Volume 21, Number 12 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | August 1 - 7, 2008
Rape suspect arrested
Police last week arrested a livery car driver suspected in the Sept. 30, 2007 kidnap, rape and robbery of a woman as she was leaving The Box, a club at 189 Chrystie St.
The suspect, Harvey Contento, 40, of Corona, Queens, was arrested in Manhattan on Tuesday night July 22 and was held on $50,000 bail after his July 24 arraignment on charges of first degree rape, first degree criminal sexual act, second degree kidnapping and third degree robbery. He was released briefly because he had not yet been indicted and was re-arrested for possession of cocaine, according to prosecutors.
During the early hours of Sept. 30, the victim, 25, was standing outside the club drunk when the defendant grabbed her arm, forced her into his white S.U.V., and “made her drink an unknown liquid,” the charges say. The suspect then locked the doors and drove away, according to the criminal complaint filed in the office of District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.
The victim took out a cell phone but the driver grabbed it and threw it out of the car window. He then drove over a bridge to Queens, parked at a warehouse and grabbed the victim as she tried to flee, threw her into the back seat and raped and sodomized her and then drove her to an A.T.M., took $500 that he forced her to withdraw and left her in the street, according to the charges.
In a similar case on Oct. 27 last year, a woman, 23, was outside the same club when she got into a black sedan believing it was a livery cab. The driver stopped in Red Hook, got into the back seat and blindfolded and raped the victim.
Police did not connect Contento with the October rape. Contento was being held pending arraignment on the drug charges as the investigation continued on the kidnap/rape case.
A woman resident of 25 West St. told police that her former boyfriend who had been harassing her took her bag at 10:30 p.m. Wed., July 16. He returned it to her lobby later but $150 in cash was missing, police said.
Rafael Reyes, 46, pleaded guilty on July 25 to hitting a fellow peddler with a chair on Sunday afternoon July 20 on Howard St. at Broadway during a dispute over a vending location. Reyes, of 32 Rutgers St., threw the chair through the window of a parked car after the attack. He was sentenced to six months in jail, according to a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney.
A man walked up to a food cart on the southeast corner of Thompson and W. Houston St. at 9 p.m. Tues. July 8 and grabbed cash from the top, of the cart, police said. The victim recognized the thief as someone he formerly worked with and demanded the money back. The thief then pulled a knife, said, “Don’t shout,” and fled.
The victim of a July 1 beating by an enraged man in East River Park spotted his assailant on Monday July 21 and called police who arrested Carl Gainey, 44. The suspect, apparently drunk, had shouted, “This is my bench,” and hit the victim, who was sitting on a park bench, in the head with the cane, police said. Gainey, a Bronx resident, was being held pending an Aug. 6 court date, according to the district attorney’s office, which did not say where in the park the crime occurred.
A boy, 14, interfered with a police officer making an arrest at the corner of Lispenard St. and W. Broadway at 7:30 p.m. Tues. July 15, and was charged as a juvenile for obstructing government administration and with resisting arrest, police said.
A man walked into the Commerce Bank at 25 Hudson St. at 7:15 p.m. Mon., July 21, passed a note to a teller demanding money in large bills, and fled when she passed him $151 in a dye pack, police said.
Not so sweet
A stranger asked a man standing in the Pace Plaza at Spruce and Nassau Sts. at 5 p.m. Wed., July 2 if he would like to buy some candy and on being told no, said, “Give me all your money. I don’t want to have to stab you or knock you out.” The robber took the victim’s wallet out of his pocket, took $90 in cash, put the wallet back and fled, police said. The suspect was said to be a black man with a goatee, 5’9” 185 lbs. and wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt.
A stranger offered a Downtown resident a cut-rate swipe of a MetroCard at the Rector St. subway station at 4 a.m. Sun., July 20 and when the victim, 32, accepted the swipe, the suspect took the victim’s credit and bank cards, police said.
East River rescue
A man, apparently drunk, fell off a party boat into the East River off the South St. Seaport shortly after 9 p.m. Wed., July 23. He was rescued by a passing Coast Guard patrol boat.
Motorcycle, car stolen
A man who left his motorcycle at 161 Sixth Ave. at Spring St. at 1 p.m. Tues., July 22, returned two hours later and found it had been stolen, police said.
A motorist who parked his car at Church and Walker Sts. at 12:15 a.m. Sat., July 26 came back at 3:40 a.m. and found it had been stolen, police said.
A woman told police that she was walking on Broadway at Fulton St. at 6:38 p.m. Sun., July 20 when a man came from behind, put his arm around her and said “This is my long-lost daughter.” The stranger then said he had a gun, ordered her to keep walking and demanded her money. After she gave him all of her cash, $11, he marched her to a bank at 250 Broadway at Park Pl., forced her to withdraw $700 and marched her across the street to City Hall Park where he took the money and fled, police said. The suspect was described as a black man with a mustache, about 30, 6’1” weighing 150 pounds and wearing brown jeans and a brown T-shirt.