Not On My Sidewalk, Nelly; Stroller in Turf War With Celebs

The car’s driver reached over, ‘grabbed her buttocks’ and

then fled southbound.

Does this sound at all familiar? You’re trundling along under a full head of steam, with places to go and things to do. You’re a mover, a shaker, a borderline master of the universe. If you’re not quite a celebrity, or the Secretary of Homeland Security, you know people who are-or know people who know people who are. And then you’re stopped in your tracks: You come face to face with a police barricade and a cop blocking your chosen route. The cop isn’t there to protect you from a recent plutonium spill or a bomb scare. He’s there because the street has been blocked for a fund-raiser being attended by actual celebrities.

What do you do? Do you meekly find an alternate route-the grown-up thing to do-even if it means swallowing a bit of your pride? Or do you try to pull rank, informing the officer that you, too, are a person of consequence, even if you’re not on the guest list?

That’s more or less what one pedestrian did on May 5. The individual, a 45-year-old East 64th Street resident, was walking westbound on East 61st Street when he came to a police barricade set up at the northwest corner of Madison Avenue and 61st Street. The reason for the obstruction: a V.I.P. fund-raiser starring rap star Nelly at Judith Leiber’s new 680 Madison Avenue flagship store. The party was to benefit Nelly’s literacy foundation, 4Sho4Kids.

It’s not known whether the cops explained the worthiness of the event to the pedestrian, or that Nelly himself was serving as the evening’s auctioneer, or that among the items the rapper was auctioning off was a diamond-encrusted Hello Kitty minaudiere (whatever that is), with the bidding opening at $50,000.

Cops sometimes aren’t good that way. Besides, it seems that this guy had his mind set on continuing his westbound journey along 61st Street, whatever the consequences, and nobody-uniformed or not-was going to dissuade him.

So determined was the individual in question that when the cop explained that the sidewalk was closed and pedestrians weren’t permitted to walk along the north side of the street, the suspect became furious, displaying what the NYPD described as “tumultuous behavior.”

At that point, the average irate pedestrian would have moved off, tail between his or her legs, perhaps with some well-turned expletive accompanied by fantasies of revenge.

But this guy seems to have had something of an authority problem: He attempted to remove the barricades and walk through the restricted area, potentially imperiling the safety of the swells at the Nelly fund-raiser.

At 8:19 p.m., the cops-reluctantly reaching the conclusion that the guy posed a threat to public safety-slapped a pair of handcuffs on him, took him into custody, charged him with disorderly conduct and removed him to the sanctuary of the 19th Precinct station house for processing.

Tag Sale

It’s hard enough to remove one clothing security tag, let alone 37 of them-the number that an Ann Taylor employee discovered, apparently in a changing room at the 1320 Third Avenue store, at the end of business on April 29.

The worker told the police that when she’d last checked the area, at 3 p.m., nothing was amiss-the floor certainly wasn’t littered with the roach-like devices. But by the time she returned later, both the unknown perpetrator and a sizable amount of clothing were gone. The booty included 10 pairs of pants valued at $950, 20 pairs of Capris worth $1,580, and seven tank tops valued at $259.

Alas, the police won’t be able to dust the tags for fingerprints, as the store threw them away.

Dumb Crook

There’s a reason that perps stick up their victims after they’ve withdrawn money from their local A.T.M. rather than beforehand, as one unlucky and possibly quite stupid crook discovered on May 2.

The suspect approached a man and a woman at 12:56 a.m., just as they were about to visit the Commerce Bank A.T.M. located at the northeast corner of 85th Street and Third Avenue. “Get out all the money you can from the A.T.M.,” the perp demanded. “I have a knife.”

However, rather than accompany them inside to supervise the proceedings and make sure they didn’t pull any funny stuff-such as calling 911 on their cell phones-the perp remained outside. Sure enough, taking advantage of his absence, one of the victims, a 47-year-old woman, simulated making a transaction while her friend, a 23-year-old male, surreptitiously called the police on his cell phone.

He stated, “I’m being robbed at the Commerce Bank at 86th Street and Second Avenue,” apparently giving an incorrect address. He did, however, offer an accurate description of their assailant-not the hardest thing to do, as his assailant was standing just on the other side of the door. A police officer responded to the 85th Street and Third Avenue location and spotted the perp waiting outside.

The bandit’s victims, still inside the bank, positively identified him and, at 1:01 a.m.-not five minutes into the incident-he was arrested for robbery.