Volume 74, Number 14 | August 04 - 10 , 2004

Police Blotter

Villager photo by Clayton Patterson

A memorial was left by the LaGuardia Houses at the site where Joseph “FEX” Locascio, 22, was stabbed to death with a screwdriver on July 24. Locascio, of Queens, grew up on the Lower East Side. Among urban youths, pouring beer on the ground is a show of respect for a dead friend or loved one.

Arrest robber
A CrimeStopper telephone tip led to the arrest on July 29 of a suspect in a four-day armed robbery spree of five Subway sandwich shops in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.

James Taylor, 38, 293 Grand Ave., Brooklyn, was arrested near his home and charged with the six robberies, the first of which was on July 22 of a shop at 55 W. 14th St., police said. The suspect is also charged with robbing three shops in succession on the evening of July 24, one on Broadway at 27th St., another at 17 E. 17th St. and the third at 1983 Third Ave. at E. 102nd St. In addition, he is charged with two robberies on July 25, one on Fourth Ave. at E. 12th St. and the second at 690 Myrtle Ave. Brooklyn.

Taylor is charged with demanding money at gunpoint and making off with an unknown amount of cash from each store.

Investigate murder
Police are still investigating the murder of Joseph Locascio, 22, who was stabbed with a screwdriver during a torrential rain on July 24 in front of 65 Jefferson St. in the LaGuardia Houses complex.

Locascio, of Ozone Park, Queens, was raised in the neighborhood, neighbors say. As a teenager, he was known by his graffiti tag, FEX, and ran with a crew known as FOS, according to Clayton Patterson, a neighborhood photographer who attended Locascio’s funeral July 29 at Vanella’s Funeral Chapel on Madison St. “The crew wasn’t into drugs and FEX was the last kid in the world you expect to be in trouble,” Patterson said.

Canal St. robbery
A man approached a couple on Canal St. at Sixth Ave. shortly before 5 p.m. Mon. July 26 and told them to follow him around the corner for a good deal on CDs, police said. Around the corner, he slammed the man against a wall and said, “Look, I have a knife. Just give me your money.” The victim, an 18-year-old Queens man, pulled out his wallet and the robber grabbed $415 in cash and fled west on Canal St., police said. The victim and his woman companion, 18, were not hurt. The robber was described as a dark-complexioned black man with long braids, dressed in blue clothes and a white hat and wearing dark glasses.

Bias arrest
Police arrested two women for bias-related harassment on a southbound No. 4 train near the Brooklyn Bridge station at 9:30 p.m. Thurs. July 29. Jennifer Moore, 21, and Shamika Lawrence, 20, both of Brooklyn, were apprehended at the station on a charge that they harassed two couples on the train and made anti-Semitic remarks, police said.

Soho computer theft
Burglars stole a Macintosh laptop computer valued at $1,800 from a ground-floor shop at 124 Prince St. near Wooster St. sometime between 5 p.m. Mon. July 26 and the following morning, police said. The thieves broke a lock, forced open and damaged an outer door and then managed to maneuver a wire instrument between the floor and the bottom of a sheet metal gate to hook the computer, police said.

Sex abuse
A 17-year-old East Village boy and his father told police at the Ninth Precinct on July 20 that an assistant principal at Norman Thomas High School, 111 E. 33rd St., fondled the boy at the school over a period of nearly a year from last September to July.

The suspect, Dr. Juan Taveras, 40, of 3784 10th Ave., Brooklyn, was arrested on July 29 and charged with five counts of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a minor. During the investigation, another 17-year-old Norman Thomas student reported that he had met the suspect in his Brooklyn neighborhood and went to the suspect’s home where he was fondled, police said.

Wooster boutique
A thief smashed the glass door of a Gant shop at 77 Wooster St. with a rock around 4:10 a.m. Tues., July 11 and made off with a leather bag, 11 shirts and seven pairs of pants with a total value of $2,150, police said.

Arrest in Village
A man suspected of holding a screwdriver to the throat of a victim in an attempted robbery on a southbound D train near the Rockefeller Center station at 2:30 a.m. on July 10 was arrested a short time later in the Village by police who staked out the area around the I.N.D. station at W. Fourth St. and Sixth Ave.

The suspect, Danny Estevez, also known as Robert Rodriquez, was indicted for attempted robbery on July 28, pleaded not guilty on July 30 and was being held in lieu of $2,500 bail.

The criminal information on file with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said Estevez grabbed the victim, 19, in a chokehold and then put the screwdriver to his throat but dropped it in the ensuing struggle. The victim grabbed the screwdriver and fled from the train at the 42nd St. station, where he told Transit workers about the attack, according to the information.

Police canvassing around the W. Fourth St. station arrested the suspect on Sixth Ave. and Downing St. Estevez was holding a white shirt and had fresh scratches on his arms and back when police apprehended him.

Garage heist
Three men walked into a Chelsea parking garage at 35 W. 21st St. shortly before 5 p.m. Sun. July 25, indicated they had a gun, forced the attendant to give them an undisclosed amount of money and fled toward Sixth Ave., police said.

Bridge rescue
A barefoot and shirtless Bronx man climbed the cables to the top of the 276-ft. Manhattan tower of the Brooklyn Bridge at about 12:30 p.m. Wed. July 28. A police rescue detail followed and talked to the man for nearly an hour before convincing him to approach and be led to safety. He was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital in good physical condition for observation. The bridge was closed to traffic for about 40 minutes, police said.

Power outage
A Con Edison cable fire on E. Third St. between Avenues A and B at 12:30 a.m. Tues. Aug 5 resulted in a three-hour power outage for 41 apartments on the south side of E. Third and the north side of E. Second St.

All power was restored by 3:45 a.m., said Brenda Perez, a Con Edison spokesperson. The cause of the cable fire was under investigation yesterday.

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