Over-imbibing is an occupational hazard around the holidays, but seldom does it get so out of hand that the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit has to be called to the scene to rectify the situation, as happened on Dec. 21.
At 1:30 a.m., the cops responded to an East 81st Street address after receiving reports of an intoxicated male trying to gain-or apparently regain-entry to a sixth-floor apartment via the fire escape. Upon chatting with the inebriate, the police learned that he’d been locked out of his apartment after a verbal dispute with his roommate.
Not that the cops didn’t buy his story, but “for the safety of all involved,” they decided to place the fellow in handcuffs and remove him from his perch. The aerialist further stated that he feared his roommate might try to hurt himself.
His fears, drunken or not, were given substance when the roommate declined the NYPD’s invitation to open his apartment door after several fruitless attempts to contact him by the responding officers. That’s when the Emergency Service Unit was summoned, employing unspecified means to gain access, both to the apartment and to intoxicated individual No. 2.
They didn’t find him in the apartment’s foyer, or under the Christmas tree with a mug of spiked eggnog, but in the bathtub with a laceration to his forehead. He told the police that he’d fallen during the fight with his roommate, hence the cut.
The roommate on the fire escape, 33, refused treatment for his scratches. The other roommate, age unknown, was removed to Lenox Hill Hospital for mental evaluation.
Stealing the Silver
While this column would never countenance crime, sometimes it’s forced to acknowledge feats of exceptional sleight of hand-say, for example, stealing an entire flatware service from under the eyes of a sales staff paid to thwart just such activity. That’s apparently what happened at Christofle, the high-end silverware shop at 680 Madison Avenue, on Dec. 9.
A crook dressed in black visited the store at 4:30 p.m. and removed a whopping 60 pieces of silver valued at $3,960. Then he fled in an unknown direction. (The fact that he was wearing black-a fashion statement on Madison Avenue rather than a sign of dark intent-perhaps persuaded the status-savvy sales team to lower their guard.)
For the record, the bandit’s choice of merchandise showed he had a tasteful eye. The “Galea pattern,” as described by the sales staff, is an elegantly understated yet whimsical abbreviated figure-eight design.
An even cheekier crime was committed on Dec. 6 or thereabouts (the victim, a Pfizer drug-company representative, isn’t exactly sure of the day), when enough Viagra to keep the entire male population of the Upper East side perky till Easter was stolen from the trunk of his car.
The pharmaceutical rep told the police that he’d last seen the erectile-dysfunction medication in his 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix on Dec. 3. But since that day he’d parked the car in three different garages, the last one on East 71st Street-meaning that an untold number of Manhattan garage attendants might now be walking around at attention.
Whoever stole the drugs could choose between the 100-milligram dose, of which two cases (48 units to the case and valued at $4,608) were stolen, or one case of 50-milligram tablets (also 48 units to the case and worth $3,456).
On a similarly festive note, a driver for the Canada Dry Company reported that a large quantity of holiday beverages vanished from the back of his truck on Dec. 1. One doesn’t normally think of ginger ale as the sort of drink complex enough to prompt crime, which may explain why the driver didn’t lock his truck while he was making a delivery to a customer at 63rd Street and Third Avenue.
Except that this wasn’t ginger ale-this was Dr. Brown’s soda, so the theft makes somewhat more sense. If you’re unfamiliar with the old-time elixir-which comes in Black Cherry, Cream and Cel-Ray varieties-you really ought to give it a try. Eleven cases of the bubbly were stolen, valued at $120.
If anything might restore your flagging faith in human nature, it could be looking up from your meal and seeing a Good Samaritan engaged in mortal combat with a crook for possession of your purse.
That’s essentially what happened at the California Pizza Kitchen, 201 East 64th Street, on Dec. 19. The victim, a 19-year-old East Sixth Street resident who was eating at the bar, checked on her purse, which she’d placed on the stool next to her, only to find it missing.
She scanned the area and, lo and behold, spotted two males by the front door struggling over her pocketbook. One of the pugilists had seen the other steal the purse and try to secrete it under his coat. The hero, a 29-year-old Queens resident, stopped the perp at the door, prompting the altercation and causing the crook to drop his prize on the ground. The purse contained $358 in cash, a Visa credit card and a $500 Nikon digital camera.
The Good Samaritan, assisted by others, managed to hold onto the 45-year-old villain until the police arrived to make an arrest.
Ralph Gardner can be reached at RGard135@aol.com.