Volume 80, Number 45 | April 7 - 13, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Bank-job gang suspect
Police said three men were arrested on April 1, one identified as a Bloods gang member, who were trying to cash a forged $2,900 check at the Chase bank branch at 32 University Place. Anton Gibbs, 19, identified as a Bloods member, Jeffrey Gibbs, 21, and Jordan Lovett, 21, were charged with presenting the check purporting to be from H & L Electric, Inc. at 2 p.m. Friday. Jeffrey Gibbs and Lovett were arrested 10 minutes later, and Anton Gibbs, who left an ID card at the scene, was arrested soon after, police said.
Cop rape trial opens
The trial of two Ninth Precinct police officers charged in connection with the Dec. 7, 2008, rape of an East Village woman, 29, while she was drunk began on Monday. Officer Kenneth Moreno, 43, is charged with raping the victim in her E.13th St. apartment and Officer Franklin Mata is charged with acting as his lookout. Moreno’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, told the jury on April 4 that Moreno only kissed her shoulder and rubbed her back to console her because she was upset that she drank too much.
Assistant District Attorney Randolph Clark told the jury that the two defendants made repeated visits to the apartment of the victim, who was so drunk that “She could not stop the abuse, she could not stop the attack, she passed out.” An amended indictment filed two weeks ago said the two defendants made four visits recorded on a surveillance tape from a camera next door. Moreno was also recorded on a wire worn by the victim, who confronted him outside the Ninth Precinct station a short time after the incident.
Unaware that his comments were being recorded, Moreno assured her he had worn a condom during the incident.
Police arrested Ivan Cotton, 50, on Mon., March 28, for grabbing a cart from a woman, 73, as she was entering her building at 125 First Ave. near St. Mark’s Place. The victim’s son, who had driven her home from Long Island and was waiting for her to enter when she was attacked, came to the rescue when he heard her scream, according to a New York Post article. Ninth Precinct police were also on hand and arrested Cotton for third-degree robbery. The suspect had previously been convicted of several felonies, including beating one woman, knifepoint assaults and beating male victims with a baseball bat, the Post story said.
Police responded to a call at 10:14 p.m. Sat., April 2, about an unconscious man on the northbound tracks near the Spring and Lafayette Sts. No. 4 subway station. Police declined to identify the victim pending family notification. He was pronounced dead at the scene with serious trauma injuries. Police determined a train hit the victim about 50 feet down the tunnel from the station platform.
‘Gay bash’ arrest
A homeless man, Anthony Bray, 21, was arrested in Bushwick, Brooklyn, on April 1 for assaulting a gay man on March 27 in Greenwich Village outside of the McDonald’s on W. Third St. near Sixth Ave. Police said Bray was one of two men in the suspected anti-gay assault on Damien Furtch, 26, outside the fast-food place after the victim and a friend left work at Pink Tea Cup on Seventh Ave. South. Bray, however, told police that he, too, was gay and said the incident began when Furtch “dissed” him. Bray is being held in lieu of $2,000 bail pending an April 7 arraignment on a third-degree assault charge — without reference to a hate crime. Police are still looking for the other suspect.
Adrian Rodriguez, 18, a senior at Marta Valle High School, 145 Stanton St., was struck by a No. 5 train in the Union Square subway station at 7:54 a.m. Fri., April 1. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Bellevue Hospital. Rodriguez was apparently running to get to school on time when he tripped on the platform and fell into the train, witnesses said. The victim, a Bronx resident, won a high school cooking award last year and was trying for a scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America.
Kenneth Cruz, 33, punched out two windows in The Monster bar, 80 Grove St., while he was in front of the place at 2:20 a.m. Sun., April 3, police said. Cruz, arrested at the scene, was charged with criminal mischief.
Bumped and picked
A 27-year-old man was on the southwest corner of Sixth Ave. and Washington Place around 2:45 a.m. Fri., April 1, when a stranger bumped him, dipped into his jacket pocket and took $20 and fled on foot, police said. The victim gave chase and caught up with the suspect when police arrived to charge Terrell Killbrew, 27, with grand larceny.
