Volume 20, Number 41 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | Feb. 22 - 28 , 2008

Police Blotter

Driver arrested for rape
An unlicensed livery car driver, arrested on Feb. 17 for the rape and sexual assault of two women he picked up in West Chelsea, is also a suspect in two rapes last year of women who were picked up in front of The Box, a Lower East Side club.

Police arrested Torkieh Sadagheh, 28, for trying to rape a stripper at Scores, 536 W. 28th St. during the early hours of Sun. Feb. 17. The stripper, Monica Maneiro, 23, got into what she thought was a livery car around 4 a.m. after work and was surprised when the driver got into the back seat, put his hand over her mouth and lay on top of her, police said. Maneiro managed to open the door, get out of the car and run, according to reports, but she noticed the car’s license plate number and phoned 911 to report the incident and the number.

“At the precinct, I was crying,” Maneiro told the Daily News. “I was scared. I’m still scared.”

An hour later, police said, the defendant picked up three other women near Scores, drove two of them to their homes and then stopped on 86th St. at Amsterdam Ave., got into the back seat and raped and sodomized the remaining passenger, 23. That victim also remembered the license number as the car drove off and notified police from Bellevue Hospital where she was being treated.

Police arrested Sadagheh at his Gravesend, Brooklyn, home. Police said the defendant at first admitted the Feb. 17 attacks and also confessed to the rapes last year of the two women he picked up in front of The Box at 189 Chrystie St. One victim was raped on Sept. 20 and the other on Oct. 27.

Sadagheh later recanted all the confessions. He was charged with rape and sexual abuse in connection with the two Feb. 17 incidents. The women victimized on the Lower East Side could not pick Sadagheh out of a lineup and he was not charged in those incidents.

Police Plaza thefts
Police Internal Affairs Bureau officers arrested Marcia Sims, 49, an administrative assistant in the Telecommunications Unit at One Police Plaza on Thurs. Feb. 14 and charged her with stealing nine police cell phones and giving them to family members. A total of $2,500 was run up illegally on personal calls and paid by the N.Y.P.D. between Aug. 1, 2003 and March 1, 2005, according to a spokesperson for District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Sims, a police department employee for 20 years, was freed on her own recognizance pending a June 2 court appearance on fourth degree grand larceny charges.

Manslaughter plea
Diego Pillco, 20, pleaded guilty on Feb. 14 to manslaughter in the Nov. 1, 2006 killing of Adrienne Levine, the Tribeca film actress who also wrote and directed “Waitress.” Pillco, an illegal alien who worked on a construction site on the floor below Levine’s Greenwich Village office, will be sentenced in March to 25 years in prison and five years post-release probation under the plea agreement, according to a spokesperson for District Attorney Robert Morgenthau

When he was arrested soon after the incident, Pillco said the killing occurred in a struggle after he responded to Levine’s complaints about construction noise. In court on Feb. 14, Pillco changed his story. He said he was riding up in the elevator with the victim, a Tribeca resident known professionally as Adrienne Shelly, and noticed she was carrying a large black bag. He rode up one more floor after she got off, walked down to her office and found the door ajar. Pillco said he entered, saw the bag and took a wallet from it when Levine confronted him and reached for her cell phone.

Pillco said he grabbed the phone and when a struggle ensued he covered her mouth and nose with his hand until she passed out. He then took a sheet, wrapped it around her neck and hung it over a bathroom curtain rail to make it look like suicide, according to court records.

Soho tax charges
Meir Maslavi, 59, owner of two deli/restaurants known as Miro Café, 474 Broadway and 594 Broadway, pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 to evading $550,186 in sales taxes between Sept. 2000 and Sept. 2007, according to prosecutors. As a result of the plea, Maslavi will pay the amount of the state sales tax that he collected but did not report or pay, plus interest and penalties, for a total of $1,033,664. In addition, Maslavi will pay another $56,718 in city General Corporation Tax and penalties for 2005 for falsely underreporting gross receipts from the 594 Broadway café.

Cell phone snatch
Police arrested Tyrone Anderson, 31, shortly after 10:45 a.m. Wed. Feb. 13 at 24 Warren St. and charged him with coming up behind a woman, 39, on the street and snatching a cell phone from her pocket. Anderson was freed on bail pending a March 26 court date on second and third degree robbery charges.

Lower East Side forgery
Isaiah Smith, 21, was arrested Sat., Feb. 16 and charged with grand larceny and forgery in connection with a $95,000 check deposited in his account in the Washington Mutual branch at 104 Delancey St.

Smith was charged with altering a check belonging to a woman who had an account in the same bank, depositing it in his account and making five withdrawals on it between Feb. 8 and 16, according to the district attorney’s office. Bank officials discovered the theft, according to the spokesperson. Smith was freed on bail pending a Fri., Feb. 22 arraignment.

— Albert Amateau

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