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NYPD - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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NYPD

At the Ninth Precinct, It Looks a Lot Like Christmas


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Steve Torres, 7 with his familyAnnie FairmanSteve Torres with family, after winning a bicycle in a “Gangnam Style” danceoff

Last Saturday got off to an early start at the Ninth Precinct.

At 2:30am, police were called to Beth Israel Hospital after an 18 year-old man entered the emergency room claiming to have been shot in the hand in Campos Plaza. When the building’s management, as well as Ninth Precinct officers posted to the NYCHA property that evening, disputed the account, the man admitted to having been shot accidentally in FDR Park when handed the gun by a friend. The young man, who lives on East 13th Street but is not a resident of Campos Plaza, was arrested for criminal possession of a weapon.

Jaylynn, 9 and SantaAnnie FairmanJaylynn, 9 and Santa

In the meantime, organizers of the Ninth Precinct’s Annual Christmas Party Giveaway arrived as early as 4am to set up for the event. Local families began lining up in the early morning hours for the chance to receive a gift from none other than Santa Claus himself, on loan from Macy’s.

Three and a half year-old Alicia Pagan waited in line with her mother, Teresa Mojica, for nearly two and a half hours to see Santa, who gave her a doll. Members of the NYPD Explorers youth program served hot cocoa to families as they waited on a line wrapping around the playground across the street and extending down to the corner of East Fifth Street and Second Avenue. Read more…


Star the Miracle Mutt Leaves State as Ex-Owner Leaves Country


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Star, the pit-bull that was shot in the head by a police officer, is still recovering in a secret location. Meanwhile the miracle mutt’s owner, who was passed out when the shooting occurred in August, has returned to Poland, according to a friend.

The Lexus Project — which advocated for Star after video of the incident gained widespread attention — said the persevering pit-bull had left New York and declined to give further information about her whereabouts.

The dog’s custodians, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, said that Star isn’t yet ready to be adopted. When she is, the bar will be very high, according to Charlie Cifarelli, the man who created a Facebook fan page for Star and visited her last week. “It will have to be someone without any animals, someone who understands her condition and most likely someone who lives in the East Coast so if there’s an issue, doctors who are familiar with her can help.”

Meanwhile, Star’s former owner, Lech Stankiewicz, has left the country.
Read more…


Shooting Victim: ‘I Didn’t Want to Die at a Young Age’


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David CruzSuzanne Rozdeba

The young man who was shot in the leg at Campos Plaza has come forward to identify himself and to describe the horror of being stalked by a gunman in the early hours of Monday morning.

David Cruz, 24, told The Local that he and a friend were walking back to his apartment on East 13th Street, between Avenues B and C, shortly after midnight when he noticed “a navy blue or black car creeping,” and then saw it double parked. “We looked towards the car, and I noticed somebody jump out the car with an all-black hoodie on, covering his face,” he said.

The man quickly approached. “He started to run towards me and my friend. We ran towards East 12th Street, when he shot the first fire at me. My friend proceeded to run towards the basketball court and I proceeded to run towards the 635 East 12th Street tunnel when he shot the second fire that hit me.” The shooter wordlessly fired another two or three rounds that missed their target, said Mr. Cruz.

“When I got shot, it went in through the back of my thigh, and the bullet left the front of my thigh,” he said. “It was half an inch away from my artery and about an inch away from the main bone on my thigh.” Read more…


Police Say This Woman Swiped a Purse at Arlene’s Grocery


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Suspect in theft at Arlene's GroceryN.Y.P.D. The suspect.

The police are on the hunt for a woman who stole a purse from Arlene’s Grocery on August 7.

The suspect allegedly swiped the bag hanging below a bar inside the music venue at 12:50 a.m. Police said the bag contained a cell phone, wallet, cash and credit cards.


Star the Pit Bull Loses an Eye, But Recovering Her Hearing


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Star, post-opAnimal Care and Control Star chews on a toy, undeterred by her missing eye.

The pit bull who took a bullet from a police officer on 14th Street and lived to tell the tale had surgery today to remove her left eye, as well as metal fragments still lodged in her skull.

“Star had suffered soft tissue, bone, head trauma, and eye damage as a result of her wounds,” said Richard Gentles, a spokesman for the city Animal Care and Control, which handled care for the dog, Star. “She suffered a significant degree of hearing loss, but her hearing is coming back and the vision in her right eye also seems to be improving.” Another photo…


Here’s the Suspected Chase Bank Robber


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Suspect in Chase Bank RobberyN.Y.P.D. The suspect.

The police department has released a surveillance image of the suspect in Saturday’s bank robbery.

The suspect passed a note to a teller at the Chase Bank on Second Avenue near East 10th Street at 12:40 p.m., the police said. The teller then forked over a wad of cash, and the robber made a run for it, toting a black Pullman suitcase.

He is thought to be in his 20s or 30s, 200 pounds and five-foot-10.


UPDATE: Woman Fatally Cut Across Neck on Orchard Street


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UntitledStephen Rex Brown A distraught man was interviewed by police at 191 Orchard Street.

A 29-year-old woman was slashed across the neck and died this morning.

