Police Blotter, Week of Jan. 1, 2015 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Police Blotter, Week of Jan. 1, 2015

Smith Houses homicide
On Sun., Dec. 28, about 7:10 p.m., police responded to a 911 call of a male shot at 78 Catherine St. Upon arrival, officers found a 31-year-old male shot in the head outside of the location, which is in the Al Smith Houses, just north of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Emergency medics responded and pronounced the victim DOA at the scene. No arrest has been made and the investigation is ongoing.

The man was identified as Rashaun Nicholson, of 54 Catherine St. According to the Daily News, Nicholson had been carrying a bag with Christmas gifts for his wife and children when he was killed. His brother Kevin said Rashaun had been shot in the back of the head by an unknown gunman. A motive for the murder was not immediately clear.

A screen grab from a surveillance video provided by police, showing the alleged attempted-rape suspect inside the E. Sixth St. building.

A screen grab from a surveillance video provided by police, showing the alleged attempted-rape suspect inside the E. Sixth St. building.

E. 6th rape attempt
Police are seeking the public’s assistance in locating and identifying a male suspect wanted in connection with an attempted rape in the East Village on the morning of Sun., Dec. 28.

On that date at around 6:06 a.m., the suspect followed a 22-year-old woman into an apartment building on E. Sixth St. and sexually assaulted her in the stairwell. The victim sustained minor injuries and was transported to Beth Israel Hospital in stable condition, according to police.

The suspect is described as dark-skinned, around age 25, weighing about 180 pounds, with short-cut hair, wearing a dark baseball cap, black bubble jacket, blue jeans and black sneakers.

On Wed., Dec. 31, police announced that the suspect is now being linked to another incident in the Ninth Precinct, forming a pattern.

According to police, on Tues., Dec. 16, at around 12:45 a.m., a 19-year-old woman was walking into an elevator in the lobby of a building on F.D.R. Drive when the suspect entered behind her and grabbed her buttocks and breasts and attempted to forcibly kiss her. A struggle ensued and the victim fled the elevator and the building, with the suspect grabbing her buttocks again before fleeing the location. Police said the man was wearing a Yankees hat.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline, at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  People can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES), then entering TIP577. All tips are strictly confidential.

Big restaurant takeout
Cy Vance, Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, on Tues., Dec. 30, announced the indictment of John McKee, 40, a financial consultant, for embezzling more than $250,000 from three West Village restaurants: Whitehall, Agave and Highlands.

McKee was charged in New York State Supreme Court with multiple counts of grand larceny in the second degree and one count of scheme to defraud in the first degree.

According to the indictment and statements made in court, between March 2012 and August 2014, McKee, who owns an accounting company called Bambina Magra, was hired as a financial consultant by Whitehall, at 19 Greenwich Ave.; Highlands, at 150 W. 10th St.; and Agave, at 140 Seventh Ave. South.

He was authorized to write and sign checks to restaurant vendors and to his own company for compensation. McKee, however, allegedly stole tens of thousands of dollars by depositing unauthorized checks in excess of his prearranged fees into his company’s account. McKee is also charged with diverting and depositing checks made out to his clients’ vendors and checks written by outside parties to the Bambina Magra account, which he controlled.

As a result of McKee’s alleged conduct, more than $72,000 worth of payments to or from Whitehall, more than $80,000 worth of payments to or from Highlands, and roughly $102,000 worth of payments to or from Agave were deposited into the Bambina Magra account without authorization, totaling nearly $255,000 in theft.

The investigation is ongoing.

— Lincoln Anderson