Crime Blotter

Metropolitan Club, Hot Spot

For Fistfights, Sticky Fingers

The tony Metropolitan Club at 1 East 60th Street isn’t the first place one would think of as the venue for a good old-fashioned street brawl. But then again, even the most exclusive clubs’ admissions policies cease to matter once they open their doors to the hoi polloi-for wedding receptions and the like-as the Metropolitan did on May 16.

At around 2:30 a.m.-not a very clubbable hour-an altercation erupted between the bride’s and groom’s respective brothers at a recent post-nuptial soirée. The unpleasantness began when the groom’s brother approached his counterpart on the bride’s side and “made a statement about him joining the family,” according to the police.

While the comment was undoubtedly well-intentioned, the bride’s brother interpreted it quite differently-by deciding to throw a fist. (Several, in fact.) Being a close-knit family, the bride’s brother was promptly joined by his cousin, who delivered a kick to their new in-law.

A witness told the cops that he saw the victim running from the club onto the street, the bride’s family in hot pursuit. The punching and kicking continued.

If that wasn’t sufficient cause for an annulment-though it should be noted that neither the bride nor the groom was involved in the bout-the groom’s brother, trying to escape his proxy in-laws, bumped straight into his first pursuer’s wife. The sheer velocity of the impact had her receiving medical attention at the scene.

The second perp, the cousin, was observed by an arriving police officer attempting to leave the unraveling affair in a yellow cab-but not quickly enough. He was apprehended, and both he and the bride’s brother were charged with assault.

As lucrative as its catering business can be (it’s hard for even the best clubs to survive on dues alone these days), the Metropolitan Club may want to screen its party guests more carefully in the future.

This wasn’t the first, but rather the third, incident to roil the McKim, Mead and White–designed palazzo in recent weeks.

On May 8, a 28-year-old woman staying at the club told the police that she’d lost her $20,000 diamond engagement ring and another diamond ring valued at $17,000. The chances of getting them back seem slim, since she informed the police that she might have been sleep-walking and had no recollection of where she placed the items. She also confessed to having “a couple of drinks” prior to her possible post-prandial peregrinations.

Finally, a photographer taking pictures at a Metropolitan Club wedding on April 17 reported briefly stepping away from his 150 mm. Hasselblad camera. When he returned, the camera, valued at $1,600, was gone.

Park Life

There’s never a good time to see a stranger pleasuring himself in public. But a Sunday morning, at approximately 9 a.m., seems especially inopportune. On May 16, two women at the Carl Schurz Park-one walking her dog, the other doing tai chi-reported spotting a male engaged in the unwholesome act. “I think he was moving his locations,” said a police officer at the scene.

One of the victims complained to police officers guarding Gracie Mansion. They, in turn, called 911, and the perp-or rather, pervert-was apprehended by officers from the 19th Precinct who responded to the scene. “They grab him and put him up against the fence,” a police officer said. “As they did, he tried to break away from them. He was slippery.”

The source of his reduced friction was a container of Vaseline employed in the commission of his crime. “He had the Vaseline in a small jar,” the officer said. “It was vouchered at the station house.”

Nonetheless, the cops valiantly-and ultimately successfully, with the help of a local doorman-prevented their prey from slipping away. He was charged with assault, resisting arrest and public lewdness.

You can reach Ralph Gardner at RGard135@aol.com. Crime Blotter