Volume 19 Issue 36 | January 19 - 25, 2007

Police Blotter

Subway death
A homeless man identified as José Montanez, 58, fell to his death beneath a moving No. 6 train just south of the Brooklyn Bridge station around 8 a.m. Mon. Jan. 15, police said. The victim apparently was standing between cars urinating when the train made a sharp curve at the end of the line. As the cars moved closer together, his head got pinched between them, flinging him onto the tracks. He was declared dead at the scene. Train service on the line was delayed for two hours, a Transit Authority spokesperson said.

Bank job
A man walked into the Chase bank branch on Broadway near Houston St. on Monday morning Jan. 8, passed a note demanding money from a teller and ran out with $2,000, according to police. The thief, described as being of medium height and build, was wearing a dark baseball cap, a black jacket with red and white stripes, jeans and dark sneakers.

Prostitution indictments
A Manhattan grand jury last week indicted a former New Jersey prosecutor, his law clerk and a former New Jersey state trooper for promoting prostitution, money laundering and conspiracy involving a Manhattan prostitution ring that operated out of a Worth St. office.

The Jan. 10 indictments arose from the two-year investigation of New York Confidential, an escort service on Worth St. Jason Itzler, manager of the Confidential, pleaded guilty last year to money laundering and attempted promotion of prostitution and is facing a one-and-a-half to three-year prison sentence.

The new indictments charge that Paul Bergrin, 51, a lawyer and former New Jersey local and federal prosecutor, James Cortopassi, 27, a clerk in his law office, and Hiram Ortiz, 41, a Bloomfield N.J. tavern owner and former state trooper, were involved in the conspiracy with Itzler.

Itzler had been on parole in New Jersey on drug charges when he was arrested in connection with the prostitution racket in 2005. Bergrin and Cortopassi were also charged with lying to the New Jersey Parole Board and to Criminal Court in Manhattan in order to get Itzler easier curfew restrictions to enable him to continue running New York Confidential.

Cortopassi was arraigned Jan. 12, pleaded not guilty and was freed on $150,000 bail. Bergrin pleaded not guilty on Jan. 16 and bail was set at $500,000 bond. Ortiz pleaded guilty on Jan. 17 and bail was set at $100,000.

Hudson Sq. burglary
A member of S R & T Architects, 20 Renwick St., told police that someone entered the office shortly before 4 p.m. Fri. Jan. 5 while the staff was in a meeting room and made off with an Apple laptop computer valued at $3,500.

Sleeper cell
A Brooklyn man returning home at 6 a.m. Sun. Jan. 14 on an A train after a night of drinking woke up at the Chambers St. station and discovered that his pants pocket had been cut and his cell phone, valued at $600 had been taken, police said.

High theft
An employee of ACE USA, the insurance company on the 41st floor of 140 Broadway, told police that she discovered an IBM laptop computer, valued at $1,450, missing from her workstation at 11 a.m. Tues. Jan. 16. There was no evidence of forced entry or damage to the door of the office, which has 24-hour security and requires a card key for entry, police said.

Unattended bag
A patron of Ken’s Broome Street Bar at the corner of W. Broadway discovered that someone had taken her wallet from her bag sometime between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Tues. Jan. 9, police said. The 70-year-old Brooklyn woman told police the bag was on the floor at her feet while she was in the place and she did not see anyone take the wallet, which had $50 in cash, personal documents and credit cards.

— Albert Amateau

Forbidden store
An employee at the Duane Reade store on the ground floor of 67 Broad St stopped a man from trying to leave the place at 12:30 p.m. Fri. Jan. 12 without paying for $132 worth of cosmetics in a white plastic bag he was carrying, police said. The suspect, Anthony Carter, 50, was charged with burglary rather than a lesser larceny offence because he had previously signed a trespass agreement barring him from any Duane Reade location, police said.

Surprise charges
A resident of 100 Sullivan St. told police that a collection agency phoned her shortly after 3:30 p.m. Wed. Jan. 10 demanding $2,600 for a credit card charge that she did not make. Her credit card was not missing and the collection agency told her that the account at the out-of-town store claiming the charge had been established back in 2001, police said.

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