Volume 80, Number 37 | February 10 - 16, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Police Blotter

Neighbor saved her
Fire in a 10th-floor apartment at 77 Columbia St. in Masaryk Towers on Wednesday morning Feb. 2 critically injured a 97-year-old woman who was pulled from the blaze by a neighbor.

The neighbor, Wanda Camacho, 53, opened her door around 5:30 a.m. to find smoke pouring into the hall from the apartment of her neighbor, Wei Chee Hu, who was sitting immobile at a coffee table. Camacho dragged Hu out of the fire and into her own apartment, where they remained until firefighters arrived.

Hu was taken to the burn center of New York Presbyterian Hospital in critical condition. Camacho was treated for smoke inhalation at Beth Israel Hospital, and 11 other residents of the floor were treated for minor injuries.

Subway attack
An off-duty woman M.T.A. worker was attacked in the East Broadway F train station at 6:15 p.m. Fri., Feb. 4, and knocked onto the tracks by a deranged man who fought with a man who had come to her rescue. The attacker chased the victim, Sabrina Scott, around the station, repeatedly asking, “Are you scared of me?” and grappled with the man who responded to her cries for help, according to reports. Scott, however, was knocked onto the tracks during the fracas, but her rescuer managed to bring her back onto the platform. The deranged man fled, and the rescuer, described as a tall black man wearing headphones and a baseball cap, also disappeared. Scott had head injuries but was reported in stable condition.

Dog dies in boat fire
Fire broke out in a 46-foot catamaran berthed at Pier 59 of Chelsea Piers at W. 17th St. around 2:30 a.m. Fri., Feb. 4, injuring the owner, who escaped with his life. The fire spread to an adjacent boat in the Pier 59 marina but no one was injured. The injured owner of the catamaran, Mark Stoss, 42, was taken to Bellevue Hospital with lung injuries from the heat. He was unable to save his 4-year-old German shepherd, Chloe, who perished in the fire. A month ago, a police scuba diver had rescued the animal after she had fallen into the water.

Firefighters brought the fire under control around 4:30 a.m. but the catamaran sank and the adjacent boat was destroyed in the fire. A space heater on the catamaran was cited as a possible cause of the fire.

D.W.I. on F.D.R.
Police charged a motorist with driving while intoxicated after a two-car accident on the southbound F.D.R. Drive at Clinton St. around 7:10 a.m. Sun., Feb. 6. The suspect, Rodney Gripper, 43, of the Bronx, was identified as an off-duty Transit employee. He was freed on his own recognizance pending an April 6 court appearance.

Busted for burglaries
Surveillance tapes at a W. 26th St. restaurant and at a building at 20th St. at 10th Ave. led to the arrest on Feb. 1 of William Cullen, 32, on charges of burglary. The tape from Pars Restaurant, 249 W. 26th St., between Seventh and Eighth Aves., showed a man matching Cullen’s description removing money from a cash register around 4:45 a.m. Jan. 14, according to the charges. A surveillance tape from the lobby of 460 W. 20th St. at 10th Ave. showed a man matching Cullen’s description forcing the door and entering the lobby of the building and leaving a short time later with a coat in his hands, according to the charges filed with the Manhattan district attorney. Police said Cullen also admitted to taking a laptop computer and keys from the closet.

Robbers try boutique
Police arrested one of two men who grabbed the woman working at the Emile Lafaurie boutique, at 199 Prince St., around 4 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 2, and tried to drag her to the basement and bind her hands. Albert Anderson, 48, was charged with robbery, but his accomplice, identified as Anthony Gilman, 49, escaped, police said.

Foils phone snatch
A Queens man, 58, was walking on Canal St. between Wooster and Greene Sts. around 1 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 3, when a stranger punched him in the chest and grabbed his cell phone from his coat pocket. The victim grabbed the phone back and police grabbed the suspect, Rumako Manwaring, 28, and charged him with robbery.

CD’s hard sell
Three strangers stopped a man, 19, on Broadway in Soho around 4 p.m. Sun., Feb. 6, and sold him two CD’s for $100, police said. The strangers followed the customer to the corner of Spring and Thompson Sts. and shouted, “Hey, take our phone number and let us know how you like the CD’s.” When the customer took out his cell phone, one of the trio grabbed it and another told him, “Give me your wallet. I have a knife and I’ll poke you.” The three fled with the victim’s cell phone and his wallet with $2,000 in cash, police said.

Gallery theft
Two men walked into Pom Gallery, 133 Greene St., around 3:25 p.m. Sat., Feb. 5, and after one of them engaged the attendant with questions, both walked out. The attendant told police that he discovered his digital camera had been stolen from his desk.

Rabbits hole entered
A woman working at Rabbits Cafe, 142 Sullivan St., told police she was in the rear of the place around 11:50 p.m. Sat., Feb. 5, after it was closed and spotted a man exiting. She discovered that her handbag, which she had left on a counter in the front, had been stolen.

Wallet was gone
A woman told police that she discovered her wallet, containing her Taiwan passport, $170 in cash and credit cards, was gone from her backpack when she emerged from the Prince St. subway station at Broadway around 2:30 p.m. Sat., Feb. 5. The victim, 43, said she had bought a MetroCard with cash from the wallet a short time earlier.

Albert Amateau

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