Showing posts with label New York City crime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York City crime. Show all posts

Monday, October 7, 2019

Reports: Chinatown murders bring renewed attention to the city’s street homeless

[Comptroller Scott M. Stringer at a vigil for the victims this morning]

The shocking murders of four homeless men early Saturday morning in Chinatown have brought more media attention to the dangers of living on the street.

In a story published in today's paper, the Times provides historical context for the area around the Bowery in which the men were killed.

[T]he Bowery, an area of Lower Manhattan known in the 1930s as New York’s skid row, has long served as a daunting example of the city’s difficulties in addressing street homelessness. If anything, the problem is getting worse: The area is now drawing younger homeless people, many with drug and mental health problems, a population that the city’s traditional outreach methods have struggled to confront.

Despite the luxurification of the Bowery and surrounding area in recent years, the area — specifically Community District 3 — still has one of the highest concentrations of homeless shelters (some two dozen) in Manhattan.

The article discusses the ongoing concerns "about a new subpopulation within the homeless community."

A recent report described them as “travelers” or “young homeless people who travel to destinations depending on the weather, and often include instances of drug use and aggression.”

Over the past three years, complaints have increased about these younger arrivals, and the police and homeless outreach workers have said that “traditional outreach is not successful with this population,” according to the report.

The article includes comments from local community leaders on the need for better mental health services and additional supportive housing and safe-haven beds. Find the article at this link.

In court yesterday, the suspect, 24-year-old Rodriguez “Randy” Santos, was charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

Meanwhile, city officials say they will dispatch mental health outreach teams and increase the number of homeless outreach teams who have access to psychiatrists and substance abuse resources, per ABC 7.

The Times says that the homelessness crisis "has been the most intractable problem of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenure."

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Suspect charged in murders of 4 homeless men in Chinatown

Several EVG readers shared links to the various published reports about the murders of four men in what police say were random attacks in Chinatown early yesterday morning ... the readers also shared concern about the growing homeless population citywide, including in the East Village. What follows is a recap on what has transpired (the post has been updated)...

The four men and a fifth who was found injured were all believed to be homeless. The victims were brutally assaulted in three different locations around Chatham Square, where East Broadway and the Bowery intersect.

A suspect, named as Rodriguez “Randy” Santos, 24, is in police custody. Police reportedly found Santos, holding a metal pipe, on Canal and Mulberry. He has at least 14 prior arrests, per the Post, and was believed to be homeless.

He is charged with murder, attempted murder and unlawful possession of marijuana.

"The motive appears to be, right now, just random attacks," Chief of Manhattan South Detectives Michael Baldassano told reporters, adding that there was no evidence yet to suggest the victims were "targeted by race, age, anything of that nature."

The Times reported this about the streets around Chatham Square:

[T]he area has been changing rapidly in recent years, as Chinatown has expanded and young professionals, many pushed out by higher rents in the East Village, have begun to move in.

The neighborhood is a bustling traffic hub where commuter vans and long-distance buses vie for curb space. Signs for Chinese family and village associations dot the area. But at night it becomes a place where a growing number of homeless people look for a place to grab a night’s sleep on its quiet sidewalks and park benches.

The murders also highlight the city's struggle to combat the growing homeless population. According to statistics from the Bowery Mission cited by the Times, about 1 in 121 New Yorkers is homeless. The Coalition for the Homeless put the number of homeless people in the city’s shelter system in August at 61,674, and an annual count conducted in late January this year estimated that 3,588 people were living on the streets.

The Times noted Mayor de Blasio's "struggle" to address "the problem of the rising number of homeless people and the high rate of mental illness among them." The Post spoke with former Giuliani and Bloomberg administrators who said the growing, more violent homeless population in NYC "rests squarely with current City Hall policies."

“There’s been an increasing tolerance for the homeless on city streets, sidewalks and subway stations during this administration,” said Mitchell Moss, professor of urban policy at NYU and a former campaign advisor to Michael Bloomberg.

“The police are disempowered to remove the homeless — and New York has become less aggressive on quality-of-life issues. You used to be penalized for urinating on the street!”

As the Times reported, advocates for the homeless said yesterday's attacks "rattled the already struggling community of homeless people who frequent Chinatown and the Bowery."

Monday, September 2, 2019

Report: Man arrested for attempting to kidnap 5-year-old boy outside Katz's

The Post is reporting that a man was arrested after allegedly grabbing a 5-year-old boy on the sidewalk outside Katz's early yesterday morning.

There aren't many details at the moment. Per the Post:

Eric Visa, 46, approached the child as he was walking outside the famous Lower East Side eatery with his family shortly after midnight, according to law enforcement sources.

The creep, who was wearing a top hat, grabbed the boy and walked away before the mother noticed and chased him down, the sources said.

