Police Blotter, Week of July 14, 2016

The Upper West Side crime blotter

Battery fear fizzles

Half of Washington Square Park was cordoned off and the Bomb Squad was called in on Wed., July 6, after the contents of a man’s backpack apparently aroused the concerns of police.

Doris Diether, the veteran Community Board 2 member, said she observed that the eastern part of the park, from the Garibaldi statue to Washington Square East, was cordoned off with police tape on Wednesday around 10:30 a.m. The area was full of cops, she said, with six police cars and two Bomb Squad trucks.

“They descended on the park,” she said of the police. “They weren’t letting anyone go over there. Apparently, they arrested someone in Washington Square Park and he said he left a bomb there.”

Police said a man reported that his backpack had been stolen from him around 6:50 a.m. while he was sleeping on a bench inside the park near the children’s playground. The backpack contained tobacco, sunglasses, two AMC movie vouchers and MetroNorth train tickets.

A police spokesperson said the robber himself had put the battery inside the stolen bag — that it wasn’t something he taken from the victim. The spokesperson said it was not a car battery, but smaller, but did not precisely describe it.

The victim said when he awoke, he looked around the park and found the man with his bag. When he tried to get it back, the man punched him multiple times, causing lacerations and swelling.

According to police, the assailant said the victim told him, “I’m going to beat your a–. I’m from California,” then fled on foot. But police soon caught up with him.

According to the complaint filed by police with the Manhattan district attorney, the defendant said, “It’s my bag, and this guy tried to take it from me. I punched him out because he wouldn’t stop coming at me. I’m going to beat that fool’s a– when I get out of here.”

The perpetrator, 24, from Brooklyn, was charged with second-degree robbery and criminal possession of stolen property, plus unlawful possession of marijuana.

The police spokesperson did not have a record of anything the man might have said to cops upon his arrest. The D.A.’s complaint did not mention anything about the battery or a possible threat, and there was no related charge.


‘Armed’ robbery? Not

A woman exiting a cab Sunday night came across a seemingly dangerous duo.

On July 10 at 6:10 p.m., the victim got out of a taxi in front of 297 W. 12th St. A man and an unidentified person approached her displaying firearms and one of them said, “Give me the money.” The pair then fled on foot.

Police apprehended a 15-year-old male, Ashaun Estrada, who was found to be in possession of imitation pistols. He was arrested for felony robbery.

A person of “unknown gender” who stands around 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 125 pounds, with black shaved hair is still at large.

It wasn’t clear if the muggers actually stole any property from the victim.


A surveillance image of the alleged W. Ninth St. burglar.

Entry via the A/C

Police said that on Mon., July 11, at about 1:30 p.m., a robber gained access to a 28-year-old man’s apartment in the vicinity of Sixth Ave. and W. Ninth St. through a window after he pushed in an air conditioner.

The suspect then removed the victim’s tablet computer, a laptop computer and a pair of sunglasses and fled in an unknown direction.

Police released video and photos of the suspect from a surveillance camera installed inside the victim’s home.

The burglar is described as last seen wearing an orange T-shirt, a dark-colored knit cap and dark-colored sweatpants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-TIPS, or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.


Well, that bites

A 23-year-old woman tried to help another female get her property back from a thief but took some punishment for her efforts.

On Sun., July 10, at 8:25 p.m. on the southwest corner of Sixth Ave. and Bleecker St., after the woman attempted to get the property back, the perpetrator pulled her hair and bit her on the nose and hand. The victim suffered swelling and pain but refused medical attention.

Police arrested Casey Berrian, 39, for misdemeanor assault.


Mae Gray is missing.



Gone missing

Police are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing woman from the East Village and a missing man from the Lower East Side.

Police said Mae Gray, age 59, of 347 E. Fourth St., was last seen Sun., June 26, around 2 p.m. inside 200 W. 143rd St. She is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 275 pounds, with brown eyes and gray hair, and was last seen wearing a red T-shirt.

Armando Guerra is also missing.



Also reported missing is Armando Guerra, age 57, of 91 Pitt St. Police said he was last seen Tues., July 5, at 5:40 p.m. leaving his residence. Guerra is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 230 pounds, with a medium build, medium complexion and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a brown T-shirt, tan pants and white sneakers.

Anyone with information about either individual is asked to contact the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline.




Uber angry

On Tues., July 5, around 12:30 a.m., an Uber driver allegedly had a bad interaction with a pedestrian at the northwest corner of W. Houston and Washington Sts. Police said the guy on foot punched the passenger-side mirror of the Uber vehicle, causing it to break.

Francisco Sierra, 34, was arrested for misdemeanor criminal mischief.

— Emily Siegel and Lincoln Anderson