Volume 78 - Number 32 / January 7 - 13, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Police Blotter

Chased by naked man

A woman who lives on Thompson St. between W. Third and Bleecker Sts. went out to walk her dog at 1 a.m. Dec. 26. When she returned about 25 minutes later, a man naked except for sweatpants pulled down to just above the pubic area emerged from under the stairwell. The woman, 27, fled up the stairs to her apartment with the man in pursuit, and locked the door behind her, just before he could reach her. She told The Villager that she had seen the suspect in her lobby when she went out but he was dressed normally and talking on a cell phone. The woman called police, who arrived in five minutes, but the intruder, described as a Hispanic man about 5 feet 10 inches tall with a medium build, was not found.


UPS truck ignites

A fire broke out under the hood of a United Parcel Service truck in front of the UPS garage at 148 Leroy St. two minutes before 2 p.m. on Tues., Jan. 6. Ellen Peterson Lewis, a neighbor who saw the incident, said a UPS employee at the scene told her the driver drove the truck into the facility just before firefighters arrived. The fire was extinguished in 10 minutes. A Fire Department spokesperson said he was unable to say what caused the fire.


Bad bus matron

Linda Hockaday, 51, a former employee of a bus company responsible for transporting the handicapped students of FEGS, the agency that runs a school at 315 Hudson St., was being held on felony charges of reckless endangerment pending a court appearance on Wed., Jan. 7.

Hockaday was working as a bus matron for Outstanding Transport on New Year’s Eve when the temperature fell to 15 degrees. She knowingly left a severely disabled man sleeping in the bus, according to the charges. Ed Wynn Rivera, 22, who has cerebral palsy, was found 17 hours later in a Brooklyn bus depot after he was missed in an earlier search of the depot. Rivera was treated at Brookdale Hospital for hypothermia. He was released Mon., Jan. 5, and returned to his parents’ East Harlem home.

Hockaday left the victim in the bus because she was late for a church concert and thought he would be found soon, according to reports. Her lawyer said the bus driver, Walter Gibbs, 42, should have noticed Rivera before he left the vehicle at the depot. Gibbs, who had been on the job for two days at the time of the incident, had several past license suspensions and has a record of many arrests. But a bus company official said Gibbs had a valid driver’s license and was legally employed pending the results of a background check.


Drunk and screaming

Police responded to a report about a screaming argument in an apartment at 492 Broome St. near West Broadway at 9:15 a.m. Sun., Jan. 4, and arrested Michelle Trico, 34, and her partner, Josef Hapsprugh, 48, after their 10-year-old daughter, who was in the same room, said that her parents had been drinking and fighting all night. Two other children, a 1-year-old and a 7-year-old, were in another room, according to a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney. The defendants were released pending a Jan. 20 court appearance on two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The children were reportedly placed in their godfather’s care.


Marital tag team

A Brooklyn man, 29, told police that a man and a woman punched and scratched his face outside APT, a bar at 419 W. 13th St. in the Meatpacking District, at 2:20 a.m. Tues., Dec. 30. Police arrested Zachary Bush, 31, and his wife, Megan Bush, 25, and charged them with misdemeanor assault.


No murder in 6th Precinct

The Sixth Precinct, covering the West Village, was one of three precincts citywide that had no homicides in 2008, according to police crime statistic reports. In 2007, there were five homicides in the precinct, including two auxiliary police officers shot to death by a suspect who killed a bartender on Houston St. and was himself shot to death by police on the same night.

Total crime in the precinct declined about 8 percent from the previous year. There were three first-degree rape reports in the Village precinct last year compared to five the year before; 88 felony assaults compared to 125 the previous year; and 174 robberies in 2008 compared to 194 the previous year.

However, burglaries increased last year when 281 were reported compared to 202 in 2007.

But grand larceny declined in 2008 to 1,083 compared to 1,177 the previous year. Auto theft also declined last year when 42 were reported compared to 74 the year before.


Watch your bag!

A man and a woman told police that their wallets were stolen from their bags that they had placed at their feet while they were in Silver Spurs, 490 LaGuardia Place, on Tuesday night Dec. 30.

A Brooklyn woman, 22, told police that her wallet was stolen from her bag while she was at the Corner Bistro on Jane St. at Eighth Ave. shortly before midnight on Sun., Dec. 28. She said that $800 in unauthorized charges was made on her credit card.

A woman shopper at DSW, the shoe store at 40 E. 14th St., told police that someone made off with her bag while she was sitting in a chair and talking on her cell phone shortly before 6 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 30.


Albert Amateau

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