Volume 21, Number 42 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | Feb. 29 - March 6, 2009
Tribeca dog killer convicted again John Jefferson, convicted seven years ago for throwing his former girlfriend’s pet terrier to his death from her 23rd floor apartment in Independence Plaza North in Tribeca, was convicted again on Tues., Feb. 23 of sending nine threatening letters to the woman from prison. Jefferson, 49, must still do time until at least 2012 for the rampage in 2002 when he threw his ex-girlfriend’s television, air conditioner and finally her dog, Ribsy, from her balcony. His letters threatened the woman’s life and were sent in violation of a court order of protection against his contacting the victim. He could receive an additional prison sentence of up to 18 years.
Shoplifter suspect charged in bank heists A man arrested for shoplifting four scarves from Century 21, 22 Cortlandt St. on Sat., Feb. 21 was also charged with two bank robberies earlier in the year after police say they found robbery demand notes in his possession after the shoplifting arrest.
Martin Villa, 30, of Brooklyn, according to prosecutors, stashed the scarves in a bag, which also contained two notes that said: “This is a Robbery. Empty all of your drawers now!!! I have a gun in my coat pocket, and I will not hesitate to harm a customer! No dye packs or tracking devices!”
Villa was later charged with robbing a bank on Broadway and 56th St. of $1,674 last Sept. 22 and robbing another bank on Columbus Ave. at 72nd St. of $7,694 on Sept. 27.
Bowery stabbing Police arrested James Ford, 73, a resident of the Bowery Mission, 227 Bowery between Rivington and Stanton Sts. and charged him with assault for stabbing a fellow resident who was four decades younger. Ford is accused of stabbing the 29-year-old victim in the abdomen with a kitchen knife at 8:10 p.m. Fri., Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. in the center. Ford, who has been convicted twice on assault charges, was also charged with weapon possession. The victim was treated for lacerations.
Bottle assault Sean Best, 27, was arrested around 4:15 a.m. Sun., Feb. 15 in front of 197 Madison St. near Rutgers St. and charged with assault for knocking down a man with a blow to the head with a bottle, police said. After the victim fell to the ground, Best kicked and punched him, according to the charges filed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Best was being held in lieu of $15,000 bail pending a March 18 court appearance.
Video acquittal All charges against Michael Cephus, 47, the truck driver whose July 4, 2008 beating on Delancey St. by a police officer wielding a metal baton was recorded on video, were dropped on Mon., Feb. 24. The officer, Maurice Harrington, is under investigation and is on modified work status. Two bystanders made the video at the scene in July and passed the tape to a friend of Cephus’s before they too were arrested for disorderly conduct. Cephus could have been sentenced to 15 years in prison on the charge of assaulting a police officer.
Burglary tools Scott Burke, 25, pleaded guilty on Fri., Feb. 20 to a reduced charge of possession of burglary tools and was sentenced to a jail term of 30 days. Police spotted Burke on a second floor fire escape at 89 E. Broadway at 1:10 p.m. Mon., Feb. 16 and ordered him to come down. Burke, however, climbed the fire escape to the roof pursed by the officer who arrested Burke. The suspect had a metal rod, an implement commonly used in burglaries, in his possession.
Gun possession sentence Judge Edward McLaughlin this week sentenced Suwei Chuang, 37, of Queens, to 20 years and six months in prison for 23 counts of weapons possession, including a loaded assault rifle, 800 rounds of ammunition, a Glock handgun and a knife that were found in his car when he was arrested on Jan. 2, 2008 on Gold and Spruce Sts. Chuang, who was convicted Jan. 21, also faces menacing charges in Queens involving his arsenal of two rifles, a shotgun and 28,000 rounds of ammunition. He served a six-month jail term 10 years ago for conspiracy to commit arson, according to a Daily News article last year.
Tribeca burglary An employee of an office in 174 Hudson St. near Vestry St. discovered a stranger rummaging through a desk at 5:30 p.m. Fri., Feb. 13 and called 911, police said. The stranger fled but police found him on another floor of the building. Phillip McQueary, 51, of W. 110th St., was arrested with stolen wallets in his possession and was charged with burglary. He was being held in lieu of bail pending a March 31 court appearance.