Police Blotter, Week of April 20, 2017

The Upper West Side crime blotter

Etan case sentence

On Tues., April 18, Cy Vance, Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, announced the sentencing of Pedro Hernandez, 56, to 25 years to life in state prison for kidnapping and murdering 6-year-old Etan Patz in Soho in 1979.

The little boy disappeared while walking by himself a few blocks along Prince St. to a school bus stop on West Broadway.

On Feb. 14 of this year, Hernandez was convicted in New York State Supreme Court of one count each of second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping.

“When Etan did not come home on the afternoon of May 25, 1979, the Patz family was changed forever,” Vance said. “In the intervening years, they did not know where Etan was — whether he was dead or alive, whether he was being abused, or whether he knew that his parents and the police never stopped looking for him.

“We, as New Yorkers and as a community of families all over the United States, were also changed forever. Through this painful and utterly horrific real-life story, we came to realize how easily our children could disappear, ripped away from us right in our own neighborhoods.

“Today, the living embodiment of that nightmare — Pedro Hernandez, the person that a jury unanimously convicted of killing Etan Patz 38 years ago — is being sent to prison for the maximum sentence possible.”

Vance thanked the detectives and prosecutors on the case, as well as the jurors and the judge who went through the long trial. A previous trial of Hernandez had ended in a hung jury when one juror refused to vote to convict him.

“Most of all, however, I would like to thank the Patz family for their strength and fortitude throughout this process,” Vance said. “From the very day their son went missing, they have been their child’s strongest advocate, ensuring that Etan and other missing children were never forgotten.”

Stanley and Julie Patz were in court on Tuesday for the sentencing. According to the New York Post, Etan’s farther told Hernandez, “After all these years, we finally know what dark secret you kept locked in your heart. You took our precious child and threw him in the garbage. I will never forgive you. The god you pray to will never forgive you. You are the monster in your nightmares and will join your father in hell.”

Hernandez was working as a clerk at a bodega on the corner of West Broadway and Prince St., when, according to prosecutors, he lured Etan Patz into the basement of the convenience store near his bus stop with the promise of a soda.

According to Hernandez’s initial confession, which he later recanted, inside the basement, he choked the child until he went limp, then placed the boy’s body in a plastic garbage bag that he concealed inside a cardboard box. He then carried the box containing Etan’s body out of the basement and left it with the trash in the alley of a nearby building on Thompson St., a little more than one block away.

In 2012, a relative’s tip led law enforcement to Hernandez, who was living in Maple Shade, N.J. The suspect had told family members and church group friends over the years that he had killed a child years earlier.

Hernandez’s attorney, Harvey Fishbein, has vowed to appeal the verdict. There was no hard evidence connecting Hernandez to Etan’s disappearance, and the suspect has a low I.Q. and hallucinates, the attorney has argued. Another suspect, Jose Ramos, who is serving time for child sex abuse, is the guilty one, Fishbein maintains.

“Pedro Hernandez is an innocent man and is not the answer as to what caused Etan Patz to disappear in 1979,” Fishbein said the day before the sentencing, as reported by the Daily News. “An unfair process resulted in an unjust verdict — we are confident that the system will correct itself during the appeal process.”


Arrest in F attack

Police arrested an East Village man over the weekend in a frightening attack across town two days earlier on a young actress in the subway station at 14th St. and Sixth Ave.

On Sunday at 3 a.m., police collared Kimani, Stephenson, 24, of 709 F.D.R. Drive, at E. Fifth St. and Avenue D, in the Lillian Wald Houses, and charged him with attempted murder, assault and sex abuse.

Police said that on Fri., April 14, at 4:20 a.m., a 22-year-old woman was on the northbound F / M platform when she was approached by who touched her chest and groin area. When she confronted him, he pushed her, causing her to fall onto the train tracks.

The victim was pulled to safety by a good samaritan. The attacker — who had a construction helmet dangling from his backpack — fled the station.

E.M.S. transported the woman to a hospital for treatment of injuries to her left wrist, leg and shoulder.


Extra helping

An employee at Taboonette restaurant, at 30 E. 13th St., was arrested for felony grand larceny on Tues., April 11.

On the morning of March 19, a 55-year-old man from the restaurant went to the Sixth Precinct to report that the employee had failed to deposit the business’s money in the bank and had not returned in a week, and was refusing to answer phone calls, text messages or e-mails.

Security cameras reportedly showed the suspect putting the place’s cash into her handbag on several occasions without permission to do so.

Melissa Pichardo, 20 — who sports a “Life Is Not Practice” arm tattoo — was arrested and charged with stealing $2,000 from the eatery.


Wrong car!

A car stripper targeted the wrong person’s ride when he went to work on it around 11 p.m. in front of 109 MacDougal St. late in the evening on Wed., April 12. It was a 25-year-old Sixth Precinct officer’s civilian car.

Manuel Perez, 25, was busted for felony auto stripping.


Naughty dread

A big guy stole another man’s cash in front of 199 MacDougal St. on Wed., April 12, at 1:28 a.m., but he didn’t hang on to the loot for long.

Police said the imposing suspect, standing 6 foot 5 with long dreadlocks, approached another man and asked for money. The two men were strangers to each other. The victim took out his wallet and the suspect promptly swiped $200 from his hand, pushed him and fled.

An officer who stated that he observed the incident arrested the thief and recovered the cash from him. Conrad Griffin, 51, was arrested for grand larceny.


Forsyth body

Police responding to a 911 call found an unidentified man who was unconscious and unresponsive at Forsyth and Broome Sts. on Thurs., April 13, at 10:48 a.m.

E.M.S. pronounced the man dead at the scene. The Medical Examiner will determine cause of death and the investigation is ongoing.


Lincoln Anderson