Volume 73, Number 38 | January 21 - 27, 2004

CITY/CRIME



Police Blotter

Union Sq. shootout
An attempted armed holdup during the early hours of Mon. Jan. 19 on a northbound W train at Union Sq. ended with one man, believed to be one of the robbers, dead, his accomplice arrested and the victim, an illegal immigrant who had been arrested before for assault, unharmed but also in custody.

Police said that Silverio Rivera, 25, of the Bronx, and Pedro Revilla, 17, of Washington Heights, got onto a northbound W train at Eighth St. shortly before 4 a.m. and held up Ortillio Tapea, 25, of the Bronx, who had missed a stop and fallen asleep.

Tapea, however, grabbed the 22-caliber pistol from Rivera and fired, hitting Rivera twice in the head, police said. Revilla fired several shots from his 38-caliber revolver but missed, and at Union Sq., he dragged the bleeding Rivera off the train and onto the platform. Rivera was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was declared dead late Monday night. Tapea, an immigrant from Mexico who had previously been jailed for assault and deported, fled but was arrested by Transit police at 15th St. on the west side of Union Sq.

Police said that Revilla first told them that a gang had robbed him and Rivera. Police said they found both the .22 that Tapea grabbed from Rivera and Revilla’s .38 revolver in the station. Charges against Revilla and Tapea are pending.


Dragon bus war
A shootout at the corner of Division and Market Sts. on Sat. Jan. 17, that police say appears to stem from rivalry among Chinatown discount intercity bus operators, ended with one man dead and another injured in a hail of assault rifle and handgun bullets.

The dead victim, 30, whom police would still not identify on Tues., Jan. 20, was taken to NYU Downtown Hospital after the 10:45 p.m. shooting outside a restaurant. He was pronounced dead an hour later.

Another victim, Chauan-Min Zhang, 27, was shot twice in the back and was driven by his girlfriend to the Fifth Police Precinct on Elizabeth St. and then taken to Bellevue where he was said to be in stable condition. Police said Zhang was not cooperating with the investigation but his girlfriend was reported to be a ticket agent for one of the discount, so-called “dragon buses.”

Police found a 38-caliber handgun, and 45 shell casings, 34 of them from an AK-47 assault rifle, five from a 38-caliber gun and six from a 45-caliber gun. Police said that at least two gunmen were waiting for the victim, but they did not know if Zhang was with the victim or was an assailant who was shot when the victim returned fire.

Last May, De Jian Chen, financial officer of Dragon Coach, was shot to death on Forsyth St. In November, Zhen Ji Li, 31, owner of New Century Travel, another bus company, was stabbed to death and his partner, Lei Chen, was charged in the murder.


Store ransacked
An employee of a store at 435 W. Broadway near Prince St. told police that a group of 20 or so young men walked in at 6:45 p.m. Tues, Jan. 13, and removed numerous boxes of cologne, coats and sweaters from display ads and then fled.


Brooklyn Bridge rescue
Three off-duty police officers driving to work on Monday morning Jan. 19 stopped a distraught woman from jumping off the Manhattan ramp of the Brooklyn Bridge, police said.

Officer Rafael Martinez, assigned to Police Headquarters security, spotted the woman walking on the roadway at about 7 a.m., got out of his car and tried to engage her in conversation, but she disregarded him and climbed over a railing, police said. Two other cops, Michael Bazerman, assigned to the City Hall detail, and Det. Angel Serrano, arrived, and with Martinez began talking to the woman. After 15 minutes, Martinez and Bazerman were able to grab her, while Serrano held onto them to prevent them from going over.


First fur, now S.U.V.’s
Vandals have been splashing red paint on sports utility vehicles apparently in protest against what they consider ecologically incorrect gas-guzzlers, according to reports from Village residents and police. Det. Mike Singer, community affairs officer of the Sixth Precinct, said that two cars had been splashed two weeks ago with red paint on W. Houston St. between Sixth Ave. and MacDougal St. Jill Stern, a West Village resident, said that a neighbor whose S.U.V. was hit last week told her that a local carwash reported it had worked on 30 red-splashed vehicles recently. The paint on her neighbor’s car didn’t totally come off in the car wash and the car’s paint job will need to be refinished, Stern said.


Broadway bummer
A woman walking on Broadway at Prince St. at 1:30 p.m. Mon. Jan. 12 lost her bag to an unknown snatcher, police said.


First Precinct Council
The First Precinct Community Council meets at 7:30 p.m. Tues. Jan. 27 in room A-900 of New York Law School, 47 Warren St. Police will present a crime report and statistics to local residents.


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