Volume 78 / Number 21 - October 22 - 28, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Police Blotter

Market murder plea

James Gonzalez, 42, pleaded guilty on Mon., Oct. 20, to the Feb. 29 stabbing murder of his former girlfriend and the attempted murder of her co-worker in the Key Food market on Avenue A at E. Fourth St. Gonzalez was arrested in Miami a month after the stabbing rampage in the supermarket, where he worked as a maintenance man and where the murder victim, Tina Negron, 24, worked as a bookkeeper and where Rasheda Andradas, 27, also worked. Negron died shortly after the stabbing. Andradas recovered from her stab wounds. Under the plea agreement, Gonzalez will be sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

‘Student strangler’

Jeromie Cancel, 22, entered a mandatory not-guilty plea on Mon., Oct. 20, to the Aug. 30 strangling murder of Kevin Pravia, 19, an honors student at Pace University, in the victim’s Chelsea apartment. Cancel was arrested after his father called police and told them that the suspect bragged to him about the murder. The Manhattan district attorney released Cancel’s confession made to police on the day of his arrest about how he garroted the victim, who was in a drunken sleep, with an electrical cord.

Heavy bank scene

A tall, heavyset man wearing a hooded sweatshirt walked into the Washington Mutual bank branch at 104 Delancey St. near Ludlow St. on Tuesday morning Oct. 7, pulled a gun on a teller and demanded money, police said. The robber fled with an unspecified amount of cash.

Teens gone wild

Central Village residents, most of them women, have been harassed by roving teenagers recently on W. Fourth St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. A Cornelia St. resident told The Villager about the latest incident that occurred on Sun., Oct. 19, shortly after 8 p.m., when a group of teens who had been fighting with another group threw what could have been a cigarette in her hair. Police did not respond to 911 calls about the disturbance until an hour later, the resident said.

Mass. attack

Police arrested John Cruz, 42, of Springfield. Mass., during the early hours of Sat., Oct. 11, and charged him with robbery after he had knocked down a Village resident, 49, who was walking on the north side of W. 10th St. between Hudson and Greenwich Sts. Police said the suspect had stolen the victim’s wallet and cell phone.

Got Smart

Police arrested Rakim Smart, 16, on Mon., Oct. 13, and charged him with a series of larcenies that began on the morning of July 3 in an office building on Spring St. near Crosby St., when he took an unattended bag from an office where his mother was being interviewed for a job, according to charges filed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He is to appear in court on Nov. 12.

Feeling punchy

Jason Littrell, 27, was issued a desk-appearance ticket for punching a stranger and pushing him to the ground at 4 a.m. Sun., Oct. 19, at Broome and Kenmare Sts. The suspect was freed pending a Nov. 18 court appearance.

Police arrested Pavel Zieleniak, 24, and charged him with third-degree assault for punching a man, 26, at 3 a.m. Sun., Oct. 19, on Fourth Ave. at E. 11th St. The suspect is free pending a Dec. 19 court appearance.

Car break-in

Police arrested Andre Bethea, 43, shortly after 2 a.m. on Fri., Oct. 18, and charged him with breaking the rear window of a car parked at Wooster and Prince Sts. and stealing a laptop computer and an iPod. A few hours earlier, the car’s owner discovered the break-in and called police, who found the stolen items in the suspect’s possession. Bethea was also charged with resisting arrest for punching one of the arresting officers.

Lawless in school

A student at Cardozo Law School, 55 Fifth Ave., told police that he left his laptop computer unattended in the sixth-floor study room at 11:25 a.m. Fri., Oct. 10, and returned five minutes later to find it had been stolen.

Albert Amateau

Dye was cast

The Commerce Bank at 47 Third Ave., at 10th St., was robbed Thurs., Oct 16, at 12:54 p.m. The suspect, a white male, about 40, brandished a weapon and fled on foot with an unknown amount of money. Police did a canvas of the area with negative results. A reporter who happened upon the cordoned-off crime scene shortly after the incident observed a small, black, plastic bag lying on the red-stained sidewalk around the corner from the bank entrance, apparently the remains of an exploding dye pack dropped by the suspect.

Bonnie Rosenstock

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