‘Unidentified Beeping Object’
Alarms Upper East Siders
When suspicious unattended packages are reported to the police, more often than not they turn out to be harmless. But a call made on May 5 seemed to have more credibility than most: This suspicious bag was actually making noises.
The incident started shortly after 10 p.m., when what the police described as an “unidentified beeping object” was discovered in front of 9 East 64th Street, not far from the Indian Mission, which is located on the same block.
Police officers responded to the scene and discovered a black plastic garbage bag by the curb. They detected a sound coming from inside, but since they couldn’t get to the bottom of what it was without disturbing the bag-and thus risking annihilation-they prudently decided to call in the bomb squad.
A stretch of 64th Street between Fifth and Madison avenues was closed to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The block’s residents, including Ivana Trump, Tommy Mottola, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Donatella Versace (all of whom were at home at the time, according to the police) and some lesser mortals, were told that now wasn’t the best time to run out for a carton of milk; they were instructed to stay indoors and away from their windows.
The Emergency Service Unit responded to the scene, courageously opened the garbage bag, and discovered that the object inside wasn’t some terrorist weapon but, rather, that most New York of devices-a common smoke detector. The detector was “disabled and discarded,” according to police, and life on 64th Street returned to upscale normal.
It’s a well-known fact that prostitutes are no strangers to the world of violent crime. In recent weeks, we reported on a cross-dressing lady of the night who had part of her finger blown off when she resisted a john who was trying to rob her in her apartment. And on May 2, the police responded to a call from a prostitute who said she and her friend had been raped at her First Avenue and 93rd Street address.
According to the police, two male suspects forced their way into the apartment at around 12:20 p.m., held the sex worker and her girlfriend against their will, and forced them to engage in intercourse.
The trouble started, the prostitutes told the cops, when they requested that one of the men wear a condom; he refused and forced them to have sex nonetheless. Upon the officers’ arrival, the perp wasn’t exactly repentant.
“It took six cops and three cans of mace to get the guy cuffed,” reported a police officer. “My God, was the guy strong! He was huge, and not an inch of fat on this guy.” He was described as 6-foot-1 and 245 pounds.
During the altercation, a sergeant with the Manhattan North Task Force sustained an undisclosed injury. The responding officers also spotted drug paraphernalia and cocaine in plain view. One of the suspects-the big fellow-was described as wearing black pants, a green jacket and black socks. His buddy was sporting nothing but his underwear and a sweatshirt. “It sounds like a call-girl prostitution thing gone bad,” opined one cop.
Both men were charged with rape.
The Crime Blotter takes no delight in reporting the unpleasantness that befalls the gilded residents of Park and Fifth avenues, as we were forced to do in a couple of items last week. But, unfortunately, we seem to be experiencing some of sort of mini-aggressiveness epidemic where, for unknown reasons, the residents at these addresses are turning on each other.
The latest incident occurred on May 5, when a couple of neighbors who live on the same floor at 955 Park Avenue got into an elevator brawl at 6:50 p.m.
According to one of the combatants (a 57-year-old man), he and his neighbor (a 43-year-old woman) entered the building’s elevator together and, moments later, she was yelling at him and spitting in his face. The nature of their dispute was not disclosed. In any event, he alleged that she started to hit him on the chest and the back, causing redness to his arms and inflicting scratch marks. Nonetheless, he declined medical attention and won’t prosecute her, though he did file an assault complaint, as did she against him.
According to the woman’s complaint, she and her neighbor-apparently there are only two apartments to a floor in the building, which would seem to put a premium on getting along-did enter the elevator together. However, that’s about all they agree on. She claims that he was the aggressor: He yelled at her, pushed her into the wall of the elevator and slapped her in the face, she said. She also claimed that he grabbed her arm and twisted it behind her back. She complained of redness to her face and arm as well as pain to her shoulder. She also refused medical attention and declined to prosecute-which makes you wonder why either of them filed complaints in the first place, unless it was to go on record in case they can’t resolve their differences and find themselves squaring off in the lift again.
Since 9/11, anything with a Police or Fire Department logo is a hot fashion accessory. Nonetheless, a pedestrian whom the cops spotted walking along 91st Street and First Avenue on May 6 may have taken a good thing too far.
The suspect, a 24-year-old East 92nd Street resident, was sporting an NYPD windbreaker with NYPD patches on each sleeve and a
NYPD sergeant’s shield on the front of the garment.
When the fellow was stopped, he confessed that he wasn’t actually a cop; he was wearing the jacket because he’d earlier had an argument with three men and hoped they wouldn’t bother him if he looked like a member of the law-enforcement community.
While his instinct for self-preservation may have been commendable, the real cops nonetheless arrested him for impersonating a police officer.
Ralph Gardner Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.