Death on Houston St.
A Lower East Side resident died on Thurs. Sept. 30 when a westbound car struck him as he crossed from the south side to the north side of W. Houston St. between Greene and Mercer Sts. at 3:42 a.m., police said. Andrew Wong, 55, of 19 Allen St. was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the car stopped after the accident and remained at the scene, police said. There was no arrest and no summons issued.
A recent study by Transportation Alternatives, which advocates for pedestrian safety, cites Houston St. for pedestrian fatalities. Between 1995 and 2001, there were three fatalities at the Houston intersection at Avenue A, two at the Bowery and one each at Avenue B, Second Ave./Forsythe St. and between Greene and Wooster Sts.
The Department of Transportations proposed reconstruction of Houston St. calls for left turn bays, one from the westbound side of Houston St. onto Mercer St., narrowing the median where pedestrians can wait. Sean Sweeney, a Soho activist and member of Community Board 2, said earlier this year that the proposed bays would turn Houston St. into the equivalent of an interstate highway.
Mock grenade at school
A teacher at the High School for Economics and Finance, 100 Trinity Pl., discovered a 14-year-old boy playing with an empty hand grenade at his desk at about 9:45 a.m. Wed. Oct.6, according to Keith Kalb, a Department of Education spokesperson.
The teacher thought at first the grenade was real but soon decided that it was only a shell and brought the youth and the device to the assistant principal who called police. The school administrators then evacuated the building for about 45 minutes, police said.
The police bomb squad responded and determined the device was not dangerous, but charged the student with placing a false bomb in a public place. The student was also suspended, Kalb said.
East River death
A police diving unit, responding to a report of a man in the water at 6:08 a.m. Sat. Oct. 2 in the East River off Market St., recovered the body of Milton Maxon, 34, of 1400 East New York Ave., Brooklyn, about 200 yards north of the Manhattan Bridge.