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Suspect confesses to hammer attack, but pleads not guilty
Douglas Epp, 43, pled not guilty to attempted murder, assault and weapons charges on Tues., Aug. 28, nearly a month after he allegedly attacked a Spanish tourist with a hammer in City Hall Park. Epp had confessed to committing the July 30 crime prior to the hearing, according to court documents released by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. “[The Spanish tourists] called me gay and a Nazi,” Epp told police in a statement recorded the evening of July 30. “Something inside me snapped, and I grabbed the hammer and attacked the male. This is not my demeanor, and I am ashamed that this altercation occurred.”
A couple from out of town was eating lunch in City Hall Park on the day of the attack, according to the court documents, when Epp allegedly approached them and began hitting the man, Hugo Alejandre, with a hammer he had found underneath a park bench. Epp was charged with second-degree attempted murder and two counts of assault for the attack on Alejandre, as well as another count of assault for injuries to Alejandre’s girlfriend, Nuria Campama. He was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon.
The indictment forms released by the D.A.’s office, dated Aug. 9, state Epp’s name as John Yoos, the name he originally gave to police upon arrest. Prosecutors subsequently amended the indictment after learning that this was not his real identity.
Man killed in Broad St. truck accident
A Queens man was killed on Thurs., Aug. 23 after the driver of a New York Stock Exchange security vehicle suddenly accelerated and hit him on the sidewalk outside 45 Broad St. Police said that at around 1:30 p.m., the driver of the vehicle, a Honda pickup truck, was moving forward to allow another car to pass when he accidentally jumped the curb and struck Sorel Deps-Medina, 70, who happened to be eating lunch outside the building.
Deps-Medina was rushed to New York Downtown Hospital by paramedics, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Two other people at the scene, a 62-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman, sustained minor injuries and were hospitalized in stable condition.
The driver of the truck, a 50-year-old man, was not injured. An investigation into the circumstances of the accident is ongoing, but no criminality is suspected at this time and no arrests have been made, police said.
9/11 drunk dialer arrested
Jason Golub, 40, was arrested on Mon., Aug. 27 for falsely reporting an incident, nearly two months after he called 911 and joked about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks while intoxicated. Golub made the call from his cell phone at the corner of Cortlandt and Church Streets at around 4 a.m. on July 9, as reported by the New York Post.
According to the Manhattan Criminal Court complaint cited in the Post, Golub told the 911 operator, “There are airplanes flying into the World Trade Center! I need assistance at the World Trade Center!” He also said, “I called President Bush! I want to be connected to the government!” Golub told police that he didn’t remember making the call, but also told them, “I get drunk a few times a week, so I guess I could have done it,” according to the Post.
Bra and panty thief
Police are on the hunt for a man who stole more than $2,000 worth of lingerie and clothing from Victoria’s Secret at 565 Broadway on Sun., Aug. 26.
A female employee of the store said that the thief, whom she described only as a black man, walked through the front door at around noon while carrying a large black shopping bag. He proceeded to fill the bag with 30 bras collectively valued at $1,185; 30 pairs of panties valued at $435; eight sweatshirts valued at $372; and eight T-shirts valued at $140. After, the man left the store through the main entrance and then fled in an unknown direction.
Should’ve brought a lock
A woman, 27, told police she was a victim of grand larceny while working out at the New York Sports Club at 503 Broadway on Sun., Aug. 26.
She said that, before exercising at around 11 a.m. that day, she left her belongings in a gym locker without locking it. When the woman returned from her workout, all of the property had been stolen. The missing goods included a $200 iPod Nano, a $400 Samsung Galaxy 3 cell phone, her car and apartment keys, $400 in cash and three credit cards, all of which were cancelled before any unauthorized use could take place. The general manager of the N.Y.S.C. told police that no one had been allowed into the gym without proof of membership.
Phantom phone theft
A woman, 28, told police that, while walking past the corner of Spring Street and Sixth Avenue on Fri., Aug. 24, she realized her phone had been stolen.
The woman said she was sure she had secured the iPhone 4S, which she valued at $650, in her purse. But at around noon that day, after walking up Sixth Avenue for about 20 minutes, she discovered that the phone was gone. Using the “iFind” app, the woman was able to track the phone to its last known location at 500 Eighth Ave., but neither the perpetrator nor the phone has been found.
Don’t leave it unattended
Police are searching for a thief who stole a suitcase full of more than $1,000 in goods from the front of a Hudson Street apartment building on Sun., Aug. 19.
A tenant of the 282 Hudson St. building alleged she left the suitcase outside unattended while walking up to her apartment. When the woman, 54, returned 15 minutes later, the valise was gone, along with the belongings she had stowed inside it. The stolen goods included a $500 iPad, several shirts valued at $275, jewelry valued at $175, and the suitcase itself, which she valued at $160. The woman attempted to track the thief using her iPad, but it had already been turned off and wasn’t found.
— By Sam Spokony