Downtown Crime Watch

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Keep your enemies close and your gold teddy bear chain necklace closer. A 16-year-old Bronx guy was having a verbal fight with some friends on Tuesday afternoon on Church Street when one of those "friends" reached out and grabbed a $200 necklace with a teddy bear figure attached to it, clean off his neck. The "friend," a 21-year-old man, was arrested, say police.


A 29-year-old man, Michael Torres, has been charged with physically and sexually assaulting a woman on the J/Z platform at the Bowery subway station on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Early in the morning, around 1 a.m., police say they received a 911 reporting that a 36-year-old Asian woman had been attacked at the MTA station at Bowery and Delancey streets. According to police reports, the woman had taken the J train uptown from Canal Street to the Bowery stop. When she got off the train, as she was about to get on the escalator, a man grabbed "her around her neck, covered her mouth and told her not to scream." Police say the suspect, Torres, was armed with a screwdriver. He then reportedly dragged his victim to the end of the platform and threw her on the tracks. In the subway tunnel, he allegedly beat, sexually assaulted and tried to rape her. When the woman heard an MTA worker coming down the tracks she began to scream and Torres ran off.

The MTA worker stayed with the victim while they called 911 and EMS responded at the scene. She was taken to a nearby hospital where she was treated for wounds on her mouth, ribs and back, say police.

Torres was later tracked down and arrested on charges of assault in the first degree, attempted rape, a criminal sex act, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon. Police reports confirmed that at the time of the incident, Torres was living at the Andrews Hotel, a century-old flophouse at 197 Bowery. Other publications have reported that Torres has a record with police that dates back to 1996, with roughly 27 prior arrests. As Torres has yet to be arraigned, the DA had no further comment on the case.


Never leave your bags unattended, even in the safety of your own vehicle. Last Wednesday, Feb. 4, a 23-year-old New Jersey man and his 21-year-old female companion returned to his parked car on King Street at 4 a.m. to find the car broken into and the woman's bags stolen. She reported to police that the missing items included a $450 Donna Karan watch, a $1,400 emerald and gold necklace and a $2,200 Gucci bag. The guy didn't fare much better-he lost $635 in cash, a $300 GPS system and his wallet, which held his debit cards.


We had always believed petty crimes were a one-two at the most-man job, but hard times, we guess, call for group efforts. Last week, around 12:35 in the afternoon, a plainclothes officer saw three men, ranging in age from their forties to their fifties, try to rob a subway passenger on the ACE platform of the Canal Street station at Canal and Church streets. As a 58-year-old man was boarding the train, one of the thieves lifted his jacket, while the other one reached into his coat pocket and the third and final thief acted as lookout. It seems the lookout was the weak link in this robbery chain, as all were soon arrested.

Illustration by Evan Soares

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