Canal St. robbers
Two New Jersey men, both 19, told police they went to the Bank of America A.T.M. at 375 Canal St. at West Broadway at 6 p.m. Sun., April 3, when two strangers waylaid them, grabbed their cash and cell phones and fled. One of the thieves followed one victim into the A.T.M. lobby, grabbed the $260 he had just withdrawn and his cell phone. The other suspect grabbed a cell phone and a wallet from the back pocket of the other victim, who was standing outside the bank lobby talking on his phone, police said. The two suspects fled on foot in separate directions.
Police arrested Ramel Blount, 22, on Thurs., March 31, and charged him with being one of three suspects involved in an assault in a West Village bodega seven months ago. Blount, a Bronx resident, and his unapprehended accomplices entered Hudson Gourmet, 514 Hudson St., on Aug. 16 last year, grabbed a bottle of malt liquor and walked out without paying for it, police said. When an employee grabbed it back, police said, the suspect punched him in the face, opening a cut above his left eye, and all three fled on foot west on W. 10th St.
Sneaky sneaker cards
A woman and two men were arrested in the Adidas Originals Store, 136 Wooster St., on March 29 and charged with ID theft and possession of forged credit cards. The woman, Cortney Jetter, 28, and her two male accomplices, Karriem Mack, 38, and Matthew Burke, 40, entered the shop around 5 p.m., offered a card, which was rejected, to pay for a pair of sneakers and then offered another card, which cleared, police said. When Jetter offered another card to pay for a second pair of sneakers, the clerk became suspicious and called police. Two forged cards were recovered from Jetter’s bag, and all three were arrested and held in lieu of $3,000 bail, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Jim Jones busted
Joseph Guillermo Jones II, 34, a hip-hop artist who performs as Jim Jones, was stopped for a traffic violation behind the wheel of his 2011 Bentley while driving in a bus lane on Broadway near Prince St. around noon on Wed., March 30. Police discovered that his driver’s license had been suspended because of failure to pay several traffic tickets.
Dentist’s brush with pot
Dr. Richard M. Lyons, 61, called police when he arrived at his dental office at 205 Worth St. near Chatham Square on Friday afternoon and discovered a UPS package had been delivered to him earlier that day with 31 pounds of tightly packed, fresh marijuana buds. Lyons said he didn’t know who sent the package, which had a return address for Gwendaline Lyons in Katy, Texas, according to a Daily News article. There was no listing for that person. UPS said it would investigate the shipment. Fifth Precinct police who responded to the call had to wear dental masks because the pot fumes gave them a headache, the News story said.
Deutsche Bank trial
The negligent homicide trail of the John Galt Corporation and three workers began on Monday in connection with the death of two Greenwich Village firefighters in an August 2007 fire in the Deutsche Bank building that had been damaged during the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the nearby World Trade Center.
The trial of the Galt Corporation, along with Mitchell Alvo, Salvatore De Paola and Jeffery Melofchik, is expected to last four months. Galt was a subcontractor of Bovis Lend Lease, the prime contractor in the 41-story building’s demolition. The individual defendants, employees of Galt and Bovis, contend they are scapegoats for negligence by the executives of the two firms and the city’s Department of Buildings.
Assistant District Attorney Brian Fields told the jury Monday that the three individual defendants deliberately decided to remove 42 feet of a blocked water pipe to save money. The removal led to the death of Firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino in the fire on the 14 floor of the building that was being demolished, Fields said.
A First Precinct officer demanded to see the license of a peddler who was vending costume jewelry in front of 343 Canal St., at Greene St., at 3 p.m. Tues., March 29. The peddler, Weijeng Huang, tried to flee, then kicked and wrestled the officer and struggled against being handcuffed, police said. Huang was charged with assaulting a police officer.
A woman shopping at the Steve Madden store at 529 Broadway at Spring St. on Sunday night April 3 put her bag on the floor at 7:15 p.m. when she was trying on shoes and discovered five minutes later that her wallet had been stolen from the bag, police said.