Visa was tracked down by police and arrested at about 3 a.m. He was charged with attempted kidnapping.

The Citizen app listed the address as 164 Ludlow St., which is near Stanton Street...

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Report: Homeless man stabbed to death over K2 beef in Sara D. Roosevelt Park

A 23-year-old homeless man, identified as Arturo Valdez, was fatally stabbed in Sara D. Roosevelt Park on Chrystie Street yesterday afternoon in a reported feud over the drug K2.

According to the Daily News, the suspect, Larry Fullewellen, 70, was arrested last evening at Port Authority. Fullewellen, who was still carrying a bloody knife, was charged with second-degree murder.

"This used to be a nice park," one witness told the Daily News. "The young kids come out here and play ball. They’re not thinking about K2 or murder."


The Lo-Down has more details here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Being the butt of something

Via a crime story in Town & Village today:

A man arrested for selling loosies in Union Square wound up facing far more serious charges when he didn’t do a good enough job hiding his stash and almost 60 envelopes of heroin fell from his butt crack when he bent over to be searched, police said.

Monday, January 25, 2016

[Updated] Woman has her face slashed on the 6 train at Bleecker Street this morning

The NYPD says a 71-year-old woman was slashed in the face while riding a southbound 6 train as it approached Bleecker Street around 7:15 a.m., according to published reports.

The injured woman, who told police that she did not know her attacker, was taken to Bellevue Hospital with a 4-inch laceration on the left side of her face.

The NYPD described the suspect as a light-skinned black or Hispanic 18-year-old man, wearing a red sweater and black sneakers, the Daily News reported. He reportedly fled the scene on board a southbound D train leaving the Broadway-Lafayette station.

Updated 1/26

Police released a sketch of the suspect... and noted that the attack happened on a downtown D train entering the Broadway-Lafayette station... and not the 6 arriving at Bleecker as originally reported in media outlets yesterday...

Gothamist has an update with video surveillance footage and relevant links here.

Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You may also submit tips online.

Updated 1/27

Police arrested 21-year-old Damon Knowles, of Brooklyn, in the assault.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Hole on the Roof Gang, perhaps?

Someone knocked off the Popular Community Bank on Delancey Street near Essex Street.

From the Post:

Daring thieves sawed a gaping hole in the roof of a bank on the Lower East Side on the Fourth of July — as rooftop revelers nearby were distracted by the fireworks show on the East River, police sources and witnesses said.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Just a feline fatale

Remember, in the summer of 2010, when a woman held up an Astor Place shoe store while wearing a cat mask? She was suspected in several other robberies around the city. Anyway, today, a judge sentenced her to 10 years in prison.

And the sentencing for 29-year-old Shana Spalding was as theatrical as you might suspect who wore a cat mask during a robbery. Per DNAinfo:

"I am not Catwoman!" Spalding shouted. She also told news photographers "Stop taking my picture, you bastards!"

As the media reported, she was the singer for a death metal band called Divine Infamy, who lives on via YouTube.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Summer crime season off to a credible start

Sunday, July 24, 2011

NYC crime rate is going up, but not really

This is part of the front page of the Post today ... Uh-oh!

According to the exclusive:

Through July 17, incidents of the seven major felonies are down only slightly -- 0.4 percent -- over the same period last year, dipping from 54,447 to 54,254. The annual tally has dropped every year since 1993.

Oh, so the crime rate is actually down. But! The article insists that it could get worse. Meanwhile, as the paper points out, since 1993, reports of "serious crime" — murder, rape, robbery, felony, etc. — have dropped from 430,460 to 105,115.

We looked at the CompState figures from the 9th Precinct, which covers East Houston Street to East 14th Street from Broadway to the East River. According to these statistics, crime complaints are down 2.93 percent from 2010.... down 69.08 percent since 1993. Not that we're buying all these crime stats anyway ....

Previously on EV Grieve:
Today in 'the bad old days may be here again' articles

The "bad old days" are here again story of the day

Trend alert! The bad old days are here again!

Are the "bad old days" here again...again?

The "bad old days" are here again story of the day

Monday, November 22, 2010

Prof thinks cops are cooking the crime books

From today's Wall Street Journal via Gothamist:

Even as New York City's overall crime rate drops for the 22nd straight year, murders, rapes and robberies are all on pace to show increases.

The New York Police Department and many outside experts say this one-year spike in violent crimes is well within natural statistical fluctuations.

Eli Silverman, a professor emeritus at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and co-author of a study challenging the accuracy of the NYPD's statistics, has a different explanation. He believes the police department is manipulating statistics by downgrading many property crimes to minor offenses that don't show up in the official crime rate. Violent crimes are much harder to downgrade and may be being reported more accurately, he says.

