Volume 80, Number 33 | January 13 - 19, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Fatal L.E.S. fire
A 72-year-old woman who was trying to keep warm by the heat of her stove burners in the kitchen of her first-floor apartment at 124 Ludlow St. near Rivington St. was killed when her clothes caught fire last Friday morning. The victim, Claudette Rivera, was enveloped in flames when a neighbor who heard her screams tried to save her, police said. The neighbor, Frances Ayers, 49, was treated for smoke inhalation at New York Hospital. Firefighters received the alarm at 11:18 a.m. Fri., Jan. 7, and declared the fire under control at 11:43 a.m. An Emergency Medical Service team declared the victim dead at the scene. The fire was confined to the kitchen in the first-floor apartment in the six-story walkup.
Church roof blaze
Firefighters responded to an alarm at 12:05 p.m. Mon., Jan. 10, at St. James the Apostle Church, 32 James St., between St. James Place and Madison St., where a fire broke out in the roof of the five-story building. A second alarm went off at 12:36 p.m., bringing a total of 60 firefighters to the location of the city’s second oldest Catholic church, completed in 1837. The fire was under control at 1:28 p.m., a Fire Department spokesperson said. No one was hurt and the cause of the blaze is under investigation.
Dana Beal busted again
Dana Beal, an East Village medical marijuana activist who runs Cures Not Wars and organizes the annual Global Marijuana March in May, was arrested on Thurs., Jan. 6, with 186 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop in Barneveld, Wisconsin, according to CelebStoner.com. He and the car’s driver, Lance Ramer of Omaha, Nebraska, are being held in lieu of a $50,000 bond each in the Iowa County jail in Dodgeville, Wisconsin.
Beal is still facing charges in Nebraska where he was arrested in 2009 after authorities found 150 pounds of marijuana in the van he was riding in. In 2008, he was arrested in Illinois for possession of a small amount of marijuana and $150,000 in cash. He pleaded guilty to the Illinois marijuana charge and paid a fine, but the $150,000 in cash that was seized was not returned.
Beal last year told The Villager that the pot in the Nebraska arrest was acquired in California, and that he was planning to deliver it to medical marijuana buyers’ clubs in Michigan and New York City.
Deli slash attack
Police arrested Matthew Senquiz, 17, on Dec. 30 and charged him with the Aug. 10 burglary of a deli at 37 Madison St. near James St. and the beating and slashing of the deli employee. The suspect entered the store, possibly with an accomplice, around 11:20 p.m. and menaced the employee, who challenged them. They punched the victim several times before leaving the place, according to the complaint filed with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The victim closed the door and locked it after the attack but Senquiz returned a short time later wearing a mask. He broke the glass door and slashed the victim about the head, back and arm with a sharp metal object, according to the complaint. Police did not say how they caught up with the suspect five months later. Senquiz is being held pending a Feb. 2 court appearance.
Dud grenade, real coke
Allen Hasty, 40, of 106 Norfolk St. was charged with possession of an unspecified quantity of cocaine and more than 2,800 small glassine bags with intent to traffic in the drug, according to charges filed with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. Police found the coke and the bags after they responded to a call that a hand grenade, later discovered to be inert, was in Hasty’s top-floor apartment.
Apparently, the grenade-alert informant was Kayla Coxx, a transsexual porn star, according to the New York Post. Coxx told the Post she went to Norfolk St. during the early hours of Dec. 29 after Hasty had phoned to hire her as an escort. She said Hasty offered her drugs after he confessed that he did not have her $2,000 escort service fee, the Post said. Coxx fled when she saw a silver handgun and the grenade in Hasty’s apartment, the Post said.
An off-duty Department of Environmental Protection operations manager was arrested in his D.E.P. vehicle during the early hours of Wed., Jan. 5, after he fled from police who caught up with him at Rector and West Sts. after they chased him from Charles and Greenwich Sts., where he is accused of looking for hookers.
The defendant, John Caccavale, was given a summons for loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution and was released pending a Feb. 1 court appearance. He has been suspended from his D.E.C. job and is liable for a 90-day jail sentence if found guilty, according to a Daily News item. The Charles and Greenwich Sts. location is frequented by “The Bus Stop Boys,” a group of transvestite prostitutes who wait for Johns at bus stops to avoid loitering charges, the Daily News said.
Police arrested Christophe Henderson, 48, on Dec. 21 and charged him with the burglary of two East Village restaurants. Henderson was seen inside the private office area of Perbacco, the restaurant at 234 E. Fourth St. between Avenues A and B, around 12:37 p.m. where he tried to pry open the cash register. He failed but then started to carry the register out of the place, but finally gave up and fled empty-handed, according to a spokesperson for Manhattan D.A. Vance.
Henderson was also caught on a video surveillance tape inside a restaurant at 326 E. Sixth St., around 10 a.m. Dec. 9, according to the District Attorney’s Office. He reached through a curtain in the E. Sixth St. restaurant, grabbed an envelope full of cash and fled, according to court papers. He was arrested soon after the Dec. 21 incident.
Fake credit cards
A man and a woman who tried to buy $5,000 worth of shoes from the Christian Louboutin boutique, at 59 Horatio St., with five different credit cards on Fri., Dec. 31, were arrested later for attempted grand larceny, police said. The credit cards were all rejected because the accounts were closed, police said. It was later discovered that one card was the property of an owner in Nova Scotia, Canada. Jamel Rashid, 24, and his female accomplice, Shaneeka Blanding, 31, were charged in the incident.
A woman patron of Wicked Willy’s, 149 Bleecker St., told the manager that her Marc Jacobs bag, containing a cell phone, $80 in cash and a camera memory card, was stolen from her table around 1:20 a.m. Thurs., Jan. 6, while she stepped away for a minute, police said. The manager checked the surveillance camera tape and identified a suspect taking the bag. Other patrons held the suspect, Christopher Laporte, 23, for police, who charged him with felony larceny. The bag and its contents, except for the cash, were recovered in the bar’s men’s room, police said.
Police arrested Jessie Sloan, 27, shortly before 4 p.m. Tues., Jan. 4, in front of 853 Broadway between 13th and 14th Sts. and charged him with assault with a weapon, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana. Police said the defendant, a Queens resident, was trying to hit a man with a pair of drumsticks. Officers said Sloan swung his fists at them when they were making the arrest. The suspect, described as drunk and stoned, was in possession of a small bag of marijuana when he was arrested, police said.