Police Blotter, Week of Dec. 13-19, 2012
Arrest in senior mugging
On Wednesday, police at the Sixth Precinct were reported to be interrogating a suspect in the violent mugging of a Greenwich Villager senior, 85, in a push-in assault in her building’s elevator.
The suspect, 33, was arrested after security at Stuyvesant Town spotted him hanging around the area around 10:10 p.m. Tuesday. Police said the man matched the description of the mugger in the robbery of Yvonne Sherwell-Demakopoulos on the night of Sat., Dec. 8, at her building on 13th St. near Eighth Ave.
Sherwell-Demakopoulos, a former Shakespearean actress, told police that the hulking attacker, who had already been waiting inside the building’s lobby, followed her into the elevator around 11 p.m., where he pushed her down and took her handbag. The man then also forced Sherwell-Demakopoulos to hand over her wedding ring — which was the most crushing blow for the woman, whose husband, Christos Demakopoulos, 80, is nearing his final days in a nursing after suffering a recent stroke.
The suspect was caught on security video footage. Neighbors later told police that they believed the crook may have followed a resident into the building before Sherwell-Demakopoulos entered.
The disturbing crime put neighborhood residents on alert. State Senator-elect Brad Hoylman — who will take office to replace Tom Duane in less than a month — took to the streets Tuesday night to inform residents of the police’s search for the mugger. Hoylman stood on the corner of W. 14th St. and Eighth Ave., along with several aides, handing out fliers that described the crime and showed an image and description of the perpetrator.
According to WBAC, the suspect is believed to have mugged at least four other women, both young and old, sometimes using a gun, in the East Village and Far Rockaway. In the most recent robbery, the suspect reportedly was caught on a security camera stealing the purse of a woman, 22, at gunpoint in Gramercy.
Repaid with robbery
A 44-year-old man told police that as he was walking toward a Chase A.T.M. on W. Fourth St. near Grove St., around 4 p.m. on Dec. 9, an unknown man — later identified as Yester Canelas, 31 — approached him and asked for money. The unsuspecting man then handed over a dollar’s worth of change to Canelas and proceeded to the A.T.M.
But as the man was punching the buttons to get his cash, Canelas snuck up behind him and hit him on the back of the head, according to the police report. And when the victim’s $20 bill came out of the machine, Canelas tried to push the man away and grab the green for himself.
Fortunately, as they were struggling over the bill, two bystanders — a 27-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman — came to the victim’s aid and helped fend off the attacker off until police arrived. Canelas was charged with robbery, but he couldn’t be interviewed after the crime because police said he was “acting irrationally,” and had to be taken to Beth Israel Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
Credit card swipe
Madame X, on West Houston St., promotes itself as the city’s sexiest bar — but on Sat., Dec. 8, one female patron was probably turned off after a thief snatched her credit card and used it to buy himself a few drinks.
The woman left her purse momentarily unattended on a barstool around 3 a.m., and the satchel was quickly seized by Moussa Diarrassouba, 37, police said. The opportunistic crook then fished through the bag, pulled the card from her wallet, and subsequently threw out both the bag and wallet to eliminate the evidence — or so he thought.
Diarrassouba used the stolen credit card to pay his tab for the night, but the bartender got wise shortly afterward and reported the shady activity. Police arrived on the scene shortly after that, and charged Diarrassouba with grand larceny and forgery.
Police busted a burglar who tried lifting a printer from a commercial building in the Meatpacking District early on Dec. 8.
A witness called police around 5:30 a.m. to report that they’d spotted a man, later identified as Frank Rosado, Jr., 43, inside the building at 15 Little W. 12th St., carrying a printer that apparently didn’t belong to him. After arriving on the scene, officers quickly arrested Rosado for burglary. They also charged him with criminal possession of a controlled substance after they found alleged cocaine, along with a rolled-up dollar bill in his pocket. On top of that, in another pocket the officers discovered a car key that, upon further investigation, also didn’t belong to Rosado — so he was also charged with criminal possession of stole property.
A night of drinking on Fri., Dec. 7, ended in handcuffs for a man who decided to take out his frustration on the bartender.
Fredrik Gustafsson, 30, was creating a disturbance inside Thunder Jackson’s bar, at 169 Bleecker St., around 11:30 p.m., witnesses told police, and after the ruckus became too great, he was asked several times to leave. But Gustafsson refused, and began threatening the bar’s staff, eventually telling a bartender, “I will kick your ass,” while brandishing his fists, according to the employee’s testimony.
Multiple bar employees worked together to toss Gustafsson out of the establishment and onto the street, where cops picked him up and charged him with menacing.
Police have arrested a former West Village restaurant employee for grand larceny about a month after he allegedly stole more than $3,000 from the establishment while working.
The owner of Gizzi’s, at 16 W. Eighth St., reported the theft after it occurred on Nov. 12, around 1 a.m. Once he’d checked the restaurant’s security cameras, he then told police that he believed it was an employee, Raul Colon, 42, who took the cash from behind the bar, as well as an upstairs office, before disappearing.
Using the video footage to confirm the perpetrator’s identity, officers searched for Colon, and eventually nabbed him on Dec. 6.