Volume 74, Number 27 | November 03 - 09, 2004

Police Blotter

Village assault
A homeless man who has long been a fixture around Bleecker and Carmine Sts. in the Village was on life support at St. Vincent’s Hospital near press time on Tues. Nov. 2 after falling and hitting his head on the sidewalk after he was pushed at 1:30 a.m. Oct. 31, according to police and neighbors.

Police said a man in his 20s who was with three women pushed the victim, identified by neighbors as Jose Cantu, after he approached the group. Cantu, 61, was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital. Police said the suspect left the scene and may not have known that Cantu was injured.

“He’s been around here for years,” said Steve Smith, a neighbor, speaking of Cantu. “He’s our regular panhandler. All the crossing guards know him. We all take care of him. People are pretty upset about what happened,” Smith said.

Raped after Chelsea bash
A woman who went to a Halloween party attended by about 3,000 revelers at Crobar on W. 28th St. in West Chelsea, was raped in a car after she left the party and was dumped naked by her attacker in Elizabeth, N.J., police said.

The victim, who attended the party dressed as a police woman, became separated from her friends and was walking on 28th St. between Ninth and 10th Aves., a block from the club, at 6:30 a.m. when her assailant grabbed her from behind and ordered her in Spanish to get into a car parked at the curb. After tearing off the victim’s clothes and raping her, he drove to Elizabeth where he threw her out.

The victim ran down the street knocking on doors until a man and his mother let her in, covered her with a robe and allowed her to phone 911, according to a New York Post report.

DNA finds rape suspect
A suspect in a 1996 sexual assault in a Canal St. subway station was arrested based on a DNA profile recently after being indicted as a “John Doe” in August 2001. The arrest of David Martinez, who has been in prison since July 8 after violating parole on a robbery conviction, marks the first time in New York State that a suspect has been matched to a John Doe DNA indictment, according to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

On Oct. 31, 1996, three men approached a 20-year-old foreign exchange student who was walking in a passageway to the uptown No. 6 platform at the Canal St. station and one of them pulled a gun and demanded money, according to the District Attorney’s Office. The gunman, identified now as Martinez, was about to leave with the victim’s $27 but turned, pushed her against a wall, put the gun to her neck and sexually assaulted her, according to the indictment. As soon as the three suspects fled, the victim reported the crime to police.

The district attorney’s DNA Project presented the case to the grand jury in August 2001 just before the five-year statute of limitations expired and an indictment was handed up with the John Doe identified by the DNA profile obtained at the time of the crime. But there were no matches at that time.

Although Martinez had been serving a prison term for a 1985 Midtown robbery, he was paroled before DNA samples were required to be taken from felons. He was arrested again in July of this year for violating the parole, and his DNA profile was taken on July 26. The district attorney was notified of the DNA match on Oct. 12 and Martinez was arrested a short time later in prison.

The District Attorney’s Office said Martinez would have been automatically released on Jan. 5, 2005, if there were no DNA match. The suspect is charged with first-degree attempted rape, robbery and sexual abuse.

Car hits pedestrians
A car went out of control at the corner of Rutgers and Henry Sts. at 9:34 a.m. Thurs., Oct. 28, jumped a raised area in front of St. Theresa’s Church, tilted on its side, hit a fence and injured at least four people included a pregnant woman who was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition, according to police and the Rev. Donald Baker, pastor of the church.

The driver and a passenger in the car fled but the driver came to the Seventh Precinct later for questioning but was not charged, police said.

“We were about to enter the church for a funeral when I heard the noise and turned to see the car plough into people in front of the church,” Rev. Baker said. The most seriously hurt victim was five and a half months pregnant and another woman was removed from under the wheel of the car and taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital but she sustained no broken bones, Rev. Baker said.

Bias incident
A man walking on W. 24th St. between Eighth and Ninth Aves. shortly after midnight on Mon., Nov. 1, was the victim of anti-gay verbal abuse and assault from a man and a woman, police said. The woman struck the victim, 38, over the head with a blunt instrument and the pair fled, police said. The victim refused medical attention. The attackers were identified only as being black and in their 20s, police said.

Sought by police
Police want to question Roberto Velazquez, 26, known as Macho, of Wallace Ave., the Bronx, in connection with a shooting in front of 427 W. 27th St. in the Elliott-Chelsea Houses on the afternoon of Oct. 25 in which David Deckle, 27, of E. 116th St. was killed.

By Albert Amateau

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