Volume 74, Number 17 | August 25 - 31 , 2004



Police Blotter

Fatal 21st St. crash
A motorcycle driver was killed and the rider on the back of the seat was injured at 3:59 a.m. Thurs. Aug. 19 when he crashed into the rear of a parked car on W. 21st St. between Seventh and Eighth Aves., police said. The victim, identified as E. Jean-Baptiste, 24, of 520 W. 144th St., was declared dead at St. Vincent’s Hospital. The rider, a woman, 20, was treated at St. Vincent’s for neck and back injuries.


Firehouse burglary
A man accused of stealing a fire coat and a two-way radio from the Ladder Co. 3 firehouse near Union Sq. last month was indicted for third-degree burglary and grand larceny on Aug. 19, according to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau.

Kenneth Olivio, 34, of Queens, was apprehended in front of the firehouse at 108 E. 13th St. around 4 p.m. on July 16 by a firefighter who saw him enter the station, pick up the coat and the radio from the top of an orange cone, and walk out, according to the indictment. The firefighter recovered the coat, valued at $700 and the radio, valued at $3,300 and held Olivio for police.

Both the burglary and larceny charges are class-D felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison. Olivio, who is free on $1,000 bail, is to be arraigned Nov. 8.


Art theft trial
The trial of Jack Wright, 50, owner of art galleries in Chelsea and the Village, for grand larceny in connection with the theft of paintings, most by the late Milton Avery, is scheduled for Tues. Sept 14 in Criminal Court Part 62, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Wright, who specializes in Milton Avery paintings and runs galleries at 131 Perry St. and at 529 W. 20th St. as well as in Southampton and Palm Beach, Fla., is charged with the theft of paintings from owners in Florida and New York, including the Avery estate, between Oct. 1998 and May 2004.

Wright, a resident of Preston, Conn., pleaded not guilty to the charges in June.


Investigate Chelsea death
The investigation is continuing into the death of Stephen Morganroth, 54, whose body was found lying on the floor of his apartment at 203 W. 20th St. on July 19 with head wounds inflicted by a blunt instrument, police said. There have been no arrests.


Investigate Baruch shooting
Police are still investigating the shooting death on July 10 of Eric Cortes, 24, in front of 65 Columbia St. in the Baruch Houses. The victim, a Yonkers resident, was visiting relatives in the complex where he formerly lived. Two suspects, described only as black men, emerged from a car parked at the curb, snatched a gold chain from the victim’s neck, and fled in the car after the 12:20 a.m. shooting. There have been no arrests yet, police said.


Steinberg on the move
According to the New York Post, convicted child killer Joel Steinberg was recently forced to leave the Carter Hotel after management discovered he was staying there under an assumed name. Steinberg had been staying at the Times Sq. hotel since he was booted from a Harlem halfway house for an interview with the media in which he said he wasn’t responsible for his daughter’s death. Steinberg was convicted of manslaughter for beating his illegally adopted daughter, Lisa, to death in their W. 10th St. apartment in 1987. He was released from prison in June.


Rakowitz update
There has been no final decision yet in the sanity trial of Daniel Rakowitz, the former East Village man who was found not guilty by reason of mental illness for killing and dismembering his girlfriend, Monica Beerle, in August 1989. Rakowitz is hoping to win his release to a less-secure psychiatric facility. A spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney, said attorneys for Rakowitz and the state have until Oct. 13 to file papers, after which Justice Donna Mills will render her decision. A jury presided over by Mills recently found Rakowitz was fit to be transferred to a less-secure facility.

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