Volume 73, Number 6 | June 9 - 15, 2004



Police Blotter

Body in trunk
The body of a woman later identified as Myrna Gonzalez, 45, was found in a truck in an alley on E. 13th St. next to a vacant lot east of Third Ave. at about 4:30 p.m. Sun. June 6, police said.

A homeless man found the body in the 3-ft.-by-2-ft.-by-2-ft. trunk, which witnesses said had been on the sidewalk since Saturday.

Police said the body, which they identified on Tues. June 8, had “visible broken bones and facial trauma,” but the cause of death was still under investigation. The homeless man who opened the trunk and found the body was questioned but not arrested, police said.


Attempt W. Village robbery
Sixth Precinct police arrested two youths who attempted to rob a pedestrian on Thursday afternoon, June. 3. The pair on bicycles approached and demanded money but fled toward Washington St. when the victim struggled with them, police said. The victim then called 911 and went to the Sixth Precinct two blocks away on W. 10th St., where he identified photos of the suspect.

On his way home, the victim again spotted the suspects on foot on the same block and again phoned police, who gave chase and made the arrests near Bleecker St. Travon Bishop, 18, of 177 Sand St., Brooklyn, and Frances Ward, 16, of 8805 Bedell La., Brooklyn, were charged with attempted robbery.


Rakowitz sanity trial
Jury selection was expected to be completed by Tues., June 8, and testimony to start being heard in a sanity trial for Daniel Rakowitz, 43, at 111 Centre St., before Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills. The trial is to determine if Rakowitz should be freed from Kirby Psychiatric Center on Ward’s Island and allowed to go to a less-secure halfway house. The former East Village man was found not responsible on grounds of mental disease for killing his 26-year-old girlfriend 15 years ago in her E. Ninth St. home and then using her remains to make soup that he served to the Tompkins Sq. Park homeless. According to a source in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, there was a delay with the jury selection because “people were getting disgusted.”


Soho theft
A man entered a jewelry shop at 116 Prince St. near Mercer St. at 1:30 p.m. Sun. June 6 and picked up a glass case containing 120 platinum and gold rings and fled, police said. The thief was described as a “Middle Eastern man wearing jeans,” police said.


Arrest bank suspect
Police arrested Jerome Collins, 25, of 1735 Fulton St., Brooklyn, on Wed. June 2, in connection with a series of four robberies of victims at Downtown automated teller machine locations in May. There were two robberies on May 5 and May 19 at the Washington Mutual branch on Broadway at E. 13th St. and two robberies on May 24, one at the Fleet branch on Delancey St. and the other at a bank on Third Ave. at E. 31st St.


Investigate Village DOA
Police who responded to a call at 65 Downing St. at 12:15 p.m. Wed. June 2 found the body of a woman, 21, in apartment 4D. The Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the cause of death.


Precinct groundbreaking
A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Ninth Precinct stationhouse on E. Fifth St. on May 26. The fictional home of the “N.Y.P.D. Blue” precinct — the building was demolished and will be rebuilt at the same location. The original facade was saved and will be reassembled for the new building. There will be an extra story and elevators added, and the new entrance has been moved to the right, where the large green doors used to be. According to Detective Jaime Hernandez, Ninth Precinct community affairs officer, the scheduled completion date is September 2005. Until then, the precinct will remain at its temporary headquarters in the new Housing Police stationhouse on Avenue D at E. Ninth St.


Homicide ruling
The death on Thursday of a Chelsea man who had hit his head on the sidewalk when he was knocked down during a fight on Seventh Ave. in front of Penn Station on the afternoon of May 22 was ruled a homicide, police said. The victim, Kenneth Distante, 48, of 207 W. 20th St., had been taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital in critical condition after the fight and died there June 3. Police are looking for two suspects, one of whom was described as a white man about 5 ft. 5 in. wearing a black shirt and blue jeans. There was no description of the second suspect.


Big Canal St. fakers
Federal customs agents raided a shop at 248 Canal St. on Thursday night, June 3, seized counterfeit handbags and arrested 17 people in connection with a ring that imported counterfeit bags and jewelry from China and sold them to retailers in a multi-million-dollar operation. The defendants, who have been under investigation for a year, were also charged with paying about $500,000 to undercover agents posing as corrupt Customs agents to release containers of counterfeit goods that were held by Customs in Port Elizabeth, N.J.

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