Police Blotter, Week of Nov. 7, 2013

Student rescued  from shaft
A New York University student was saved from a life-threatening jam on the evening of Nov. 3, when firefighters pulled him out of the narrow shaft between his Tribeca dormitory and an adjacent building.

Asher Vongtau, 19, had fallen into the one foot-wide shaft next to the 80 Lafayette St. dorm, and was trapped there for nearly 36 hours, Fire Department officials said.

A Fire Department battalion chief later told the New York Times that he had never seen a situation quite like it before, and that he “doesn’t know how [Vongtau] lasted.”

Firefighters arrived on the scene shortly after 5 p.m. and had to break through the adjoining building’s cinder block wall to pull Vongtau out of the gap, in a process that took about 90 minutes, officials said.

Vongtau was immediately transported to Bellevue Hospital, where he was in serious condition and received treatment for a fractured skull, a broken arm and a collapsed lung, according to a Fire Department spokesperson.

It is still unclear how Vongtau fell out of the dorm and became trapped in the tiny space.

Bowling Green beating
A Brooklyn public housing resident was beaten and robbed by four men just outside Battery Park early on Nov. 2, police said.

A witness told cops that he saw the man — whose age was not released — walking out of the Bowling Green subway station around 2 a.m., when four men wearing baseball caps ambushed him, knocked him down and began kicking and punching him.

Police said the aggressors stole the fallen man’s cell phone, as well as $40 in cash from his wallet, before fleeing the scene. The muggers were gone by the time police arrived.

The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital and treated for minor injuries. Police said that he was intoxicated at the time of the incident, and could not clearly explain what had happened or provide an accurate description of his attackers.

Shirt snatcher
An unknown shoplifter stole over $2,000 worth of clothing from a trendy Tribeca outlet on Nov. 2, police said.

An employee at Anthropologie, at 375 West Broadway, said that she caught a glimpse of the suspect — she apparently couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman — as the thief walked into the store shortly before noon that day. She said the thief grabbed 24 lace shirts, each priced at around $90, off a rack and immediately bolted out the door.

Purse theft
A purse thief struck at a McDonald’s in the Civic Center on Nov. 4, police said.

A 50-year-old woman told cops that she walked into the fast food joint at 317 Broadway shortly before noon on Monday, and placed her bag on a table after sitting down. When she walked back to the counter to pick up her food, she looked back and saw an unknown man grabbing the purse and running out the door.

The woman cancelled her credit cards, but said that the bag had unfortunately contained both her driver’s license and $400 in cash.

Police conducted a canvass that day to search for the alleged thief, but said it was unsuccessful.

Wallet woes
A man got a rude awakening on Oct. 26 after forgetfully leaving his wallet at a clothing shop near the South Street Seaport.

The 19-year-old told police that he bought some items in Abercrombie & Fitch, at 199 Water St. around 9:30 p.m., and realized several minutes after leaving the store that he had left his wallet sitting on the counter.

Upon returning to the scene the wallet was nowhere to be found, and on the following day the unfortunate man learned that a $200 purchase had been made on his credit card.

The man didn’t report the incident until Nov. 4, and police have no description of the thief.

— Sam Spokony