who left his motorcycle at 161 Sixth Ave. at Spring St. at 1 p.m. Tues., July 22, returned two hours later and found it had been stolen, police said.


Alexis Rivera, 40, was arrested shortly after 2 p.m. on Fri., July 18, and charged with menacing patrons with an ice pick in a coin-operated laundry at E. Fourth St. and Second Ave. and fleeing with two buckets of quarters. Police also charged him with snatching a wallet and a cell phone from an untended bag in a bar on First Ave. near Second St. shortly before the laundry robbery.

B train iPhone snatch

Police arrested Terrance Evans, 25, at 3:15 p.m. Tues., July 22, and charged him with snatching an iPhone from a man on a northbound B train as it approached the W. Fourth St. station. Evans, of Brooklyn, was arrested after he fled at the station. He was held in lieu of bail pending an Aug. 15 court appearance.

Grand St. grab

A thief followed an 89-year-old woman into her building at Grand St. and the F.D.R. Drive at 3 p.m. Mon., July 21, and stole her bag, police said. The suspect held the elevator door open for the victim, who was pushing her shopping cart, and rode up with her to the third floor. He got off and followed her to her apartment door, where he grabbed the bag and fled, police said.

Dance-floor grope

A woman patron of Plumm, the club at 246 W. 14th St., was on the dance floor around 1:30 a.m. Wed., July 16, when a stranger opened her blouse, and grabbed her breasts and her purse, which she was carrying in her left hand, police said. The suspect fled with the purse and a canvas of the club failed to find him.

Socked for pot

Transit police arrested Jonathan Ventura, 23, in the subway entrance on the northwest corner of Eighth Ave. at 14th St. on Fri., July 18, for evading the fare, and then charged him with possession of a bag of marijuana, which they found in his right sock.

Bad Beemer

An officer who stopped a silver BMW at the northwest corner of 10th Ave. and 14th St. for running a red light at 2 a.m. Sat., July 19, was injured when the driver sped away south on 10th Ave.

Burglary spike continues

Burglaries are continuing to increase in the Sixth Precinct, which covers the Village between Houston and 14th Sts. west of Broadway. During the week of July 14-20, there were seven burglaries compared to five for the same week of last year, according to New York Police Department crime statistics reports. For the 28-day period ending July 20, there were 33 burglaries in the precinct, compared to 19 the same period last year, an increase of more than 73 percent. For the year to date ending July 20, there were 138 burglaries, compared to 108 the same period last year, an increase of nearly 28 percent.

Burglaries in the Fifth Precinct, covering Chinatown and part of the Lower East Side between Broadway and Allen St. south of Houston St., are also rising sharply, with five reported the week of July 14-20, compared to none the same week last year. For the 28-day period ending July 20, there were 11 burglaries compared to five the previous year, and for the year to date, 62 robberies were reported compared to 53 the previous year.

In the Seventh Precinct, covering the Lower East Side south of Houston St. and east of Allen St., burglaries increased during the 28-day period ending July 20 to 11, up from six the previous year.

Albert Amateau

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