Volume 79, Number 29 | December 23 - 29, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Police Blotter

Assisted-living murder
An argument in an assisted-living residence at 270 E. Second St. between two men in wheelchairs turned violent in the early hours of Sat., Dec. 19, and one of them stabbed the other to death, police said.

The suspect, Felipe Rivera-Cruz, 51, plunged a folding knife four times into the chest of the victim, Ronal Garcia, 24, at 4:12 a.m. in a second-floor hallway of the four-story Barrier Free Living residence between Avenues C and D, according to the complaint filed by the Manhattan district attorney. Garcia was taken to Beth Israel Medical Center with several other stab wounds in addition to the four fatal ones, and was declared dead soon after.

The stabbing, which staff members saw in progress on a surveillance monitor, followed an argument an hour or so earlier when the victim had made fun of the suspect, according to reports. Police also responded to the earlier call, but said it was just an argument with no injuries and neither party wanted to file charges. However, a New York Times report quoted a witness as saying the suspect had sustained a cut on his forehead during the earlier incident, and the victim had phoned his family in the Bronx between the first and second calls.

A security guard, who got to the scene too late to prevent the stabbing, observed the folding knife in the suspect’s hand, took it from him, and then called 911, the complaint says.

The nonprofit Barrier Free Living residence, operated under contract to the city, is one of the few that are completely accessible to wheelchairs. A spokesperson for the Department of Homeless Services said the city is investigating the circumstances of the stabbing.

Rivera-Cruz was held on charges of second-degree murder and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon pending a Dec. 24 court appearance.

Mugger caught
The victim of a mugging in front of The Village Lantern, 167 Bleecker St., at 1:30 a.m. Sun., Nov. 22, was able to identify the suspect who jammed what might have been a gun in his back, took $310 from him and fled. The victim ran back inside the bar, phoned 911, then ran out and flagged a passing patrol car. The suspect, Marvin Howell, 47, was arrested nearby. He is paroled until a Feb. 22 court appearance on charges of robbery and possession of stolen property.

Arrest 3 in assault
Police arrested three men around 3:15 p.m. Wed., Dec. 16, for knocking a young victim to the ground in front of City-As-School,, 16 Clarkson St., and chasing him for two blocks to Varick St. near Downing St. and beating him again. Charged with third-degree assault were Jessie Velez, 37, Roberto DelVale, a 19-year-old student at City-As-School, and Dequan Jenkins, 18. Jenkins, who was arrested in front of the school, had a handgun in his knapsack and was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. Police did not explain the circumstances of the incident.

Survives bridge leap
Police responded to a call just before 7 a.m. Sat., Dec. 19, that a distraught young woman was threatening to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge near the Manhattan side. When police arrived they saw the victim, identified only as an Asian woman, 22, in the river. Witnesses said she had jumped off the north side of the bridge. A New York Police Department helicopter was dispatched and two scuba divers went into the water from the helicopter. The divers found the victim and brought her to a nearby Fire Department boat. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital where she was listed in stable condition.

Bit for a nip
Albert Danielson, 44, pleaded guilty on Dec. 18 and was sentenced to six months in jail for the Mon., Dec. 14, robbery of a bottle of liquor from a store at 9 Broadway near Bowling Green. Danielson put the bottle in his jacket shortly after 8 p.m. and attempted to leave without paying for it, police said. A store employee observed the theft and stopped Danielson, who bit him on the wrist, “causing redness and substantial pain,” the charge says.

Game got them
A woman who tried to buy $500 worth of video games at GameStop, 349 Sixth Ave., with a fraudulent credit card around 6:30 p.m. Tues., Dec. 8, was arrested with two women accomplices, police said. Deneira Ortiz, 19, was arrested and charged with grand larceny along with Tashema Gifford, 34, and Marshella Smith, 41. Police said they found 27 other stolen or fraudulent credit cards on the suspects when they were arrested.

Panhandler snatch
A generous Brooklyn man, 35, who had just left an automatic teller machine at the Chase bank at 204 W. Fourth St. near Sheridan Square, had his wallet snatched at 5:21 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 10, police said. The victim was about to give a handout to a panhandler who asked him for money, but the panhandler grabbed the victim’s wallet and ran. The victim and two witnesses gave chase, caught the suspect at the southeast corner of Waverly Place and held him for police. The arresting officers recovered 10 $20 bills and two A.T.M. receipts from the suspect, Percy Hernandez, 23, and charged him with grand larceny. The victim’s wallet was discovered on the sidewalk, police said.

Meatpacking assault
A visitor from Oklahoma, 46, was attacked in The Griffin, a pricey nightclub at 50 Gansevoort St. west of Greenwich St., at 2:30 a.m. Sun., Dec. 13, by four men who held him down and punched him, police said. Two of the assailants were apprehended at the scene, but two, described only as white males, fled. Anthony Difuilo, 38, and John Pizzirusso, 37, were charged with third-degree assault and gang assault. The victim was treated at St. Vincent’s Hospital for cuts on his head.

Albert Amateau

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