Elderly woman raped
An unknown intruder ambushed a woman, 88, in her Pike St. building on Wed. June 8, forced her inside and raped her, police said. The suspect, described only as a Hispanic man, stole $200 from the apartment before fleeing with an accomplice who is believed to have entered the apartment about 10 a.m. while the attack was in progress.
The victim, described in newspaper reports as a frail Asian immigrant with limited command of English, was taken to St. Vincents Hospital and released later the same day.
Neighbors said the lock on the front door of the building where the victim lived across from the Rutgers Houses had been broken since the beginning of the year. The victim had arrived at her door and noticed the lock broken when the attacker came down the stairway from the roof and forced her into the apartment. Police are asking anyone with information to phone 800-577-TIPS.
Soho students arrested
A group of students from Chelsea Vocational High School at 131 Sixth Ave. went on what neighbors described as a rampage on Monday morning June 13, roughing up the owner of a Thompson St. convenience store, beating two employees of another store and harassing pedestrians at random. First Precinct police responded and made three arrests.
The incident began shortly after 10 a.m. when about a dozen teenage male students went into the convenience store between Broome and Spring Sts., harassed the employees and hit the owner when he told them to leave, police said.
Two employees from Porto Rico Importing, a coffee and tea retailer across the street, who came to help the convenience store clerks, were beaten. Capt. Anthony Bologna, newly appointed commanding officer of the First Precinct, said that three of the students were charged with misdemeanor assault.
Sean Sweeney, director of the Soho Alliance, a neighborhood civic organization, said that at one point, some of the youths grabbed shovels from a Department of Parks truck parked at Vesuvio Playground and then ran on the tops and hoods of cars parked at the curb along Thompson St. Truant students from Chelsea Vocational frequent Vesuvio playground on Thompson St. at the corner of Spring St. and often disrupt the neighborhood, Sweeney said.
Councilmember Alan Gerson said on Tuesday that he had spoken to police on Monday about maintaining a presence in the neighborhood to prevent a repetition of the incident. They promised to patrol the area with more police and members of the police truancy squad, Gerson said.
Weve had trouble there when I was on Community Board 2 [four years ago] but no violence until yesterday, said Gerson, whose council district borders the east side of Thompson St. Ive spoken to [Councilmember] Christine Quinn whose district is on the west side of Thompson St. and were planning to meet with the principal of Chelsea Vocational and the First Precinct. Gerson said.
Gerson added that at the end of May, neighbors of Murry Bergtraum High School on the east side of Lower Manhattan complained about rowdy students. The First Precinct responded with an added patrol, Gerson recalled.
None of the victims would comment on the rampage. An employee of Porto Rico Importing said, We have to live with these kids and were trying to keep things calm.
Timothy Timberlake, principal of the school, did not return phone calls asking for comment. Despite its name, the school is not in Chelsea.
Body found in lobby
Responding to a report of a man unconscious in the lobby of 52 Broadway at Exchange Pl. at 1:15 p.m. Sat. June 11, police found a man described only as white and in his 30s. He was declared dead at the scene and there was no sign of trauma. The Medical Examiners office is investigating the cause of death.