Volume 78 - Number 37 / February 11 - 17, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Chase ends in arrest
Police arrested a suspect charged with assaulting a man with a bottle on the northbound platform of the Seventh Ave./Christopher St. station around 7 p.m. Mon., Feb. 9, after a chase by police, including an officer on horseback, that ended at the corner of W. Fourth St. and Sixth Ave.
The suspect first approached the victim on Christopher St. at Seventh Ave., asked him for a cigarette and, upon being refused, followed the victim into the subway station. There the suspect pulled a beer bottle from his jacket and clouted the victim on the ear, police said.
The suspect dared the victim to call the police, allegedly saying, “They’ll never get here.” But when the train was held at the station, the suspect fled. Police including, the horse cop, gave chase and apprehended the suspect, Brian Smith, 39, and charged him with second-degree felony assault.
Police are looking for three women and a man who hang around A.T.M. bank lobbies and steal money from customers’ accounts. The gang victimized customers of a Bank of America branch on Broadway near Astor Place on Oct. 25, and the branch on Lafayette St. near East Houston St. on Dec. 13, police said. Members of the gang wait until a customer inserts a bankcard and enters a PIN, then says the A.T.M. doesn’t work. After observing the number entered, the thieves use it to withdraw money, police said.
Police are looking for one or two men involved in molesting several boys, 11 to 15 years old, in the Gramercy Park area. The two most recent incidents were on Thurs., Feb. 5. The suspect in most of the incidents was described as a Latino male in his 20s or 30s, 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing about 155 pounds, with black hair, a light scar on the upper right side of his forehead and wearing an olive-green North Face bubble jacket. He approached the victims from behind and grabbed their buttocks, police said.
At about 3:10 p.m. Feb. 5, the suspect grabbed the buttocks of a 15-year-old boy at the corner of Second Ave. and E. 22nd St., kissed him on the neck and fled. Ten minutes earlier at the corner of Third Ave. and E. 22nd St., a suspect described as Latino, 30 to 40 years old with a mustache and wearing a black leather jacket and work boots, kissed a 12-year-old boy on the cheek and attempted to grab his buttocks, police said.
The younger suspect also grabbed the butt of a 13-year-old at about 3:45 p.m. Wed., Feb. 4, on Second Ave. between 20th and 21st Sts., police said.
The incidents extend back to September of last year. On Sept. 8, 2008, at 3:30 p.m. the younger suspect grabbed the buttocks of an 11-year-old boy on Second Ave. between E. 21st and E. 22nd Sts. A 12-year-old boy was similarly molested at 8 a.m. Fri., Nov. 14, 2008, at the corner of E. 21st St. and Third Ave. At 8 a.m. Thurs., Nov. 20, 2008, the younger suspect grabbed another 12-year-old boy’s butt at the corner of E. 24th St. and Third Ave.
The principal of Epiphany School on E. 22nd St. this week sent a general e-mail alert to parents about the incident.
Anyone with information may call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477) or text to 274637 and enter TIP577.
After-dinner rob attempt
Police arrested Sean Straker, 31, of Queens, around 2:24 a.m. Sun., Feb. 1, and charged him with attempting to rob a dinner companion on W. 10th St. between Bleecker and W. Fourth Sts. Straker and the companion, whom he had just met, finished dinner at a Bleecker St. restaurant and walked out after the victim paid the bill. Straker then asked the victim for $40, was refused and then knocked the victim to the pavement. The suspect told him he had had a gun and demanded the victim’s wallet. Police responded to screams from the victim, 37, an East Village resident, and apprehended Straker.
Police arrested Jonathan Gascoine, 36, on Fri., Feb 6, and charged him with assault for throwing his former girlfriend on his bed and kicking her in the leg in his apartment at 78 Fifth Ave. near 14th St. during an argument at 3 a.m. Tues., Feb. 3. Gascoine is schedule to appear in court on Feb. 26 on third-degree assault and second-degree menacing.
Swipes jewelry, laptops
A thief who broke into an apartment on E. 11th St. at University Place on Wednesday night Feb. 4 made off with expensive watches and jewelry, as well as three laptops, police said.
Union Square mugging
Police arrested Darrell Burnett, 34, on Fri., Jan. 30, and charged him with robbery for grabbing a man around the neck and robbing him in Union Square Park on the night of Jan. 18. Burnett, accused of stealing the victim’s cell phone, credit cards and $38 in cash, is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending a March 10 court appearance on the second-degree robbery charge.
Knife and pill
Police stopped a car at the northeast corner of Hudson and Christopher Sts. shortly after 11 p.m. Mon., Feb. 2, and discovered the driver in possession of an ecstasy pill and a gravity knife. Reynaldo Canales was charged with weapon and controlled-substance possession.