"They've made it [low crime] symbolic for all their achievements," said Mr. Silverman, "They've made it a selling point for tourism and business….They made it a narrative, a story and they can't deviate from that story. They're stuck in that story."

The NYPD denies this practice. Meanwhile, this revelation will likely mean the appearance of a "bad old days are here again" trends piece!

Previously on EV Grieve:
The "bad old days" are here again story of the day

Trend alert! The bad old days are here again!

Are the "bad old days" here again...again?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cat woman crime caper now more awesome

Purr (hahaha) the Post:

It wasn't a purr-fect crime after all.
Sources said last night that cops had caged the "Cat Lady," the serial stick-up artist who dons clever disguises — including a cat mask — to rob high-end boutiques around the city.
The suspect was identified as Shanna Spalding, 28, of Queens, who sings with a death-metal band called Divine Infamy under her stage name, Purgatory.

Among other things, she allegedly robbed the Arch shoe store on Astor Place, thus barely making this an item of interest to this site.

The band has a gig Saturday in Brooklyn too.

The Fallen Queen, In Forsaken Times by Divine Infamy

Previously on EV Grieve:
Summer crime season off to a credible start

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Post: More crime in 2010, and fewer cops

Early last Sunday morning, Bob Arihood captured a brutal brawl on Seventh Street and Avenue A that involved nearly 50 people. As noted at the time, one police car with two officers was available to respond to all this.

Today, the Post reports the following:

So far this calendar year, the number of New York City murders has jumped a scary 22 percent over the same period last year -- from 86 slayings up to 103 this year.

In addition to murders, the number of shootings has soared to 246 -- a 21.2 percent jump over the same period last year.

There are also more rapes, which are up 11.3 percent, and felony assaults, which have spiked nearly 6 percent. Burglaries have increased 3.6 percent.

Bloomberg noted that the total number of such crimes is "still very low" compared to the sky-high rates seen in years such as 1990, when murders hit an annual record of 2,245.

But he and others admit that the NYPD's shrinking manpower level -- from 41,000 cops in 2001 down to about 35,000 today -- could be playing a factor in the increased crime rates. The city expects to shed around 1,300 officers in the upcoming fiscal year through attrition, and also is threatening to lay off a whopping 3,150 cops if the state slashes related funding.

One top police official said, "There are just a lot less people out there . . .."

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Did you read about Cyrus R. Vance Jr.’s first day on the job yesterday? Per the Times:

The first indictment of Mr. Vance’s tenure as the Manhattan district attorney was of a pair of teenagers accused of swiping a brown handbag from a woman leaving a Dunkin’ Donuts in the East Village, according to court documents.

The article didn't mention which DD this happened at...

[Image via]

Thursday, January 14, 2010

LES crime watch: "if you ask around the neighborhood, you'll find a pretty strong perception that things have worsened over the past year"

At The Village Voice, Graham Rayman takes a comprehensive look at the crime stats in our "crime-free" city, particularly at the 9th Precinct and LES... Here are some excerpts from his article:

Compared to the high-crime years of the late '80s and early '90s, the Lower East Side has far fewer serious reported crimes, according to police statistics. Of the four precincts, only the 9th Precinct showed an overall increase in crime last year, with increases in assault, grand larceny, and rape, and a big jump in burglary. The 5th, 7th, and 13th precincts, meanwhile, all showed overall declines.

On the other hand, comparing 2008 to 2009, there were some increases here and there. Felony assaults in the 7th Precinct jumped by 40 percent last year. Grand larcenies increased, as did rapes. Assaults in the 5th Precinct were up compared to 2007. And the 13th Precinct saw a rise in burglaries.

The number of neighborhood kids 15 or younger sent to the city juvenile justice system rose from 38 in 2008 to 54 in 2009. Typically, about half of those admissions were on robbery or assault charges.

The Voice also obtained misdemeanor arrest numbers for the four precincts, which show overall increases from 2006 to 2008 — largely fueled by jumps in burglary and larceny offenses, along with a significant increase in low-level marijuana busts.

For example, misdemeanor arrests in the 9th Precinct jumped by almost 25 percent between 2006 and 2008, largely as a result of burglary and theft cases. Misdemeanor arrests in the 5th Precinct rose by about 20 percent, largely on theft offenses.

Overall, the numbers present a picture of relative order compared to the bad old days. But if you ask around the neighborhood, you'll find a pretty strong perception that things have worsened over the past year, particularly as a result of these loosely organized groups of teens and young men who identify with a given public housing project or city block.

