Volume 74, Number 12 | July 21 - 27, 2004

Police Blotter

Chain-snatch death
Two men shot and killed a victim in front of 65 Columbia St. in the Baruch Houses at 12:20 a.m. Sat. July 10 after snatching a gold chain from his neck, police said.

The victim, Erik Cortes, 26, of Yonkers, was visiting his grandparents and friends who live in the public housing complex, according to neighbors. He was declared dead on arrival at Beth Israel Hospital. The suspects, described only as young black men, emerged from a car at the curb and shot him in the torso after grabbing the chain, witnesses said.

Israel Perez, a Baruch Houses tenant activist, said last week that the shooting points to the need for more police presence in the development located between Houston and Delancey Sts. from Columbia St. to the F.D.R. Dr.

Chelsea homicide
Responding to a report of a man unconscious in Apt. 4E at 203 W. 20th St. at 11 a.m. Mon. July 19, police found Stephen Morgenroth, 54, lying on the floor with wounds to the head from a blunt instrument. An Emergency Medical Service unit declared him dead at the scene. The low-rise commercial and residential building near Seventh Ave. is a half block east of the 10th Police Precinct stationhouse. The death is under investigation as a homicide.

Hudson Sq. shooting
An argument between two co-workers at a residential tower under construction at 499 Greenwich St. between Canal and Spring Sts. around 1 p.m. Tues. July 20 escalated when one man pulled a gun, fired and grazed the head of his adversary, according to Captain Michael Hurley, commanding officer of the First Precinct. The dispute was not related to any labor dispute, Hurley said. Earlier in the day, the Carpenters Union, protesting the use of non-union labor, had erected a 7-ft. inflatable rat in front of an adjacent residential building currently under construction, designed by architect Winka Dubbledam. The victim was not seriously hurt and an arrest was imminent, Hurley said.

Wrecks Chelsea bar
A man entered XES Lounge at 154 W. 24th St. shortly before 1 a.m. Thurs. July 15, shouted antigay epithets at patrons, kicked and tore off the door’s swing-arm device and fled west toward Seventh Ave. before he could be stopped, police said. The suspect was described as a black man with long, graying dreadlocks, 5 ft. 10 in. tall and weighing about 150 pounds.

L.E.S. bag grab
A pregnant woman, 39, was walking with her two children at the corner of Cherry and Market Sts. at 11 a.m. Sat. July 18 when an unknown assailant came up behind her and grabbed her bag, police said. The suspect fled in a tan minivan after he knocked the victim down when she tried to hang onto the bag, police said. The woman was treated at NYU Downtown Hospital for a hand injury but her children were unhurt, police said. The incident fits a pattern of recent robberies in the Fifth Precinct, police said.

Manhole fires
Fire in a Con Edison manhole at W. 17th St. and 10th Ave. in Chelsea at 10:40 p.m. Wed. July 7 reduced power in the Robert Fulton Houses and stopped elevators for two hours.

Another Con Edison manhole fire on Varick St. near Vandam St. at 8:30 a.m. Fri. July 16 damaged a parked car but did not cause any power outage or injury. A Con Edison spokesperson said the causes of both fires were under investigation.

East Village theft
A partner in the newsstand on Lafayette St. at Astor Pl. told police that a pair of thieves made off with a pouch containing several hundred dollars around 1 p.m. Mon. July 19. The victim said one of the two thieves distracted his attention while the other lifted the pouch from a hook in the stand and both fled on foot in different directions.

Attack Transit worker
A man clad in gray shorts and a yellow shirt got into an argument with a Transit worker at about 6 a.m. Fri. July 15 on the southbound platform of the 34th St. subway station at Seventh Ave. and stabbed him in the chest with a small knife, police said. The suspect became enraged when Jiwan Singh, 53, who works on the subway electrical distribution system, couldn’t help him with directions. Singh was treated at Bellevue Hospital and released.

Bowery club rape
Two men were charged with raping a cocktail waitress in a private lounge at BLVD, a trendy club at 199 Bowery at Prince St. around 2 p.m. Sat. July 17, according to law enforcement officials.

The suspects, Michael Chodkowski, 36, of Hicksville, L.I., and Krys Corso, 39 of Park Ridge, N.J., were charged with first-degree rape and first-degree sexual abuse at their arraignment on Mon. July 19. They pleaded not guilty and were released on bail.

The victim, 23, was raped in a lounge customarily reserved for the use of performers at the club. Fellow employees found her after her assailants had left, according to a New York Post report.

A club manager accompanied the victim to Beth Israel Hospital were she was treated and released, the report said.

Albert Amateau

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