Volume 81, Number 5 | June 30 - July 6, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Police Blotter

Held in girlfriend’s murder
Police arrested Miguel Peña, 58, on Tuesday night, June 28, and charged him with murder after the body of his girlfriend, Felicia Cruz, 49, a home health aide and mother of two sons, was found wrapped in a plastic sheet inside his Stanton St. apartment.

Police were called about 1:30 p.m. after the victim did not show up for work, and discovered her body in Peña’s apartment at 101 Stanton St. at Ludlow St. Her younger son, Eric, 14, had been looking for her because she hadn’t been seen since Monday, according to friends.

The victim had been dating Peña, a neighborhood ice cream vendor, for about five months, according to neighbors. The suspect was said to be extremely jealous and had been trying to convince her to move with him to Florida, neighbors said. Nevertheless, Cruz had been planning to leave him because of his jealousy, relatives said.
Peña was being held without bail on Wednesday pending arraignment later this week, said a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney.

Rape-rob arrest
Two Fifth Precinct police officers arrested a man charged with raping and robbing a woman, 41, in Sara Delano Roosevelt Park on Forsyth St. near East Houston St. around 2:25 a.m. Thurs., June 23.

Yeison Riano, 31, of Queens, was arrested in the park a short time later holding the victim’s handbag. The victim, who was described as being intoxicated at the time of the attack, was treated at Beth Israel Hospital. Riano was freed on a $10,000 bond on Sat., June 25.

Courtney Love fire
Candles burning close to the drapes were the cause of a fire in Courtney Love’s rented townhouse on W. 10th St. around 2 a.m. Thurs., June 23. The singer tried to smother the blaze with her hand but finally called 911, according to reports. Firefighters extinguished the fire in 10 minutes.

A.T.M. robbery arrest
Police arrested Harold McNamara, 44, a resident of 765 F.D.R. Drive in the Jacob Riis Houses, on Sun., June 26, and charged him with the June 22 robbery of a 73-year-old woman inside the Apple Bank A.T.M. vestibule at 4 Irving Place on E. 14th St. The suspect opened the vestibule door for the victim around 10:30 p.m., watched her withdraw money and then grabbed her from behind, snatched the money and fled, police said.

The day before McNamara was arrested, he broke into an apartment at 182 Waverly Place near Christopher St. at 2:45 p.m. and made off with a television, tape recorder, cell phone and jewelry, police said.

Bag busts
Police arrested Ivan George, 54, and Charlene Patterson, 52, and charged them with rifling the handbag of a woman patron while she was eating in a diner at 10 Waverly Place at Mercer St.

A patron of Le Souk, 510 LaGuardia Place at Bleecker St., put her bag on a chair at 12:30 a.m. Mon., June 27, and went to the dance floor. When she returned she noticed that a woman sitting next to the bag had put a scarf over it and was carrying it off. The victim told the management, and the suspect, Hayley Weddborn, 31, was arrested and charged with larceny. The victim’s Korean passport was recovered later in a toilet tank in the women’s bathroom.

St. Vincent’s assault
Two co-workers for a contractor removing salvage material from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital building at 170 W. 12th St. got into an argument around 6:30 p.m. Mon., June 13. One of them, 24, knocked his adversary down, picked up a crowbar from the floor, beat the victim severely and fled, police said. The victim, 54, got to a Nassau County hospital on his own to have 10 staples to close the wounds in his head, police said. His assailant, Gregory Strizak, was arrested later and charged with felony assault.

Wrestle and rob
Sixth Precinct police found a man wrestling with a victim while going through his pockets in front of 168 W. Fourth St. near Cornelia St. around 4:05 a.m. Sat., June 25. They arrested Phillip Huggins, 50, who dropped the pack of cigarettes and the $68 he had taken from the victim.

Bag snatchers
Three women, one of them 15 years old, were arrested at 11:30 p.m. Sun., June 26, in front of 28 Perry St. between Seventh Ave. South and W. Fourth St. and charged with snatching a handbag from a woman, 24, who fought with them to recover it. In addition to the teenager charged as a juvenile offender, Laila Mohammad, 25, and Nicole Cuffy, 23, were charged with robbery.

Blotter horn section
A musician unloading his car in front of 79 Greenwich Ave. at 8:45 p.m. Mon., June 20, leaned his trombone against the car for a moment and saw a man running off with the instrument, police said. Police soon arrested Wayman Mitchell, 53, and recovered the horn.

Multiple shoplifts
Police arrested Carolyn Reed, 43, and charged her with larceny for shoplifting more than $3,000 worth of merchandise from four boutiques near Union Square.

The suspect was arrested Sat., June 18, at lululemon athletica, 16 Union Square West, and charged with stealing a sweater valued at $98 from the store. Earlier that day, the suspect stole a pair of pants and a leather handbag from Anthropologie, 85 Fifth Ave. Reed is also charged with stealing a pair of sneakers from Journeys, 28 E. 14th St., also on June 18. On June 13, she took nine bras and five pairs of underwear from Journelle, 3 W. 17th St., according to the complaint filed with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.

Thom Bar bottle bash
Bryan Brooks, 36, was charged with felony assault for bashing a victim in the face with a champagne bottle at the Thom Bar at the Thompson Hotel, 60 Thompson St., at about 2:45 a.m. on Sun., June 19. The victim, 27, was taken to the hospital, where he required 15 staples and 60 stitches for the cuts in his face and head, police said.

E. Ninth St. stabbing
An argument between two acquaintances on E. Ninth St. near Avenue B on Monday afternoon June 20 turned violent when one of them chased his adversary with a knife and stabbed him in the left arm and fled, police said. The victim was treated at Bellevue Hospital. The suspect was not apprehended.

Albert Amateau


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