Volume 78 / Number 16, September 17 - 23, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Seward Park D.O.A.
A passerby found the body of a man slumped on a bench in Seward Park across from 7 Essex St. around 8 a.m. Sun., Sept. 14, police said. The victim, described as a white male, 64 years old, was declared dead at the scene. Hypodermic needles were found near his body, according to reports. The victim had not been positively identified and a report on the cause of death was pending, a spokesperson for the medical examiner said on Tues., Sept. 16.
Susan Unger, 24, pleaded guilty on Fri., Sept 12, to stealing a cell phone from a woman who rejected her panhandling approach on Bond St. near Lafayette St. on Monday evening Sept. 8, according to a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney.
The suspect grabbed the victim, punched her in the head and wrestled with her, and then grabbed the victims cell phone, which had fallen in the struggle, police said. Unger was arrested before she got very far and was charged with second-degree robbery and assault. She pleaded guilty to the robbery charge and is to be sentenced Nov. 18.
Arlene Coffey, 72, and her son, David Coffey, 54, were found dead of gunshot wounds to their heads in their Gramercy apartment Sunday afternoon, Sept. 14, in an apparent murder-suicide, police said.
Arlene Coffey, a costume designer for film and television productions, had been diagnosed with cancer and was found in her bedroom with a .22-caliber bullet wound in the head. David Coffey, described as a recluse who lived with his mother, was found in his bedroom with a bullet in his head and a .22-caliber pistol in his hand, police said.
Relatives, who could not reach the mother and son by phone, had called the super of the building at 112 E. 17th St., where the family had lived for several decades. Arlene Coffey was married to Joseph Coffey, a cinematographer who died in 2000, according to a Daily News article.
Ex-cop rape charge
Kevin Johnson, 28, a former police officer in Brooklyn, was indicted Wed., Sept. 10, for raping a woman in a Flatiron District hotel. The victim and several women friends had met the suspect, who identified himself as an off-duty police officer, in a bar on April 29 and invited him to the hotel where they were staying at 7 E. 27th St., according to the charges. The victim left for a time and returned to find Johnson still in the room, so she went to sleep in the bathroom. Johnson sexually assaulted the victim while she was sleeping, and the women called police, according to the charges. Johnson resigned from the New York Police Department on June 4 during the investigation, according to a spokesperson for the district attorney.
He pleaded not guilty to first-degree rape and several counts of first-degree sexual abuse and was released on a $10,000 bond pending an Oct. 16 court appearance.