Volume 80, Number 43 | March 24 - 30, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Photo by Jefferson Siegel
Police Officers Franklin Mata, left, and Kenneth Moreno in Manhattan Supreme Court on Mon., March 7. Moreno is charged with raping an intoxicated East Village woman in December 2008, and Mata with being his lookout.
Cop rape trial
Jury selection began Mon., March 21, in the trial of Police Officer Kenneth Moreno, 43, charged with raping an East Village woman on Dec. 7, 2008, while she was drunk, and Police Officer Franklin Mata, 28, charged with acting as lookout in the incident. The original indictment said the suspects were recorded on a surveillance videotape making three visits to the victim’s E. 13th St. apartment, but the Manhattan district attorney this week amended the charges to include a fourth visit to the apartment recorded on surveillance tape on the morning of the incident. The amended indictment against the two Ninth Precinct officers increases the number of charges by 11, from 15 to 26. The trial is scheduled to begin March 28.
Schools leader arrested
An angry member of the District 1 Community Education Council and parent of a student at the Shuang Wen School, 327 Cherry St., was arrested for threatening on March 14 “to burn the school down” if his daughter was not allowed to transfer out of the school. Edward Primus, 58, of Inwood, was led from the school in handcuffs shortly after 9 a.m. Monday, charged with coercion and harassment. He was released on bail Thurs., March 17, after pleading not guilty. He said the charges were brought by “unethical people” trying to cover the fact that the school was being investigated for financial mismanagement and irregular enrollment practices. The district C.E.C tried unsuccessfully last year to remove Primus from the council, charging him with aggressive and disruptive behavior. Shuang Wen is a dual-language Mandarin-English school located in the P.S. 184 building.
Real estate scam
A woman purporting to be a real estate agent, who had been showing an apartment at 237 W. 14th St. to prospective buyers between Feb. 11 and March 11, took $3,000 in cash from a man whose permanent home is Stetten, Switzerland, police said. The victim told police he made repeated phone calls to the 404 (Georgia) area code number the suspect had given him, but received no reply. The victim went to the building on Sat., March 12, where neighbors told him the apartment was not available and that a woman they did not know had been showing it without authority.
State bans fatal driver
New York State last week removed the commercial driver’s license of Ophadell E. Williams, driver of the Chinatown discount bus that crashed in the Bronx on March 12 returning from a trip to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, killing 15 passengers. Williams was accused of lying on his license application, for failing to report that his previous commercial license under the name Eric Williams had been suspended. In the wake of the crash, state inspectors stopped 36 buses last week, issued eight summonses and took the buses of 10 drivers out of service for various infractions and offenses.
Police arrested Mark Kramer, 58, in his Westbeth apartment at 55 Bethune St. around 6:09 p.m. Sun., March 20, and charged him with assault with intent to cause injury. The suspect swung a metal bar at a man’s head, and continued to swing the bar after the victim blocked the blow. Police did not say what relation the victim had with the suspect.
Dog Day afternoon
Responding to a call at 2 p.m. Sat., March 19, of a fight at Papaya Dog, 333 Sixth Ave. at Cornelia St., police arrested Lori Crane, 49, and charged her with felony assault for hitting a man, 54, with a bottle, inflicting a cut on the left side of his head. An Emergency Medical Service team responded but the victim refused medical attention, police said.
Bad C-note at bar
A bartender at Off the Wagon, at 109 MacDougal St., questioned a woman patron about a $100 bill she gave him to pay for drinks at 3 a.m. Sat., March 19. She fled, but police caught Katherine Garcia, 23, identified as the woman who passed the phony bill. Police said that earlier that evening, someone had passed a bogus C-note at Alibi, the bar at 116 MacDougal St. Although witnesses saw Garcia at Alibi at the time, no one was able to identify the person who passed the counterfeit there.
Village gang assault
Police arrested two men around 10 p.m. Thurs., March 17, and charged them with punching and kicking a man, 33, on the sidewalk in front of 122 W. Third St. between MacDougal St. and Sixth Ave. Jose Perez, 31, and Jose Infante, 33, were charged with first- and second-degree felony assault in the attack, which included three other suspects who fled and have not been apprehended. The victim, 33, was taken to the hospital with face lacerations and a compound fracture to his right ankle.
Police arrested a girl and a woman in the J. Crew boutique, 99 Prince St., around 4 p.m. Fri., March 18, after an employee stopped them from walking out of the shop without paying for a pair of shorts, a sweater and a vest, with a total value of $1,014, taken from the shelves. Kyra Stewart, 27, and Shauntel Caton, 14, were charged with larceny. Stewart was also charged with possession of an undisclosed amount of marijuana.
Nicolas Waickman, 19, was arrested around 7:50 p.m. Fri., March 11, in the Scoop boutique at 48 Mercer St. after an employee stopped him from leaving the store without paying with a sweater valued at $1,270 in his bag. He was charged with larceny and burglary-tools possession after two wire cutters were found in his bag.
Motorbikes, car stolen
A man who parked his 2008 Land Rover, valued at $60,000, in front of 75 Sullivan St. between Broome and Spring Sts. at 12:30 p.m. Mon., March 14, returned to the spot at 2 p.m. and found it had been stolen.
A man parked his motorcycle on the southwest corner of Prince and Thompson Sts. near his home shortly after midnight Fri., March 18, and returned at 9:30 a.m. that morning to find it had been stolen.
A man parked his 2005 Kawasaki motorcycle in front 133 Wooster St., near his home, around 6 p.m. and returned two hours later to discover it had been stolen, police said.
Soho phone snatch
A Brooklyn woman, 21, was about to dial her cell phone on the corner Broadway and Prince St. around 7:30 p.m. Tues., March 15, when she received a rude shock as an unidentified man snatched the phone from her hand and fled, police said.
Bag on bench, gone
A woman who works for Vai Spuntino, 105 Thompson St., put her bag down for a moment on a bench in front of the restaurant at 3:10 p.m. Sun., March 20, only to have it stolen by and unknown thief who fled, police said. She lost credit cards, a BlackBerry and an iPod. The victim learned later that an unauthorized charge of $304 had been made on a credit card.