Volume 73, Number 49 | April 7 - 13, 2004

Police Blotter

Photographer hit in the face
A freelance newspaper photographer was assaulted and his camera stolen after he shot photos of several men fighting outside a Lower East Side nightclub last Friday night. The photographer, 25, who lives in the East Village and asked that his name not be used, told The Villager he saw three men, about age 18, one of whom was Hispanic, another black, fighting with a white man, about age 21, in front of Essex nightclub at Rivington and Essex Sts. between 12:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. the night of April 2.

The victim said one man in the group of three assailants picked up a cylindrical garbage can with an ashtray on top and threw it at the lone fighter, who had a shaved head and a long tattoo on his neck. The photographer took photos, using flash, after which the men dispersed. But they quickly returned and surrounded him. “Why were you taking our picture?” one asked, the photographer said. One of the men then knocked the camera from his hands. As he bent down to retrieve it, the photographer said the black teenager hit him in the face twice, knocking out a contact lens. The photographer blocked a third blow.

The men stole the victim’s camera, a digital Pentax Opito-S, worth $400, and fled. The photographer was treated for a corneal abrasion at Beth Israel’s emergency room and at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. He said a doctor told him his eye would have a full recovery but that another blow could cause lasting damage.
The victim said he intended to go to the Seventh Precinct to try to identify the assailants from photographs.

Subway crimes up
Arrests for subway crimes and offenses in Lower Manhattan, the Lower East Side, the Village and Chelsea from Jan. 1 to March 31 were up significantly from the same period last year, according to Officer James Rudolph, community affairs officer at Police Transit Division District 2. There were 33 felony arrests, representing an increase of 136 percent from the same period last year; 27 panhandling arrests, a 59 percent increase; 213 fare evasion arrests, a 115 percent increase; and 265 arrests for other misdemeanors, a 114 percent increase.

DOA in Chelsea
Police found a man, 59, unconscious on the floor of a third-floor apartment at 235 W. 19th St. shortly before 5 p.m. Wed, March 31. He was pronounced dead a short time later and the medical examiner is investigating the cause of death. There was no sign of trauma, said police, who withheld the victim’s name pending notification of his family.

Shelter assault
Three employees of the Department of Homeless Services were arrested for assault on Wed., March 31, on a resident of the men’s shelter at 400 E. 30th St. The three men, apparently security officers, Raul Perez, 29; Wayne Davidson, 44; and Richie Mann, 28, were charged with second-degree assault.

Bias attack
Port Authority police arrested two men in connection with a bias-related assault on two victims in the PATH station at W. Ninth St. and Sixth Ave. at 3:40 a.m. Tues., March 30. John Campoli, 20, of Manahawkin, N.J., and Paul Scott, 19, of Mayetta, N.J., were accused of making anti-gay and anti-black remarks during the assault, according to police.

The victims, two cousins, age 36 and 37, were waiting in the station for a train on their way home to Jersey City when the attack began, police said. The 36-year-old was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital with broken ribs, cuts and bruises. His cousin was taken to St. Vincent’s with minor injuries and was released after treatment.

Bank note
A man walked into the HSBC bank branch at 101 W. 14th St. at the corner of Sixth Ave. at 10:30 a.m. Mon. April 5, passed a note to a teller demanding money, and fled with an undetermined amount of cash. There was no arrest and no injuries.

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