Volume 80, Number 40 | March 3 - 9, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Police were questioning “a person of interest” on Mon., Feb. 28, in connection with a series of Greenwich Village rooftop burglaries over the past six weeks on Thompson and Sullivan Sts. near Bleecker St. A suspect, whose identity has not yet been established, gained access to apartments in a Thompson St. building near Bleecker St. in three burglaries that began on the night of Jan. 20. The suspect climbed down a fire escape from the roof and into a sixth-floor apartment and made off with a video game console, according to reports.
On the night of Jan. 24, the suspect apparently returned to the same building and gained access to a third-floor apartment via an unlocked bedroom window on a fire escape, police said. The suspect, who left a footprint on the victim’s bed, made off with a new jacket, with its $400 price tag still on it, as well as a laptop computer and an iPod, police said.
The following night the suspect hit a fourth-floor apartment in the same building sometime before 8 p.m. and made off with the woman resident’s bag, digital camera and laptop, police said.
Police arrested a man who stole a cab after punching the driver on East Houston St. at Lafayette St. early on Sat., Feb. 26, and drove wildly with police in pursuit until he crashed into a pole on E. 14th St. at Union Square West.
Michael Findley, 31, who has been arrested more than a dozen times on charges including burglary and larceny in the past three years, according to daily newspaper reports, now faces charges of robbery, driving while drunk and traffic offenses.
The suspect was carrying a takeout food carton when he hailed the cab on the Bowery. He spilled some of the food in the cab and cursed the driver, who remonstrated with him and ordered him out of the cab at East Houston and Lafayette Sts. The driver told police that Findley punched him, pushed him over and got into the driver’s seat and sped away. The driver was able to get out of the cab at Mercer St. and a patrol car gave chase when the suspect sped the wrong way up Mercer. Findley was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was charged with multiple offenses. The driver was shaken but refused medical attention.
St. Mark’s shoplifters
Two brothers whose shoplifting venture at a St. Mark’s Place boutique on Tuesday evening Feb. 14 turned violent, were arrested later that night and charged with robbery and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.
Jonathan and Dwayne Nesbit, 19 and 24, respectively, entered Search and Destroy, at 25 St. Mark’s Place near Second Ave., lifted a coat off the rack and started to walk out but a woman employee stopped them and tried to take the coat back from Jonathan, police said. He refused to release the jacket and pulled a box cutter, and both suspects fled after Dwayne threatened the woman. She phone 911 and police arrested the pair a short time later.
The two brothers were being held in lieu of bail pending a May 10 court appearance.
E. 7th St. burglary
Responding to a 3 a.m. call on Sat., Feb. 26, about a burglary in process at an apartment at 208 E. Seventh St. between Avenues B and C, police arrested Danny Villanueva. Police said the suspect, who was fleeing the scene when they arrived, bit the arm of the arresting officer. The suspect was charged with burglary and resisting arrest.
Under subway, survives
A man fell onto the tracks at the East Broadway subway station around 12:15 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 24, when a Brooklyn-bound F train pulled into the station and ran over him, according to police. The victim, 55, apparently homeless and as yet unidentified, was conscious when a rescue worker jumped onto the tracks between two subway cars and was able to free the victim, who was wedged between the rails and the platform. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital in serious condition with his left arm and left leg severely mangled. Service on the line was restored at the station at 1:41 p.m. The same station was where a deranged man knocked an off-duty transit worker, Sabrina Scott, onto the tracks on Feb. 4. A passerby pulled Scott to safety before an incoming train rumbled into the station. There has been no arrest in the Feb. 4 case.
A suspect charged with cashing a forged check at the TD Bank branch at 155 Canal St. near Bowery on the afternoon of Jan. 7, was arrested on Feb. 15. Laquan Williams, 26, was charged with making out a check from Rubyred Productions Avenue to himself and cashing it at the Canal St. branch bank. A surveillance videotape led to his arrest on charges of larceny, ID theft and criminal possession of a forged instrument.
Police arrested Aviva Baumgardner, 29, on Thurs., Feb. 24, and charged her with trying to cash a forged check for $1,975 at the Bank of America branch at 36 E. 14th St. at 1:30 p.m.
‘Hand job included’
Stephen Pellegrino, 53, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor prostitution charge on Feb. 24 after his arrest on Feb. 18 at a spa and travel agency on the second floor at 35 W. 14th St., according to a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney. An undercover Police Department vice squad detective charged that Pellegrino, whom he identified as a manager of the location, told him that his best hooker, Candy, was on duty, and that the price was $50 plus tip, and “a hand job is included in the price.” The complaint also says the shop sold travel services “for the purposes of patronizing a prostitute, including to a foreign jurisdiction.”
Still seek ‘plumbers’
The three men who robbed an 80-year-old woman on Feb. 16 in her apartment at 87 Barrow St. while one of them posed as a plumber are wanted in five similar previous burglary thefts in the Bronx, police said on Mon., Feb. 24. In the Bronx burglaries, the crooks said they worked for “the Water Department” and needed to enter the homes to check water levels or quality, police said. They were described as being Hispanic, 5 feet 8 inches or 5 feet 9 inches tall, between 30 and 40 years old and sporting mustaches or goatees.
Missing man dead
Harbor police found the body of Kong Xin Huang, 79, of 79 Chrystie St., in the water near the South St. Seaport’s Pier 17 around 2:15 p.m. Tues., Feb. 22. The victim was identified the following day as Huang, who was last seen leaving his Chrystie St. home at 3 p.m. Sat. Feb. 19.
Left a young son
Grace Farrell, 35, whose body was found on Sun., Feb. 20, in an alcove of construction fencing at St. Brigid’s Church on Avenue B across from Tompkins Square Park, has been identified as an Irish immigrant with a 12-year-old son who lives in the East Village with his father, Al Muniz, 52. Muniz told the Daily News on Feb. 23 that the cocaine and alcohol that Tompkins street people gave to Farrell destroyed the family. There were no signs of trauma on Farrell’s body and no criminality is suspected but the Medical Examiner’s Office is still investigating the cause of death.
Bitter Village rages
Craig Taylor, 27, was arrested around 1:45 a.m. Tues., Feb. 22, and charged with criminal mischief for throwing a black garbage bag full of trash into the front window of the Bitter End, the club at 147 Bleecker St., and smashing the window, police said.
Elijah Taylor, 23, was acting wild in front of 72 Christopher St. near Seventh Ave. South shortly before 1 a.m. Thurs., Feb. 24, and menaced police with a stick when they tried to subdue him, police said. The suspect flailed his arms and struck an officer in the chest, knocking him to the pavement. Taylor was charged with felony assault of a police officer.
Smashes her windows
A woman, 27, told police that a man she knew broke her ground-floor apartment’s front window and also smashed her rear bedroom window at 171 Thompson St. near West Houston St. at 3:20 a.m. Fri., Feb. 25. The window smashing came after the man tried to kick down the front door of her apartment, police said. The woman also charged that the suspect, Seymour Quiles, 29, who was arrested the next day, had text-messaged her with threats. Quiles was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief.
Injured after argument
A woman, 24, who got into an argument on E. 14th St. between Avenues A and B with a strange man around 11:30 a.m. Fri., Feb. 25, fell to the pavement severely injuring her head after he punched her, police said. The suspect fled and the victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition.