Volume 78 - Number 39 / March 4 -10, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Officers probed in rape
Police Department Internal Affairs Bureau detectives and the Manhattan District Attorneys Office are investigating charges that two Ninth Precinct officers were involved in the Dec. 7, 2008, rape of an intoxicated woman in her E. 13th St. apartment.
Kenneth Moreno, 41, a 17-year Police Department veteran married with two children, is accused of raping the victim. His partner, Franklin L. Mata, 26, a policeman for three years, is accused of standing guard during the incident. Neither has been arrested but both were placed on desk duty Dec. 19 outside of the Ninth Precinct.
After a cab driver called 911 shortly after midnight Dec. 7 saying a drunk woman was vomiting, the two officers were recorded on a surveillance camera outside Heathers, a bar at 506 W. 13th St. just east of Avenue A, at 1:10 a.m. helping the woman, who lives nearby, into her building. The officers left seven minutes later, but returned in 40 minutes and left after 20 minutes. They came back for the third time 20 minutes later and stayed 40 minutes, according to the time-marked tape provided by the bar owner, Heather Millstone.
The victim told friends later that day that she had been raped by a policeman, and her friends called the district attorneys office.
Millstone was quoted in the daily newspapers as saying that when the officers came back the third time they appeared to be ducking the surveillance camera and entered the victims building with a key.
A search of Morenos locker at the Ninth Precinct turned up a plastic pack of heroin, which Moreno said he had forgotten to voucher in connection with another case, according to reports. Both Moreno and Mata passed drug tests of hair and urine. A Daily News article said investigators discovered the names of other women living in the Ninth Precinct in Morenos locker. A New York Post article said that Mata told his lawyer that the victim consented to having sex with Moreno. But under law, a person who is incapacitated is incapable of consenting to sex.
Arrest in Chelsea rape
Police arrested Jonathan Salva, 19, of Brooklyn, on Wed., Feb. 25, and charged him with the Sat., Feb. 21, rape of a woman, 26, as she was walking on W. 28th St. between Ninth and Eighth Aves. The suspect came up behind the victim at 5 a.m. as she was walking east, put his hands over her mouth and dragged her behind a dumpster, where he choked her until she passed out and raped her, according to the charge filed by the Manhattan district attorney. The suspect then tried to grab the victims bag, but fled with her iPhone after punching her in the face. But he dropped his cell phone in the struggle and police traced him through it and the victims iPhone.
Salva was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail pending grand jury action this week.
A man followed a woman, 65, into the vestibule of 791 Greenwich St. near W. 12th St. around 8:25 p.m. Sun., Feb. 22, pushed her, demanded money and then choked her, police said. The suspect fled when someone else entered the lobby, but two hours later police arrested Jason Torres, 22, for attempted robbery.
Livery car cop
A Taxi and Limousine agent stopped a black-car driver for responding to a street hail on Ninth Ave. between Little W. 12th St. and W. 13th St. in the Meatpacking District at 2:18 a.m. Sun., Feb. 22. The agent noticed an empty holster in the car and called a police officer, who found that the driver was wearing an N.Y.P.D. blue shirt under his shirt and N.Y.P.D. cargo trousers. A search of the car revealed other police-issue gear, and the driver, Jun Lin, 42, was charged with felony impersonation of a police officer.
A female resident of 304 E. Fifth St. returned home shortly after 3 p.m. Wed., Feb. 25, but could not open her door because the deadbolt was locked, police said. She called 911 when she heard noise inside, and police arrived to find Marcus Covington, 29, rummaging through the apartment. He was charged with second-degree burglary and was held pending grand jury action this week.
Body on Fifth Ave.
Police responded to a call at 12:14 a.m. Mon., March 2, about a body in front of 14 Fifth Ave. between W. Eighth and W. Ninth Sts. The victim, identified only as a white male, age 59, was unconscious, and emergency-medical technicians declared him dead on arrival at the scene. The Medical Examiner is investigating the cause of death.
Police stopped Tamar Acevedo at 1:10 a.m. Sun., March 1, driving through a D.W.I. checkpoint at West and W. Houston Sts. and administered an alcohol breath test in which he registered .105. The legal threshold is .08. Acevedo said he only had one and a half drinks. Police directing traffic in front of the Sixth Precinct police station around 11 p.m. Sat., Feb. 28, waved on the driver of a New Jersey car who disobeyed and tried to pull into a driveway at 233 W. 10th St. across from the precinct but couldnt get through. The driver then backed up and struck a passing car. Police arrested the driver, Celia Kubis, 45, who registered .104 on a breathalyzer test.