Volume 19 • Issue 15 | August 25 - 31, 2006

Police Blotter

Close W. Chelsea club
The New York Police Department’s Legal Bureau closed Spirit, at 530 W. 27 St., on Fri. Aug. 25 after the club racked up 10 alcohol and drug violations in the past six months since it reopened after being closed in March for allowing underage drinking and narcotics use on the premises.

The club, one of the largest in West Chelsea with a capacity for more than 1,500 patrons, had been allowed to reopen after stipulating that it would not permit drug use or sale or underage alcohol consumption on the premises.

Spirit also agreed that its bouncers would hold drug violators until police came to arrest them and would allow an independent monitor to mandate security guards to be posted outside the club on Saturdays.

Since the reopening, however, police said there have been three instances of underage drinking, three instances of marijuana being smoked openly, one arrest for buying cocaine, one arrest for cocaine use, one arrest for buying Ecstasy and one arrest for the use of Ecstasy.

John Blair, owner of Spirit and a Community Board 4 member, was not available for comment at press time. But a spokesperson said Spirit would reopen.

Village murder
Police on Tuesday arrested a suspect in the murder of a former Rudy Giuliani aide who was found choked to death in his bed in his apartment at 23 E. 10th St. on Monday evening Aug. 21.

The victim, Martin Barreto, 48, an out gay man who worked in the mayoral press office from 1994 to 1995, was found naked in his bed with KY Jelly and a condom next to his body. The building doorman and the superintendent found Barreto’s body after his public relations business partner, Roxanna Brightwell, reported that he had not been answering his phone.

Police arrested Edwin Ramos, 26, at 30th St. and Lexington Ave. just before 4 p.m. on Aug. 29, and charged him with murder.

“He’s homeless. The two had met near the victim’s apartment, they went back to the apartment together and the victim was eventually killed,” said Detective Kevin Czartoryski, a police spokesperson.

“He was still using the victim’s cell phone,” said a police source, explaining that triangulation with cell phone antennas pinpointed Ramos’s location.

A few years ago, Barreto had filed harassment complaints against a former boyfriend who is not a suspect in the case, according to law enforcement sources. Nothing was taken from the apartment and investigators are working on the possibility that the death was the result of sex gone violently out of control.

Barreto, a former journalist and native of Nicaragua, has family connections with the former Nicaraguan president, Violeta Barros de Chamorro, according to the New York Post. He attended prep school in New England and graduated from Brown University.

Ponder more charges
Draymond Coleman, 36, charged with the rape and murder on July 25 of Jennifer Moore, 18, who was last seen alive on the West Side Highway after a night of drinking in the Guest House, a West Chelsea club, is also the subject of a New York City police investigation of the murder the week before of a 16-year-old Bedford-Stuyvesant girl, according to daily newspaper reports.

Albert Amateau


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