Volume 78 - Number 23 / NOVEMBER 5 - 11, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Opus bouncer on trial
Stephen Sakai, 33, charged with the May 23, 2006, shooting death of one man and the injury of three others outside of Opus 22, a club where he was a bouncer at 11th Ave. and W. 22nd St., went on trial Mon., Nov. 3. In the shooting, Gustavo Cuadros, 25, died and his brother, Julian Cuadros, 28, was paralyzed from the neck down. Two friends of the victims, Ian Davis and Jaison Correa, were also injured. Sakais lawyer, Tamara Harris, told the jury that one of the victims had a gun and Sakai shot in self-defense.
Sakai is currently serving a 50-years-to-life prison sentence after being convicted in a previous shooting of two of his associates in Brooklyn over an argument over their bouncer business. The jury in the current case was not informed about Sakais previous conviction.
The Opus 22 case prompted city and state bouncer legislation providing for stricter oversight of club security guards.
Rapist argues case
John Hamlett, charged with raping two women in two separate incidents in the same building at E. Third St. and Avenue B in the spring of 2006, cross-examined one of the victims and gave his own closing address to the jury at the end of his trial on Mon., Nov. 3. The courts were closed on Nov. 4, Election Day, and the jury was scheduled to reconvene for deliberation on Nov. 5.
Hamlett, a resident of the East Village at the time of the two incidents, had been convicted of a prior sexual assault of a handicapped woman in 1996 and is a registered sex offender. He was charged in the 2006 cases with breaking into the two apartments in the building two weeks apart and sodomizing the women residents at knifepoint.
Adrienne Shelly suit
The husband of Adrienne Shelly, the actress and film director murdered on Nov. 1, 2006, in her office at 15 Abingdon Square by an illegal immigrant working in the building, filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan against the contractor who had hired the murderer.
Shellys husband, Andrew Ostroy, is seeking damages on behalf of the victims daughter, Sophie, 4, from Bradford General Contractors, whose crew was doing work in the apartment below Shellys office, according to a New York Post report. Shelly and her family lived on Varick St. in Tribeca.
The murderer, Diego Pillco, then 19 and an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was convicted of the killing during a robbery, and is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence.
The suit contends the contractor was liable for Shellys death because the company was negligent in the screening, hiring and training of its employees at the site, who were undocumented immigrants, like Pillco.
A man walking out of a building at 38 E. 19th St. between Broadway and Park Ave. South at 4:30 a.m. Fri., Oct. 31, was stopped by two men and a teenage boy who made antigay insults and then punched and kicked him, police said. Two men, Omar Thomas and Emanuel Ladipo, both of Brownsville, Brooklyn, were charged with second-degree assault as a hate crime. The other defendant, 15, was charged as a juvenile.
Police arrested three men shortly before 1 a.m. on Fri., Oct. 24, and charged them with stealing four bottles of oral-sex drops, three bottles of massage oil, a porn movie tape, a package of nipple cream and a sex toy, all from Cherry Box, an erotica shop at 162 W. Fourth St. The suspects, Corey Brown, 31; Malcolm Anderson, 26, and John Francis, 28, were charged with grand larceny after the woman who was tending the shop identified them, police said.
A photographer who went to a photo shoot at Zero Maria Corneio, a clothing boutique at 807 Greenwich St. at W. 12th St., at 10 a.m. Fri., Oct. 24, had his camera stolen by two men who followed him into the store and walked off with the camera, which the victim had just placed on the floor at his feet, police said.
Jersey cars gone
A New Jersey man who parked his car on Bank St. near Bleecker St. around 4:30 p.m. Sun., Oct. 26, returned at 9:30 p.m. and found the front passenger-side window smashed and the global-positioning system missing, along with two iPods and a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.
A New Jersey woman who parked her car on the southwest corner of Washington and Gansevoort Sts. at 8 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 16, returned at 1 a.m. and found a passenger-side window smashed and her laptop computer, computer case and $25 in cash missing.
Passed out at Pieces
A patron of Pieces, at 8 Christopher St. near Gay St., passed out in the place around 7 p.m. Fri., Oct. 17, and was taken to St. Vincents Hospital, police said. He last saw his wallet at Pieces, and after he got out of the hospital, discovered it missing and found that unauthorized charges of $7,719 had been made on his Chase debit card, police said.
Bags going, going, gone
A patron of The Inn, 7 Ninth Ave., told police that her bag with cell phone, digital camera, personal papers, credit card and $40 in cash, was taken from a bar stool sometime before 2:05 a.m. Sat., Nov. 1.
A patron of Pastis, 9 Ninth Ave., told police that her bag, which she had placed at her feet at her table, had been stolen around 11 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 30.
A patron of The Place, 310 W. Fourth St., told police that her wallet and cell phone were taken from her bag on the back of her chair around 11:15 p.m. Sat., Nov. 1.
A patron of the Sullivan Room, 218 Sullivan St., discovered her bag, containing her credit cards, jewelry, car keys and $100 in cash, was stolen from the top of her table around 5 a.m. Sun., Oct. 26.
A patron of Kiss & Fly, 409 W. 13th St., left her bag on her seat for five minutes at 3:30 a.m. Sat., Nov. 1, and returned to find it had been stolen along with credit cards, a spa gift card and $70 in cash, police said.
A patron of Starbucks, at 518 Hudson St., discovered her $400 handbag, $750 Bodega Veneta wallet and $200 in cash had been stolen Sunday morning Oct. 26.
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