A police spokeswoman confirmed that the victim was declared dead at Beth Israel Hospital about 10 minutes ago. She was found around 10:33 a.m. “heavily bleeding” from the neck and in partial cardiac arrest inside of 191 Orchard Street near East Houston Street.

Further details regarding how she died or if there are any suspects were not immediately available. A distraught man, pictured above, was seen speaking at length to investigators a half-hour after the incident.

Update | 12:52 p.m. A resident of the building who did not wish to be identified came upon the victim moments after a neighbor attempted to revive her in the hallway. “It was a big mess. There was blood everywhere,” the resident said.

According to the resident, a medic said the victim’s injuries were not consistent with a fall down the stairs, as some initially suspected. “She had compound fractures in her arm and she was cut,” the resident said. The victim, who was wearing acid-wash blue jeans, had a Missouri drivers license in her wallet, which also still contained money, credit cards and an iPhone.

“She did not look like she was homeless or a hooker,” the resident said. “She had too many accouterments of the average American young person in her 20s: An iPhone and wallet full of plastic.”

The longtime resident added that it was unlikely the victim lived in the building.

“It’s pretty upsetting. I almost threw up.”

Update | 5:20 p.m. Lower East Side Slashing Victim Identified


Bank Robbery On Second Avenue


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chase

A man robbed the Chase bank on Second Avenue near 10th Street this afternoon.

Around 1 p.m., a man passed a teller a note demanding money and then fled with an unknown amount, according to the police.

The suspect, who wore sunglasses and black and yellow sneakers, was said to be about five-foot-eight with a medium build.

It’s the first bank robbery in the neighborhood since the Emigrant Savings Bank, just a few blocks away, was held up in June.


First Photos of Star the Pit Bull, Still on the Mend


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Star the Pit Bull 2Courtesy Animal Care and Control of NYC

The pit bull that was shot on 14th Street has been turned over to the city after her owner failed to fetch her, and The Local has obtained the first photos of Star since she was shot while charging a police officer on Aug. 13.

Richard Gentles, a spokesperson for city Animal Care & Control, said Star’s owner failed to claim her by a deadline of 8 p.m. yesterday, at which point she was released to the agency. Once she leaves the care center in East Harlem where she’s been recovering, she’ll be turned over to the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals, a coalition of non-profit animal shelters and rescue groups aimed at insuring that animals are adopted rather than killed in city shelters.

Mr. Gentles said his agency had arranged for what had come to $10,000 in medical treatment, most of which will be paid for by donations. He said Star was still resting and not ready for visitors, but – as with three previous status updates – her condition is improving.

See another photo…


Video: Police Officers in Showdown With 12th Street Resident


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Police officers climbed a fire escape on East 12th Street today to calm a man who had been causing a disturbance.

A resident of the block between Avenues A and B, who did not want to identify herself, witnessed the commotion. “I came out and saw a man who seemed to be agitated on the top floor hanging out his window, yelling down to the cops,” she said. “The cops didn’t seem too concerned about it, but apparently he didn’t want to let them into his apartment so they had to go up the fire escape.”

As police officers climbed to the top floor of 513 East 12th Street, the man locked the window; after a few minutes, they talked the man into opening it and letting them in. Read more…


10 Days After Shooting, Star the Pit Bull Doing ‘Fairly Well’


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A dog kennel on the trunk of cop car.Melvin Felix The scene of the shooting.

Readers as far away as Argentina, South Africa, Los Angeles, and Texas have been asking for updates about Star the pit bull. Here’s the latest: ten days after she was shot by a police officer on 14th Street,  Star is doing “fairly well,” according to a spokesman for city Animal Care and Control.

“She is eating and moving around more,” the spokesman told The Local, adding that the organization is accepting donations to help with the pit bull’s care.

Meanwhile readers of The Local are debating whether pit bulls are dangerous animals. A commenter named Mike said his previous dog died after being attacked by one. “The Pit got away from his owner who was attempting to walk three pit bulls at the same time,” Mike wrote. “He could not help get his animal off of my friend Abby, a beautiful yellow lab. If I had a gun that day I would have shot that animal and saved Abby’s life.”

Penny Brumfield disagreed, saying that pit bulls are lovable and loyal dogs. “Because of the media and t[h]ugs the pit bull has got a bad name,” she said. “If you remove every pit, there would still be another breed to take its place.”

Mary Robbins said it could’ve happened with any other dog: “Any breed of dog, that sees their owner being kicked, or any other kind of abuse would get very defensive and that is what had happened here.”


Star the Pit Bull Showing Signs of ‘Slight Improvement’


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A dog kennel on the trunk of cop car.Melvin Felix The scene on Monday.

Star the pit bull is still hanging on for dear life after being shot by a police officer on 14th Street Monday.

On Tuesday, a police source said the dog’s prognosis was not good, but yesterday a spokesman for Animal Care and Control of New York City told The Local that the feisty mutt was still in stable condition at a shelter in Harlem. Today that spokesman said, “Star’s condition is still serious, but thankfully she is showing signs of slight improvement.”

