A black car crashed in Bushwick this weekend after the passenger inside repeatedly stabbed its driver. The fare made off with the victim's phone and his cash. According to the NYPD, the driver picked the passenger up just before 11 a.m. on Saturday outside 1234 Halsey Street in Bushwick.
NYPD via YouTube
December is the final busy month before New York sees its tourism dip in January and February, and with all those out-of-towners comes the opportunity for easy money to be made at subway stations, in Times Square, and even at one of the city's museums. So, with a month left before Christmas, we present this 2014 guide to New York scams, old and new. These first-hand accounts show you're always capable of having the wool pulled over your eyes, whether you're a tourist or a lifelong New Yorker. Happy holidays!
All illustrations by Curtis Tinsley Tourists are easy (and the only?) targets for MTA card scammers.
Anthony Vega hoped to lay low at Rikers Island. He had never been to jail before. He was 40 years old, a Web designer, lived in the Village. He was arrested and booked on Christmas Eve. His boyfriend had told the police that Vega had threatened to hit him, and when the police ran his name they saw that he had an outstanding warrant in Florida on a years-old charge of operating without a real estate license. Because of the warrant, the judge ruled that he would be jailed without bail as he awaited trial.
Wikimedia Commons Rikers Island
This week's feature story dove into the life of Reynaldo Nazario, an old-school car thief who used old-school methods to steal older-model cars. In October 2012, Bronx prosecutors charged him with stealing 30 cars over a 75-day stretch. To boost the cars, Nazario used shaved keys. He had 10 keys, from various models of car, filed down with sandpaper. With the right touch, these keys can turn on a car's ignition.
Partly because of the heartbreaking circumstances and partly because of the timing -- shortly before Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an ambitious new initiative to combat pedestrian deaths in New York City -- the story has been repeated in countless articles since.
Last week, the Manhattan district attorney indicted 19 suspected members of East Harlem's East Army gang. The indictment, D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. said on Friday, "will help combat the increasingly violent criminal activity occurring at the East River Houses," the housing project where the gang is based. On Monday we challenged that statement because the East River Houses have not, in fact, been increasingly violent.
Back in June, actor, performance artist, and increasingly stark cautionary tale Shia LaBeouf went to take in a Broadway show, making it through at least several minutes of Cabaret at Studio 54 before he was arrested for smoking, yelling, and butt-slapping . Last night on Jimmy Kimmel, we got to hear LaBeouf's version of the incident, which involves rivers of whiskey, at least three different accents, and, according to the actor, a partially successful attempt to woo the middle-aged ladies at the next table before he was taken into custody.