Volume 74, Number 15 | August 11 - 17 , 2004

Police Blotter

Subway bomb charge
Joseph Rodriguez, the former police officer changed with setting off a firebomb in a stairwell of the Times Sq. subway station on July 19, was being held on Mon. Aug. 9, in Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric review under a court order.

Rodriguez, 27, of 280 Mulberry St., was about to be released from the N.Y.P.D. with a psychological disability pension and was serving on modified assignment in the Times Sq. police station during the incident, according to the charges on file in the office of Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau.

He phoned the station about a smoking bag in a stairwell, then waved passengers off and ran as the bag exploded shortly after 8 p.m., according to the charge. He was injured in the left eye and leg. During the investigation that uncovered several firearm permits registered in other names in his Mulberry St. apartment, Rodriquez signed himself into Presbyterian Hospital for observation. He was charged last week and sent to Bellevue. He is due to appear in court Aug. 31 on first-degree arson, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

Jane St. death
Police found Dr. Lorna Statile, 56, unconscious in the bathtub of her apartment at 99 Jane St. at 11:30 p.m. Sun. Aug. 8 after a neighbor reported that she had not been seen for several days. The victim was declared dead at 11:35 p.m. of an overdose of painkillers, several of which were found near her body, according to reports. A suicide note was also recovered and there were no signs of trauma, police said. The victim was an anesthesiologist who worked at Cabrini Medical Center.

Steinberg moves
Joel Steinberg, a resident of a Fortune Society halfway house in Hamilton Heights after his release from prison after serving a manslaughter prison term for killing his 6-year-old adopted daughter, Lisa, in the Village in 1987, was compelled to leave last week and is living at an undisclosed location.

Steinberg, 63, on parole until 2012, had been living in the Fortune Society residence for five weeks. But statements he made in a New York magazine article last week that he was a good father and never really hurt the child angered administrators of the halfway house who ordered him to leave, according to a New York Post article.

Under terms of parole, Steinberg is supposed to live in a halfway house for up to eight months.

Homicide outside club
Gunfire felled two men, killing one of them, while they were walking toward Social, a club on E. 26th St. at Fifth Ave. at 1:15 a.m. Mon. Aug. 9, police said. An unknown attacker came from behind and shot Shakeem Spencer, 27, of 300 Putnam Ave., Brooklyn in the chest. He was declared dead at Bellevue Hospital at 2 a.m. The other victim was shot in the buttocks and was taken to Bellevue in stable condition. There was no arrest and police are investigating.

Seeking information
The police Missing Persons Unit was seeking information this week on a girl, 16, tentatively identified as Tya Savitt, who was found wandering on June 29 on the Brooklyn Bridge walkway near the Manhattan side in good physical condition. Currently living in an Agency for Children’s Services shelter, she is described as a light-complexioned black girl, 5 ft. 4 in., 110 pounds, thin build, with black hair and brown eyes. Information may be phoned to 800-577-TIPS or to the N.Y.P.D. Missing Persons Unit at 212-473-2042.

Albert Amateau

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