"We certainly saw an upsurge in the past couple of years of the presence of gangs," says Matthew Guldin, a lifelong educator who retired as dean of students for a Lower East Side high school last June. "You knew it was there. I think some of it has to do with the economic downturn. The crisis always comes first in the poorest neighborhoods. With fewer jobs available for teens, parents being laid off, and schools and community agencies losing funding, there are fewer positive options available to engage teenagers during the after-school hours. And I think YouTube, MySpace, texting, the communications technology, exacerbates it."

Previously on EV Grieve:
9th Precinct sees slight increase in overall crime for year; 74 of 76 NYC police precincts see lower numbers

The Post notes a "90 PERCENT SURGE IN BURGLARIES" in the East Village

In response to recent violence in the East Village: Alphabet City Neighbors

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Everyone seems to be latching on to this "violent crimes are up" story

CBS-2 has coverage here.... And ABC-7 here....Full-on hysteria!

Post: Assaults on the rise in East Village, Lower East Side

According to the Post today:

Downtown Manhattan, the city's party mecca, has been hit by an alarming spike in vicious street violence.

Assaults in Greenwich Village lead the frightening upturn, with a whopping 43 percent increase so far this year compared with the same period in 2008. Other hot Manhattan neighborhoods tainted by the crime wave include TriBeCa, with a nearly 17 percent jump, and Gramercy, which has seen a 24 percent increase in assaults.

The danger zones also include the East Village from East 14th Street to Houston Street and the East River to Broadway, which has seen a 27.7 percent rise, from 47 to 60 assaults. The Lower East Side has experienced a whopping 30 percent hike in assaults.

Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne attributed the crime jump largely to the neighborhoods' huge restaurant and bar scenes, which attract large numbers of late-night revelers.

The accompanying chart in the Post is incorrect: The number for the East Village is 27.7 percents, not 42.9 percent.

Updated: Runnin' Scared notes that the Post is seeing a bigger crime increase than the NYPD. As Roy Edroso writes: "The Post is apparently using something other than CompStat figures, though: the latest for the East Village's 9th Precinct shows crime reports only up 4.44 percent year-to-date, and murders at zero. Reported rapes are up from three to five, robberies from 63 to 66, and felony assaults from 47 to 60."

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Ram-into-the-ATM-in-a-van bandit busted

As only the Post can report:

Cops who busted a dumb-as-chum crook suspected of trying to steal an ATM won't have trouble finding the loot from his previous heists -- he used his one call from the station house to contact a friend and blurt out: "Get all of the cash out from my mattress!" sources said yesterday.

The bizarre saga -- which included a dip in the East River -- began when Valentin Garcia attempted to swipe the cash machine outside a store at 23 Rutgers St. on the Lower East Side by knocking it from its foundation with his van, the sources said.

Cops said Garcia is also the prime suspect in a rash of other knock-over ATM thefts around the city, including the LES, in December and January.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

As hard as they tried, the Times couldn't find anyone to say Yes

Hasn't this story been done already?....From the Times today: As Hard Times Loom, Will New York’s Streets Get Meaner?


If a shrinking economy, soaring jobless claims and a troubled financial sector are not angst-producing enough, the threat of increased crime is leading many conversations toward a nagging and persistent question: Will the bad old days of record numbers of murders and ubiquitous street muggings be far behind?


Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, for his part, said he has heard this all before.

He said similar worries were being voiced as he took over in 2002 for a second stint as the city’s top police official: Things were headed in the wrong direction, the economy was devastated after Sept. 11, 2001, and there were predictions that crime would increase.

Instead, overall crime has dropped nearly 30 percent in the last seven years, he said, and in 2007 the lowest number of killings was recorded since the city started keeping what it considers reliable records, about four decades ago.

“There’s a lot of predictions that crime is going to go up as a result of the economic crisis,” Mr. Kelly said on Friday...

“The fact of the matter is that hasn’t happened,” Mr. Kelly said. “The fact is we’re down 14 percent, and we’re down in every category across the city.”

Hmm, well...I'm sure this story will be revisited in another month or so.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Report: Cops will be cracking down on petty crime

From today's Post:

After giving petty criminals a break, the NYPD summoned a dozen precinct commanders to Headquarters Friday to help focus efforts against aggressive beggars, squeegee men, hookers and illegal peddlers, The Post has learned.

Station-house bosses from Manhattan and The Bronx met with top brass and gave them reports on quality-of-life problems each is facing, according to sources familiar with the gathering.

The summit was called by Chief of Department Joseph Esposito after cops issued 7.1 percent fewer summonses for minor offenses in 2008 than in 2007, as The Post reported last month.

Early in the week, a unit from headquarters scouted the city looking for problem areas and taking photos. Then brass called the sitdown with precinct heads to hear from them.

They talked about petty crimes and misdemeanors that can drive the average New Yorker nuts -- street walkers, panhandlers who get in your face and homeless people who hang out at ATMs or fast-food joints.