Volume 79, Number 50 | May 19 -25, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Police Blotter

Cyclist hit on Essex
A bicycle rider was struck by a car and injured Monday night May 17 at the corner of Essex and Rivington Sts. The victim, identified only as male, was taken to Bellevue Hospital with head injuries. There was no information by press time Tuesday on the victim’s condition. Police questioned a man and a woman near a black S.U.V. with a smashed windshield and next to a bike on Essex St. just north of Rivington St., according to witnesses. Police, however, had not filed any charges in connection with the accident by press time.

A recent report by the group Transpor-tation Alternatives said the area is extremely dangerous. The Essex-Delancey intersection had 119 crashes between cars and pedestrians or cyclists in the 10 years between 1998 and 2008, the report said.

On April 27 Harry Wieder, a member of Community Board 3 and an activist on issues affecting gay and disabled people, was killed when a cab hit him at Essex near Houston St. as he was leaving a community board meeting.

Recently the Department of Transpor-tation added bicycle lanes on Rivington and Stanton Sts. to give cyclists a safer alternative to Delancey St. with its heavy auto traffic.

N.Y.U. scammer pleads
John Runowicz, 48, a former administrator of the New York University chemistry department arrested last December for submitting six years of bogus expense requests totaling more than $400,000, accepted a grand larceny plea bargain on Monday.

Runowicz is scheduled to be sentenced to one to three years in prison on July 14 and has agreed to pay restitution, in an amount to be determined, from his retirement account. N.Y.U. had paid Runowicz for false expenses submitted between 2003 and 2009, including many on receipts scavenged from the trash of a liquor store on Broadway near Waverly Place, according to the charges. An N.Y.U. employee noticed the bogus receipts late last year and the university filed the complaint with the Manhattan district attorney.

Bleecker assault
A Brooklyn woman was walking on the northwest corner of Bleecker and Christopher Sts., around 3:20 a.m. Mon., May 10, when a stranger who had been following her tried to strike up a conversation, police said. The suspect groped the victim’s buttocks and groin, threw her to the pavement and punched her. He then took her cell phone, but she grabbed it back when he took $162 from her. The victim called police who canvassed the area and arrested Aaron Kee, 19, and charged him with robbery. He had a glassine bag of marijuana in his left rear pocket as well as a state benefit card that belonged to someone else, police said.

Bomb scares
A car with two gasoline canisters in the back was reported parked in front of the Con Edison building at 4 Irving Place at E. 14th St. at 10:10 p.m. Thurs., May 13, prompting police to shut the street down and evacuate nearby buildings for an hour and a half.

The suspect Oldsmobile Cutlass belonged to a New Jersey man who mows lawns for a living and was at a concert at Irving Plaza nearby; the gasoline canisters were for the man’s power mower, police said.

The Bomb Squad from the Sixth Precinct stationhouse in Greenwich Village responded, and blew out the car’s side windows shortly before midnight and the rear windows a few minutes after midnight to get a better look at the inside. Wearing their bomb suits, they went in a short time later, and the Fire Department tested for radiation, with negative results.

Police evacuated the Gramercy Tower and Village Tower buildings at 1 Irving Place and roped off two blocks of E. 14th St. and parts of Union Square before the emergency was called off.

Earlier, Charles Cardi, 47, was arrested Mon., May 10, on the Lower East Side and charged with making five false 911 bomb threats to the Staten Island Ferry, Police Headquarters and to Wall St.

The calls between 5:30 p.m. and 8:28 p.m. were made from pay phones at 64 Avenue B, 45 Orchard St., 68 Orchard St. and 86 Orchard St., police said.

Officers found Cardi, a homeless man, slightly drunk and wheeling a cart, who indicated that he made the calls and had identified himself in one call as “Muhammad.” The first call at 5:30 p.m. from a pay phone at 64 Avenue B said a bomb with C4 explosives would go off at One Police Plaza in 20 minutes. At 8:14 p.m., the suspect, identifying himself as “Muhammad,” called from a pay phone at 45 Orchard St., saying a bomb would explode on the Staten Island Ferry. The other calls threatened explosions on Wall St. and the ferry.

The ferry terminals in both Manhattan and at St. George, Staten Island, were closed briefly around 8:50 p.m. for police sweeps. A canvass of Wall St. and Police Plaza did not turn up anything suspicious, police said.

According to the complaint filed by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., Cardi told police at the Seventh Precinct that “Middle Easterners are taking jobs from Americans, that he did not like blacks, gays and lesbians and that America should blow up and start all over again.”

Cardi is charged with multiple counts of falsely reporting incidents in the first, second and third degrees and five counts of making a terroristic threat.

The incident occurred two days after the ferry Andrew J. Barbieri slammed into a slip at St. George, injuring 37 passengers, and nine days after two street vendors alerted police to a smoking car bomb at the north end of Times Square that didn’t detonate.

Fur burglar
A burglar alarm ringing at a fur shop at 41 Elizabeth St. between Canal and Hester Sts. at 4 a.m. Thurs., May 13, alerted police, who arrested Kenneth Moore, 49. The suspect was fleeing with six fur coats valued at a total of $8,000, police said. Moore, a Brooklyn resident, was charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property.

Teens stabbed
Police were called to the corner of Hester and Eldridge Sts. on Wednesday afternoon May 12, about a brawl among teenagers. Two male youths, described as between 14 and 15, were treated by an Emergency Medical Services team for stab wounds and taken to a hospital in stable condition. One of the two boys, whose name was not revealed because of his age, was arrested.

Hotel prowler
Police arrested Alex Martinez, 25, who found his way into the employees’ locker room at the W Hotel, 201 Park Ave. South at the northeast corner of Union Square, around 11 a.m. Sun., May 9, put on a hotel uniform and wandered around the hotel. Martinez, charged with burglary and criminal possession of two key cards and the uniform, had been seen on the sixth, 15th and 21st floors and convinced one employee that he was a new hire. A security officer, however, detained the suspect, recovered the key cards and called police.

Bashed with brick
An argument in front of 108 MacDougal St. near Bleecker St. shortly before 2 a.m. Fri., May 14, became violent when a suspect hit his adversary, a Staten Island man, 45, in the face with a brick wrapped in a T-shirt, police said. Police arrested Nigel Jagmohan, 36, a Bronx resident, and charged him with felony assault.

Albert Amateau

 


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