Volume 21, Number 35 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | January 9 - 15, 2009

Police Blotter

Downtown Express photo by J.B. Nicholas

Pipe assault
A dispute Sunday afternoon in Chinatown at the corner of Forsyth and Eldridge Sts. left two men bloodied, one worse than the other. The man seated, who came out the loser in the altercation, was handcuffed. He had apparently attacked another man with a pipe, but the victim responded by seizing the weapon and turning it on him. The other man was not arrested.

Bus matron charged
Linda Hockaday, 51, former employee of the bus company responsible for transporting the handicapped students of FEGS, the agency that runs a school at Hudson and Vandam Sts., was charged with leaving a severely disabled man sleeping on a bus on New Year’s Eve.

Hockaday was working as a bus matron for Outstanding Transport on Dec. 31 when the temperature fell to 15 degrees and knowingly left Ed Wynn Rivera, 22, a cerebral palsy victim, sleeping on the bus, according to prosecutors. Rivera was found 17 hours later in a Brooklyn bus depot after he was missed in an earlier search of the depot. He was treated in Brookdale Hospital for hypothermia and returned to his parents’ East Harlem home on Jan. 5

Hockaday had left the victim in the bus because she was late for a church concert and believed that he would be found soon, according to news reports. She was charged with felony reckless endangerment but her lawyer said in court that the driver of the bus, Walter Gibbs, 42, should have noticed Rivera before he left the vehicle at the depot.

Gibbs, who had been on the job for two days at the time of the incident and had a record of several license suspensions and previous arrests, was not charged. A bus company official said Gibbs was hired because he had a valid driver’s license and was legally working pending receipt of the results of a background check.

Hockaday was freed on $2,500 bail pending an April 6 court appearance.

Parents arrested
Police responded to a report about a screaming argument in an apartment at Broome St. near W. Broadway at 9:15 a.m. Sun., Jan. 4 and arrested Michelle Trico, 34, and her partner, Josef Hapsprugh, 48, after their 10-year-old daughter in the same room told them that her parents had been drinking and fighting all night. Two other children, a 1-year-old and a 7-year-old were in another room, according to a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney. The defendants were released pending a Jan. 20 court appearance on two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The children were reportedly placed in the care of their godfather.

— Albert Amateau





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