Don’t Change the Channel! When Alone at a Bar, That Is

There are some risks attached to changing the TV channel at your local bar—not all of them involving some drunk cracking a bottle over your head because he objects to your choice of programming—as one 27-year-old First Avenue resident discovered on Feb. 17.

The victim says that she got up from her seat at Citibar, 1446 First Avenue, at 10:10 p.m. to change the channel, leaving her purse hanging from her barstool. When she was ready to leave, she noticed that her wallet was missing. So she notified the manager, who went back to his office to review the bar’s security video.

Sure enough, he spotted a male suspect going through the woman’s handbag and taking her wallet. He even recognized the guy, describing him as a “regular homeless man,” though it was unclear whether he meant a regular patron of the bar who happens to be homeless, or a regular guy who just happens to be down on his luck (or perhaps both). The bartender also told the victim that the suspect “is always hanging around the establishment.”

In any event, he’ll probably be sporting a new, improved look the next time he visits the bar, because the woman’s Ann Taylor wallet contained a Nike gift card valued at $100, an American Express gift card worth $100, a $50 Gap gift card and $40 in cash.

Shakespearean Theft

On Feb. 13, the Shakespeare scholar Dympna Callaghan was providing the commentary for an evening of discussion and performance at Hunter College’s Silvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse entitled “Boys Will Be Girls,” according to the Web site Broadwayworld.com. Ms. Callaghan was addressing the mysteries of cross-dressing in the Bard’s work, when someone—taking advantage of the onstage commotion (the performers included Good Night, and Good Luck’s David Strathairn and members of an all-female production of The Taming of the Shrew)—stole her wallet from her dressing room.

Perhaps because her name was on the door of the dressing room, Ms. Callaghan assumed that her star power would give any potential thief pause. Either that or she took the word of the event’s security director, who told her that her property would be safe in the unlocked room. However, New York crooks, as a group, tend to be rather inured to celebrity—not to mention Elizabethan poetry—and the fact that the property was apparently in plain view was too inviting to pass up.

Ms. Callaghan, the author of Shakespeare Without Women, didn’t even realize that her wallet was missing until the next morning, because the thief left behind her handbag and other items of personal property. Her wallet contained $200 in cash and an American Express card, which, fortunately, she was able to cancel before it was used.

Pregnancy Scare

One way to chastise motorists who are guilty of violating automotive etiquette—say when they try to run you over as you’re crossing the street—is to tap on the trunk of their car after you’ve survived the encounter.

This would seem a completely justifiable, even measured reaction, considering that they almost killed you. But the sort of would-be assassin who would drive that way in the first place probably isn’t particularly well bred and might even have homicidal tendencies, as a pregnant woman crossing 79th Street and Third Avenue discovered on Feb. 8.

The victim, 9 1¼2 months pregnant and on her way to the gynecologist, was attempting to cross from the southeast to the northeast corner of 79th Street when a car traveling northbound on Third Avenue made a right turn onto 79th Street and almost hit her. That’s when the expectant mother, a 36-year-old West 67th Street resident, decided to reprimand the driver by tapping on her vehicle.

There are those who can’t take criticism, no matter how valid, and the perp pounced from her car, stating, “I’m going to fuck you up.” That the woman was about to deliver—and even informed her of that fact—made no difference. So much for female empathy.

“Did you fucking hit my car?” she demanded and kicked her in the stomach. Then she fled eastbound on 79th Street. Luckily, the victim—who received medical attention at the scene—got her assailant’s license number and car description before she departed. She was driving a gray 2002 Nissan Altima.

“That’s an easy one,” stated a police source. “They have a plate. I’m sure they’ll make an arrest soon.” Let’s hope.