It’s still unknown whether the dog, if it survives, will be returned to its owner, who was passed out on the sidewalk when the shooting occurred and was arrested for an open warrant related to an open container charge.

On The Local, commenters debated about who was to blame for the shooting.

“That’s a sad story. But I wouldn’t want to get bit by that dog,” wrote Delphine Blue, apparently sympathizing with the police officer who fired the shot. Read more…


Police Say This Man Punched a Woman and Robbed Her Purse


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New York Police Department Surveillance video of the suspect.
Robbery Suspect at 116 Avenue CNew York Police Department The suspect.

A man followed a woman into 116 Avenue C on August 11 and punched her in the face several times before snatching her purse, the police said.

The man, thought to be in his late 20s, made his move at 11:45 p.m. in the building near East Eighth Street. As the 28-year-old victim began to go up the stairs the suspect threw her to the ground, punched her and ran out of the building.


Police Officer Shoots Pitbull on 14th Street


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A witness showed us a video he took of the shooting’s aftermath.
A dog kennel on the trunk of cop car.Melvin Felix Officers loaded a dog kennel into the trunk of a
police car as friends of the
owner of the dead pitbull looked on.

A police officer shot a pitbull that was apparently trying to defend its passed-out owner on 14th Street at around 4:15 p.m., horrifying passersby who watched the wounded mutt suffer a slow death.

A man who identified himself as Steve-o, who was lingering at the scene near Second Avenue said he was a friend of the passed-out man, known as Pollock. The dog, according to Steve-o, was named Star.

Another witness, Roland Bueler, said the dog was protecting his master as a police officer tried unsuccessfully to rouse him while an ambulance awaited. “People who live in the neighborhood say he’s along here all the time,” Mr. Bueler said of Pollock. “He had a dog that was, I think, a pitbull mix. And the dog was defending the guy so no one could approach him.” Read more…


Reward for Seward Park Shooter Raised Again


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Sketch of Shooting Suspect

The police are now offering $32,000 for information that leads them to the man who shot a police officer in the Seward Park Houses on July 5. In the incident, Officer Brian Groves was patrolling the public houses when he came upon the suspect between the 18th and 19th floors. A brief chase ensued, and the suspect shot the officer, who narrowly escaped death thanks to his Kevlar vest.


Police Seek Sexual Assault Suspect


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Sexual Assault suspect

A man sexually assaulted a woman on a rooftop near Clinton Street in the Lower East Side on August 3, the police said. The pair entered the building together at 2:50 a.m. and then the suspect, who is said to be 5-foot-5 and in his early 20s, assaulted the victim and fled. Just yesterday, the Manhattan District Attorney announced the conviction of a 39-year-old man who was linked to a sexual assault in the East Village in 2008 thanks to a state DNA database.


Astor Vendor Back at Work


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IMG_1165

Mohammed Rahman, the Bangladeshi man clocked in the face and threatened by a pair of troublemakers, was back at work today at Astor Place serving lamb gyros, chicken over rice and the like. So, did the police get that guy who threw the punch? “It’s foolishness,” Mr. Rahman said. “I told the police, ‘He’s right there!’ One block away. They’re slow. They said call 911 if he comes back.” Since the incident on Thursday, which was followed by a threat to burn his food cart to the ground, Mr. Rahman has seen his attacker around. Fortunately, it seemed the man had cooled off.


Riverside Robbery Suspect Nabbed


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Suspected Serial Robber

The police arrested an East Houston Street man yesterday and charged him with four counts of robbery related to the string of 16 stick-ups near the East River since May. Dion Whitehead, a 38-year-old resident of the Lillian Wald Houses, had previously been arrested for attempted murder, according to The Post. In the robberies the suspect would brandish a weapon or pretend he had one, then grab his victims’ belongings, the police said. None of the victims were hurt. The Daily News reported that investigators were led to Mr. Whitehead after a tipster recognized him in subway surveillance images.


Riverside Robber: Police Seek Suspect in 16 Hold-Ups


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Suspected Serial RobberStephen Rex Brown The suspect in a long string of robberies.

The police are on the hunt for a suspect in a string of at least 16 robberies, half of which were in the East Village.

In all the cases, which take place near the East River, the perpetrator either flashed a knife or gun, or simulated one. He then attempted to take his victims’ property — common items include cellphones and wallets — and usually succeeded. None of the victims were hurt.

In the first four incidents in early May the suspect robbed victims in elevators in Campos Plaza and the Lillian Wald Houses, the police said. Only in the last incident on May 15 did he actually flash a weapon — a knife — before grabbing the victims Sony PSP, cash and a watch. Read more…


Police Say This Man Tried to Rob Emigrant Savings Bank


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Suspect in Emigrant Savings RobberyNew York Police Department The suspect.
IMG_0141Stephen Rex Brown The scene at Emigrant Savings Bank around 45 minutes after the attempted robbery last month.

The police are on the hunt for a man in his 30s who made a failed attempt to rob an Emigrant Savings Bank on June 4.

The suspect, who is thought to be around 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, passed a note to the teller of the bank on Second Avenue at around 3:10 p.m. demanding cash. The teller refused, and the suspect took off, the police said.