downtownexpress.com
Volume 19 Issue 34 | January 5 - 11, 2007

Police Blotter

Exploding manholes
Fire in electrical cables under W. Houston St. between Thompson and MacDougal Sts. triggered explosions that sent three manhole covers flying into the air in quick succession and rocked nearby buildings at 6 p.m. Thursday evening Dec. 28, a Con Edison spokesperson said.

A passerby who was running on MacDougal St. as she fled the explosion site was cut by glass from a second story window at 47 MacDougal St. shattered by the blast. She was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital with a severed tendon in her left hand.

The first manhole flew about 30 feet above the street and landed in the Houston St. median, witnesses said. A Con Ed worker at the scene said that half of the manhole’s rim, which is embedded in the street, was blown out of the ground — something he had never seen before.

Power was out for about three hours on the east side of Sullivan St. between Houston and Prince Sts., said Ian Dutton, a resident of the block. “The Sixth Precinct went door to door on the block even though it’s outside of their district checking up on seniors who might need help or if anyone was stuck in elevators,” Dutton said.


Uptown express robber
A Bronx resident fell asleep on a No. 4 train on his way home Saturday morning Dec. 30 and woke up at the Fulton Nassau St. station at 7 a.m. to discover that his wallet was missing with $51 in cash, his New York State non-driver ID and his college identification, police said.


Grand grand larceny
A man who tried to take possession of the $76 million Soho Grand Hotel by filing a phony deed to the property was charged with attempted grand larceny on Fri. Dec. 29, according to the city Department of Investigation and the office of District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

Kouadio Kouassi, 46, of Chester N.Y., was arraigned on first degree attempted grand larceny and two counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. He is being held in lieu of bail pending a Jan. 29 court appearance.

Employees of the New York County Clerk’s Office and the city Department of Finance charge that Kouassi submitted documents on Nov. 22 to their offices to establish an interest in the property at 310 W. Broadway. But the documents, purporting to certify that the Hartz Group had transferred ownership of the hotel to Kouassi, were not accepted because they lacked some necessary signatures.

Most deeds are filed by lawyers and title companies, so documents filed by individuals are scrutinized for irregularities, according to newspaper reports. Representatives for the Hartz Group told the city they never heard of Kouassi and certainly did not sell him the 340-room hotel.

Department of Investigation officials said Kouassi made at least five attempts to file the false papers before he was arrested last week.


New acquaintance be forgot
A Brooklyn resident told police that a man he had met while celebrating New Years Eve in Lower Manhattan took his wallet at 3:10 a.m. when the two of them reached the northwest corner of Varick and Canal Sts. The victim, 36, said the new acquaintance ran off with his Diesel wallet, his passport and green card and social security card.


City cell stolen
A man who works for the Administration for Children’s Services at 150 William St. told police he discovered his A.C.S. cell phone missing when he returned to the office from lunch on Thurs. Dec. 21. The man called the cell phone number and a woman answered but hung up when he began asking questions, police said.

-- Albert Amateau

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