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Volume 79, Number 8 | July 29 - August 4, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Police Blotter

Serial robber nabbed

Police arrested Robert Stewart, 51, of Paterson, N.J., on Wed., July 22, and charged him with five robberies of elderly men in their buildings in the Village and Stuyvesant Town.

The robberies, which victimized men between the ages of 91 and 61, occurred between May 25 and July 22, the day he was arrested in the Seventh Ave. apartment of a Village man, 73, according to the complaint filed by the Manhattan district attorney. Stewart pushed the victim to the floor at about 5 p.m. and was attempting to go through his pockets when neighbors arrived and held the suspect for police, the complaint says.

The 91-year-old man was robbed in his building at 247 W. 12th St. between Greenwich Ave. and W. Fourth St. around 1:40 p.m. May 29. The suspect grabbed the victim, hit him in the head, took about $400 from his wallet and fled, according to the complaint. The victim sustained cuts and bruises to his head.

On July 10, the suspect came up behind a man, 77, as he entered his Stuyvesant Town building at 448 E. 20th St. at 6:09 a.m., stole his wallet and pushed the victim to the floor, the complaint says.

On June 7 at 2:10 p.m., the suspect accosted a victim, 61, after he entered his Peter Cooper Village building at 440 E. 23rd St., demanded money, took his wallet, pushed him to the floor and fled.

On May 25, a man, 76, was entering the lobby of his Stuyvesant Town building at 447 E. 14th St. at 9:35 a.m. when the suspect grabbed him from behind and took his wallet. During the struggle, the victim was cut on the arm and required hospital treatment, the complaint says.

Stewart was in jail pending a court appearance this week on five counts of first-degree burglary, four counts of robbery, four counts of assault and one count of attempted robbery.

Sexual attack

A Bronx man was arrested naked in a tanning bed in a tanning salon at 53 Greenwich Ave. on Thurs., July 16, and charged with grabbing the woman manager against her will and sexually groping her. Donald Cameron, 34, of the Bronx entered the salon for a tanning session around 4:15 p.m. and put his hands under the 25-year-old victim’s skirt, according to the complaint filed by the Manhattan district attorney. The suspect groped the victim’s buttocks and then grabbed her wrist, pulled her to him and held her against his erect penis, according to the complaint. The victim broke free, fled and called police, who charged Cameron with sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching and public lewdness. Cameron, who has a previous felony conviction, was being held pending an Aug. 19 court appearance.

Lazarus forgery

Gladys Patino, 19, a resident of Lazarus House on E. Ninth St. between Avenues B and C, was arrested on Thurs., July 16, and charged with forging the name of Reverend Patrick Moloney on 13 checks totaling $3,000 between March 31 and April 20 of this year. Moloney, 77, a Melkite Eastern rite priest, is the founder of Lazarus Community Bonitas House, a shelter for troubled and homeless youth. He discovered earlier this month that the checks from Lazarus House accounts at Fleet Bank, Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union and Citibank had been forged, and called police, according to reports. Patino admitted to Ninth Precinct detectives that she forged the checks. She was freed pending an Oct. 19 court appearance.

Teen thiefs

Darnel Butler, 18, and Shamikah Baldwin, 17, were arrested on Thurs., July 23 on Waverly Place near Gay St. in connection with the 11:05 p.m. robbery of a female pedestrian, police said. The suspects grabbed the victim from behind, tried to grab her bag and hit her with an umbrella when she struggled, police said. They were being held pending a court appearance on first- and second-degree robbery charges later this week.

Spa burglar gets clipped

Major-case squad detectives arrested Diego Pancha, 28, on Wed., July 22, and charged him with the October 2008 break-in of a skin-care salon at 180 Seventh Ave. South and theft of laser hair-removal machines, accessories, spa equipment and a safe with a total value of more than $800,000. Pancha told police that his wife had worked in the salon and that he had staked it out and learned about the value of the machines, according to the complaint filed by the Manhattan district attorney. Pancha told police he climbed into the window of the place at about 11 p.m. Oct. 7, gathered the equipment and the safe, loaded it into a van he had parked at the curb and drove off after daybreak the next morning.

Pancha said he rented a storage space for the loot, tried to sell it off piece by piece and broke open the safe and took the cash that it held, according to the complaint.

Pancha acknowledged that he was the burglar on the surveillance tape recorded the night of the burglary, police said. He was apprehended after police traced several cell-phone calls from the salon on the night of the robbery.

Lewd offer

A Bronx man, 40, was arrested for public lewdness and offering a 16-year-old boy $5 to expose himself on Wednesday afternoon July 22 in a building on St. Mark’s Place. Roberto Ramirez, 40, was in the building between Avenue A and First Ave. around 4:15 p.m. and made his lewd offer when the boy walked in, according to police. The boy ran home and reported the incident to his parents, who called 911. Ramirez was released pending an Oct. 7 court appearance on endangering the welfare of child and public lewdness.

‘Hold the dye pack’

A man who walked into the HSBC bank branch at 354 Sixth Ave. near W. Fourth St. at 12:15 p.m. Wed., July 22, passed a note to a teller saying he had a gun and demanded money, saying, “No dye pack or bait.” He pulled the dye pack from the bag the teller had given him and left it on the counter but some of the $3,060 he took was “baited” with recorded serial numbers. The robber was described as a white man, about age 40, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 190 pounds, wearing sunglasses, a dark gray baseball cap, olive-green button-down shirt, light-colored baggy pants and white sneakers and carrying a small black shopping bag.

Market St. mugging

Police arrested three teenagers for the knifepoint mugging of a man, age 20, on Market and Madison Sts. at 1:16 a.m. Wed., July 22. Ramzie Jawad, 18, Amjed Abdelrahman, 19, and Kamal Kheedr, 18, ordered the victim to empty his pockets and took his wallet with $289, house keys and a cell phone, according to the complaint filed by the Manhattan district attorney.

Socked at Stonewall

The bartender of the Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher St., told police that a regular at the bar punched him in the face at around 1:20 a.m. Sat., July 25. Police canvassed the area for the suspect, described as a white Hispanic man, 5 feet 9 inches, about 200 pounds and bald, but did not find him.

‘I’ll mess you up’

A woman, 63, told police she was having lunch at the SAGE Center of the L.G.B.T. center at 208 W. 13th St. around 1:30 p.m. Thurs., July 16, when a woman she described as white, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing about 300 pounds, came up, pointed her finger in the victim’s face and said, “If you mess with me again I’ll mess you up.” The victim said she didn’t know what provoked the confrontation.

Union Square DOA

Police discovered the body of an Asian man, 40, on a bench in the east side of Union Square Park near 14th St. at 6:57 a.m. Wed., July 22. The Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the cause of death and the victim’s name was withheld pending family notification.

E. Sixth St. jumper

A man jumped to his death from the second-story balcony at 411 E. Sixth St. between First Ave. and Avenue A at 9:58 a.m. Fri., July 24, police said. The victim, a white man, 49, was taken to Beth Israel Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. His name was withheld pending family notification.

Albert Amateau

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