Volume 81, Number 6 | July 7 - 13, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Orchard St. rap riot
Five people arrested on charges of causing a riot at Tammany Hall, the club at 152 Orchard St., on Wed., June 29, charged that police broke up a party and beat and Maced the defendants without provocation.
The incident occurred as rappers Smif-N-Wessun and Pete Rock were celebrating their album release. Police said they were called by club security because patrons were throwing beer bottles and other items at each other.
The defendants said there was no violence but acknowledged that two men got into an argument after they were denied admission.
Five officers received injuries, including a broken tooth, broken nose, facial cuts and head bruises. Police said that one defendant who was ordered to leave the place shouted to others for help in fighting the police.
Kenneth Montgomery, attorney for defendants Gabriel Diaz, 27; Lewis Pena, 35; Cynthia Rosa, 21; Jae Everette, 24; and Jessy Ayala, 32, part of Rock’s camera crew, said police dragged one victim outside and began to beat him, setting off the incident.
Defendants also said police shouted, “Get the cameraman,” when they noticed Ayala filming the incident.
Police said later that they are investigating the incident.
Mowed down by officer
An 85-year-old auxiliary police officer was driving a police van in front of the Fifth Precinct police station on Elizabeth St. around 11:10 a.m. Fri., July 1, when the van suddenly jumped the curb and struck a pedestrian, who died a short time later at New York Downtown Hospital. The driver, Shuck Seid, an auxiliary deputy chief, was not seriously injured and another auxiliary officer, Eddie Ng, riding in the van, sustained minor injuries.
The victim, Kok Hoe Tee, 55, worked in a restaurant not far from the accident scene. Seid, who owns Wing On Wo & Co., a Mott St. gift shop, lost control of the van. He passed an alcohol breath test and was not charged in the incident.
The leader of the Auxiliary Police Supervisors Benevolent Association said the following day that the association has demanded in vain that elderly officers be regularly tested for driving ability.
A woman, 28, was holding her wallet in her right hand while swiping her MetroCard with her left as she was entering the subway station at Varick and Canal Sts. at 8:40 a.m. Wed., June 29. A thief grabbed her wallet, with $180 in cash and her U.S. passport, and fled.
A woman shopping at Victoria’s Secret at Broadway and Prince St. discovered that her wallet was stolen from her bag while she was waiting on the queue for the cashier. The victim told police she had the wallet containing $155 in cash moments before while she was on the queue.
Sulaiman Abdul-Hakim, 28, was arrested on June 20 and charged with larceny and identity theft for depositing $40,000 in fraudulent checks in the Wachovia Bank branch on Broadway at Grand St. Abdul-Hakim opened the account in February using a fake driver’s license and debit card, the complaint says. He was charged with making the fraudulent deposits on March 11 and on April 4.
Deutsche fire acquittals
A Manhattan jury acquitted two of the three individual defendants charged with negligent homicide in the deaths of two firefighters who perished in the 2007 fire in the Deutsche Bank Building at 90 West St. as it was being demolished.
Jeffery Melofchik, safety manager during the demolition of the 9/11-damaged office tower, was acquitted Thurs., June 30, and Salvatore DePaola, foreman on the project, was acquitted the previous day.
Jurors told reporters that responsible supervisors and regulators should have been charged. A third individual defendant, Mitchel Alvo, asbestos abatement director, chose a nonjury trial and is awaiting a verdict from State Supreme Court Justice Rena Uviller.
Big bag haul
Two burglars broke the front window of the Louis Vuitton boutique at 116 Greene St. near Prince St. around 3:30 a.m. Fri., July 1, and made off with 20 handbags and two charms with a total value of $39,615, police said. The bags had no serial numbers and are not traceable, but a surveillance camera recorded images of the two suspects, police said.
Police are seeking a man suspected in a series of gunpoint street robberies between June 10 and June 23 across Manhattan and Brooklyn, including Chelsea and Tribeca.
The suspect approaches his victims, simulates or shows the handle of a gun and flees with money.
In Tribeca he robbed a victim of $27 at the dog run at Warren and West Sts. at 12:20 p.m. on June 15. In Chelsea, he robbed victims near 554 W. 28th St. on June 10; near 428 W. 26th St. on June 13; on Seventh Ave. and W. 18th St. on June 19, and near 235 W. 22nd St. on June 23.
The suspect is described as a black man, 35 to 45 years old, 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds and wearing a black “Scarface” hooded sweatshirt.