Volume 80, Number 24 | November 11 - 17, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Murder trial starts
Jeromie Cancel, 24, went on trial Fri., Nov. 5, for the Aug. 30, 2008, murder of Kevin Pravia, 19 — an honors student at the Lubin School of Business of Pace University — in Pravia’s W. 15th St. apartment.
Pravia’s mother, Paula, wept on the witness stand last week as she told the jury that her son had moved into his apartment at 239 W. 15th St. shortly before the grisly murder. Cancel encountered Pravia near Union Square Park and went with him to his apartment, where he used an electric cord to garrote the victim, who was asleep at the time, according to the charges. Pravia had last been seen by friends getting into a cab at Gold and Fulton Sts. after a party.
Cancel was arrested three days later after burglarizing his father’s home in Queens, and told police how he killed Pravia while watching a horror film. Cancel’s lawyer, Michael Alperstein, tried and failed to have the confession tossed out, but he told jurors that his client was mentally ill and had tried suicide as a child.
Heroin, crack raid
Police raided an apartment at 189 Allen St. and arrested Luis Chevres, 40, and Maria Zabala at 10 p.m. Tues., Nov. 2, and charged them with possession of heroin and crack cocaine and using paraphernalia to process the drugs for sale. When police entered the Hernandez Houses complex at Stanton St. they saw 229 glassines of heroin, a fist-sized rock of crack, empty glassine bags and a scale, along with other paraphernalia flying out the window, according to the charges filed with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.
Chevres admitted throwing the heroin out the window, saying, “I don’t know how much I threw out the window,” according to the court papers.
Neighbors said police had to escort some residents who were returning to their apartments while the warrant raid was underway.
Arrest murder suspect
The suspect in the Oct. 23 shooting death of a Brooklyn man in the Good Stuff Diner at 109 W. 14th St. was identified on Oct. 28 as Earl Barranco, 24, of Brooklyn, who was arrested in Charlotte, N.C., two days later after he walked in front of a JumboTron camera at a Charlotte Bobcats basketball game and was recognized by an acquaintance.
At the time of his arrest, Barranco was wearing the same diamond pendant in the shape of a moneybag that he wore during the 14th St. shooting in which Corey Scott, of Brooklyn, was killed. Barranco confronted Scott in the diner, crowded with returning early-morning clubgoers, police said.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said on Wednesday that Barranco and the murder victim were partners with a group of bank tellers in a scheme to steal money from banks and their customers. The shooting arose out of a dispute over the scheme, according to a Daily News report. Barranco is being extradited from North Carolina to New York.
‘Give me $20,000’
Police arrested Raul Jimenez, 30, on Mon., Nov. 1, and charged him with the Oct. 29 holdup of the Chase bank branch at 104 Delancey St. at Ludlow St. Jimenez, wearing a “hoodie” and a black baseball cap was recorded on a surveillance tape entering the bank around 11:31 a.m., presenting a note to a teller, receiving money and making off with it, according to the charges. The note said, “Give me $20,000 in hundreds and don’t give me bait money. Don’t draw attention to yourself because I’ll start shooting,” the charges say. Jimenez admitted to police when he was arrested that it was he who robbed the bank.
Also wanted $20,000
A Sixth Precinct police officer on Election Day duty in the Village arrested a suspected bank robber shortly before 9 a.m. Tues., Nov. 2, police said. The suspect walked into the HSBC branch at 769 Broadway at E. Ninth St. around 8:40 a.m., passed a note to a teller that said, “$20,000 in 100s and 50s, You have 60 seconds and no dye packs. I have a gun and won’t hesitate to take out the security guard.” The teller handed over $8,500, which the robber tucked into his green canvas shoulder bag, and fled south on Broadway. Officer Alex Huang, who heard a radio report of the robbery, arrested the suspect, Terence Flynn, 46, in front of the polling place at 240 Mercer St. near W. Third St.
A Bronx police officer assigned to the Village on Halloween, Sun., Oct. 31, discovered that someone had set fire to his patrol bag with his helmet and other equipment in it at Morton and Bleecker Sts. A woman who witnessed the fiery prank pointed out the suspect, Eric Rogers, 27, who was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and arson. Rogers was released the next day on his own recognizance pending a Jan. 27 court appearance.
A Queens woman, 27, was in a diner at 243 W. 14th St. just after midnight Wed., Nov. 3, when she put her bag on the table while she was talking to friends. Fifteen minutes later, she discovered the bag was gone and so was the stranger who had been sitting across from her, police said. Her credit cards and BlackBerry were in the bag, and she discovered later that several unauthorized charges had been made on two credit cards.
A resident of 258 W. 15th St. told police on Sat., Nov. 6, that someone used his name to get a credit card and ran up charges of $10,350 on it. The victim said he did not know how the thief got his personal information to obtain the card.