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The Day | Gun Bust at Union Square and 13 Other Morning Reads

Found kittenSuzanne Rozdeba
Lost dogSuzanne Rozdeba

Good morning, East Village.

Take note, pet owners: the flyer above and another at right went up around the neighborhood recently.

The Post reports that Kenneth Moreno, the former police officer who was acquitted of raping a woman on duty but fired after being found guilty of official misconduct, is thinking about suing the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for allegedly planting incriminating evidence.

You’ll recall baggies of heroin were found in Mr. Moreno’s locker, and woes at the stationhouse continue: The Post hears from a source that the last of four 9mm pistols stolen from the locker room was swiped after officers were assigned to patrol the room.

Speaking of guns, The Daily News reports that two teens were arrested at the Union Square station when police officers who stopped them for evading the fare found a pair of guns and two bulletproof vests on them. Read more…

Recalling the ‘Rape Cop’ Trial

An article on Gothamist offers a behind-the-scenes look — from the perspective of one of the jurors — at the trial of an ex-police officer accused of raping a woman in her East Village home. In one bizarre scene in the story (which is behind a paywall), the exonerated police officer, Kenneth Moreno, embraces and thanks the author, who only a few days prior had declared him not guilty. Another episode reveals that on the first day of deliberations, nine of the 12 jurors already thought that the prosecution had failed to prove Mr. Moreno’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Second Rape-Case Officer Gets Two Months for Misconduct

A second NYPD officer was sentenced to two months in jail today for his improper interactions with an intoxicated East Village woman while on duty, City Room reports. The sentence for Franklin Mata, 29, comes two days after his partner, Kenneth Moreno, was sentenced to one year for the same incident. City Room quotes the judge as telling Mr. Mata that he “drew the short straw” when he was assigned Mr. Moreno as a partner.

The Day | Gavin DeGraw Hospitalized After Beating

down to the 6Michelle Rick

Good morning, East Village.

The Post reports that singer Gavin DeGraw was attacked by a group of men on First Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets around 4 a.m. Monday. He was scheduled for a concert in Saratoga Springs today, but instead Mr. DeGraw, who owns The National Underground with his brother Joey, is under observation at Bellevue Hospital.

The “outlook is dim” for the last of the lighting businesses along the Bowery. “Store owners point to gentrification, the downturn in the local housing market and the rise of online shopping as having taken a toll on their businesses,” writes The Wall Street Journal.

More change on the Bowery: The folks at Bowery Boogie and The Lo-Down recap last night’s CB3/SLA meeting. According to The Lo-Down, a “slightly more affordable” version of midtown steakhouse Quality Meats has been green-lighted for liquor at 199 Bowery. Bowery Boogie reports that the owners of Peels at 325 Bowery were given the nod for some alterations.

Correction: August 12, 2011

An earlier version of this blog post misstated the name of a neighborhood blog. It is The Lo-Down, not The Lo-Side.

Ex-Officer Acquitted of Rape Gets One Year For Misconduct

One of the two police officers who was acquitted of raping an intoxicated East Village woman in 2009 has been sentenced to one year in jail for official misconduct, the Daily News reports. The officer, Kenneth Moreno, 43 was immediately taken away in handcuffs to begin serving his sentence as his accuser looked on. A jury found Mr. Moreno not guilty of rape in May, but did find him and his partner, Franklin Mata, guilty of misconduct for entering the woman’s apartment without permission. Mr. Mata is expected to be sentenced later today as well.
Update: The sentencing of Mr. Mara has been postponed until Wednesday because his lawyer could not be present, the Daily News reports.

The Day | And, Action!

Hot dog eating contest replayClint McMahon

Good morning, East Village.

There was a little Hollywood action in our neighborhood on Wednesday. DNAinfo reports that HBO filmed part its television series “Boardwalk Empire” yesterday in the East Village. The HBO crew used John’s Italian Restaurant, which is on 12th Street between First and Second Avenues, as the backdrop for a few scenes. “Boardwalk Empire” is a television drama that takes place in Atlantic City and stars Steve Buscemi, who plays a corrupt politician named Enoch “Nucky” Thompson. It is produced by Martin Scorsese.

Speaking of show business, EV Grieve reminds everyone that the EPIX Movie Free-for-All series continues tonight with a showing of “Coming to America.” In case you didn’t catch the announcement, EPIX is sponsoring a movie night once a week outside at Tompkins Square Park from now until Sept. 1. Next week, they’re showing “The Warriors.” The gate opens at 6 and the movie starts at sundown.

Finally, DNAinfo reports that one of the former NYPD police officers who was acquitted of rape is also charged with drug possession. Kenneth Moreno, 43, was indicted in 2009 on charges that he housed heroin in his locker at the Ninth Precinct. Prosecutors searched Mr. Moreno’s locker after he was arrested on rape charges stemming from an incident in December 2008. In May, Mr. Moreno and his former partner, Franklin Mata, were acquitted of raping a woman in her East Village apartment. However, Mr. Moreno’s drug charges remain open and active on the docket, prosecutors told DNAinfo.

The Day | A Matter of Taste

16 HandlesScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

To help cool you off from this summer heat, the folks who made People’s Pops at the Brooklyn Flea and Chelsea Market are opening an East Village location this afternoon. The new ice pop stand will open at 5 today at 118 First Avenue near East Seventh Street. Eater NY reports that the location is a former flower cabana that sits between Caracas Arepa Bar and a corner deli.

In other neighborhood news, DNAinfo reports that HBO will soon release unaired footage that pertains to two former NYPD officers acquitted of rape charges. The footage, which was deleted from the network’s movie “Sex Crimes Unit,” will go to defense attorney Joseph Tacopina. Mr. Tacopina represents Kenneth Moreno, 43, one of the men acquitted in late May. Mr. Moreno’s partner, Franklin Mata, 29, was also acquitted. The officers’ charges stemmed from a December 2008 incident in which the officers were accused of raping a 27-year-old woman in her East Village apartment.

The Post reports that Fu Sushi restaurant on Avenue B has been serving customers despite New York City’s Department of Health ordering the business to close. The department closed Fu Sushi June 23 after logging 99 health violations, including the presence of mice and roaches in the restaurant. Department officials posted a closed sign on the restaurant’s storefront; however, Fu Sushi employees have obscured the sign and continued business as usual, The Post says.

Board Weighs In On Sentencing

Community Board 3 passed a resolution Tuesday night condemning the actions of the two former Ninth Precinct police officers who were convicted of official misconduct in May. The former officers, Kenneth Moreno and Franklin L. Mata, were acquitted of all other charges from the 2008 incident in which a woman said that she was raped by the officers after they helped her to her East Village home. The resolution calls on the sentencing judge to impose the harshest possible punishment on each of the men — two years in prison.
Laura E. Lee

Officers Found Not Guilty of Rape

Two East Village police officers were found not guilty today of raping a drunken woman after helping her home to her apartment. The officers, Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, were convicted of official misconduct for entering the woman’s apartment but acquitted on all other charges; Mr. Moreno and Mr. Mata, who worked in the Ninth Precinct, had been indicted in 2009 and their trial lasted almost two months. Visit The Times for complete coverage.
The Local