Volume 79, Number 42 | March 24 - 30, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Police Blotter

Village fire death
Firefighters pulled Timothy Rhodes, 41, from an 11:24 a.m. fire in his seventh-floor apartment in the 12-story building at 12 E. 12th St. on Fri., March 19. The victim was pronounced dead at St. Vincent’s Hospital. The fire, not deemed suspicious but still under investigation, was confined to Rhodes’s apartment in the building where Gotham Bar and Grill is located on the ground floor between Fifth Ave. and University Place. A Fire Department spokesperson said the fire started in a gas stove in the kitchen. Neighbors said the victim had recently lost his job in the Financial District. The victim’s two dogs escaped injury, and the fire did not force an evacuation of the entire building. The restaurant had no patrons at the time, and its lunch opening was delayed by the fire.

Beaten, left in coma
Police responded to a 4:15 a.m. call on Sat., March 20, of a man being assaulted by unknown suspects in front of 159 Essex St., just south of Houston St. They found a 30-year-old black man on the sidewalk with severe head injuries and unconscious. The victim, who was not further identified, was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition and was reported on Tuesday to be in a coma. Neighbors said detectives from the Seventh Precinct squad were investigating and had indicated that prior to the attack, the victim had been at Element, 225 E. Houston St., a former bank building and now a three-story nightlife venue.

Fatal plunge
Police are investigating a disabled woman’s fatal plunge from her eighth-floor balcony at Washington Square Village, 552 LaGuardia Place at W. Third St., at 11:30 a.m. Thurs., March 18. The woman had lost the use of her legs in a subway accident in 2002. Patricia Gregory, 50, landed on the third-floor roof projection of the building, and was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital where she was declared dead at 12:20 p.m. Her wheelchair was found on her balcony after the fall, police said.

Neighbors said the victim had learned to live with her disability and led an active family life with her husband and teenage son.

Mugged in church
Police are seeking public assistance for information on the man who robbed a woman while she was praying at Immaculate Conception Church, 414 E. 14th St. near First Ave., at 6:27 a.m. Fri., March 19. The robber grabbed the woman, 61, from behind, forced her to the floor, snatched her brown leather bag from her hand and fled from the church onto 14th St. and south on First Ave., police said. Anyone with information should phone Crime Stoppers at 800-577-8477 (TIPS) or log on to www.crimestoppers.com or text at 274637 and enter TIPS577. All tips are strictly confidential.

‘I’m with maintenance’
A resident of 33 Union Square West found a stranger in his apartment at 12:30 a.m. Sat., March 13, who said he was with building maintenance, asked which way he should go out and fled out the front door. The resident gave police a description of the intruder, identified as Delonce Ellsberry, 21, who was arrested in the neighborhood a short time later. Ellsberry, who is homeless, was being held in lieu of $10,000 bail pending an April 14 court appearance on charges of second- and third-degree burglary.

Car break-in
A Staten Island man parked his car in front of 45 King St. at 11:30 p.m. Tues., March 9, and returned two hours later to find the rear left window broken and his MacBook and two traveling bags belonging to a friend visiting from Toronto gone. The total value of the loss was $4,100.

Smashes car window
Police arrested Hanif Claxton, 24, around 3 a.m. Fri., March 19, and charged him with criminal mischief for hurling a large rock through the windshield of a car parked in front of 130 Bleecker St.

Blue Ribbon battle
A Queens man who works at Blue Ribbon Bakery, 35 Downing St. near Bedford St., walked into the St. Vincent’s Hospital emergency room at 1:35 a.m. Wed., March 17, where he told police that an argument with a co-worker in the restaurant shortly after midnight escalated into a fight. The victim, who had two teeth knocked out, was treated and released.

Thong you very much
The manager of Victoria’s Secret, 591 Broadway between Prince and Houston Sts., told police that a group of two men and three women entered the place at 5:20 p.m. Mon., March 15, distracted the security guard, and managed to take 96 panty thongs from a shelf, hide them in a big yellow bag and walk out without paying. The total value lost was $4,680, the store reported.

Albert Amateau



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