Photo by Megan Schley at the opening of the improved 105th street dog run in Riverside Park. Her reflections on the event are here.
This week’s bulletin includes stories of disturbing crimes, a perplexing arrest, a woman’s lament about Loehmann’s, and lots more Upper West Side news.
A professor with heart problems and his wife ended up being arrested after they called 911 for medical help; for reasons that are not entirely clear, an officer from the 20th precinct arrived along with the ambulance. Officer Anthony Giambra determined professor Karl Anders Peltomaa was “emotionally disturbed” and started putting handcuffs on him. The professor and his wife tried to get the officer to stop — Giambra said that the professor kicked him and the wife grabbed his arm (Peltomaa denied this). The officer ended up splitting the professor’s chin open while wrestling him to the ground, and he spent two days in the hospital while his wife sat in a cell for 18 hours. The judge on the case was clearly perplexed by the arrest. “The judge, Steven M. Statsinger, said in his ruling that the police had mishandled a call to a medical emergency and ended up injuring an already sick man.” (NY Times)
Ilya Lehman, 70, the former head of the Upper West Side Early Ear music school, was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to molesting a 9-yeasr-old student. The girl’s mother walked in on him during a lesson last April. “Lehman tried to silence his victim by contacting her mother and offering to pay back the money for the lessons and close his schools, prosecutors said.” (NY Post)
Loehmann’s is “the spiritual home of many a Jewish woman.” Therapist Julie Mencher remembers “the moments of intimate fat talk shared between strangers staring straight into the mirror, never directly at each other, asking each other ‘does this make my tush/legs/hips/face/entire body look fat?’ — and replying, whether true or not, ‘That looks FABULOUS on you!'” (Huffington Post)
New York City water tanks are rarely inspected, and the Times found some nasty things inside when they inspected: “Samplings taken by The New York Times from water towers at 12 buildings in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn found E. coli in five tanks, and coliform in those tanks and three more.” (NY Times)
ABC news reporter Brian Ross struck a pedestrian while driving on 67th street. Ross had the right of way and no charges were filed. Victim Roman Dati said Ross kept driving toward him despite warnings: “I see him coming at me, 10 to 15 mph, and I think he will stop, but he keeps continues,” Dati said. “I am yelling, ‘Stop! Stop! Whoa! Whoa!’ I step back, and just then, his bumper hits my knees, and I put my arms out to protect myself. But an ABC News spokesman’s description of the incident makes it sound like Dati instigated the collision: “He stepped off the curb, put his hand onto Brian’s hood and pushed himself backwards,” Schneider said. “He fell down and hurt his arm.” (NY Post)
Kang Chun Wong, 84, who was bloodied in an arrest on 96th street after being charged with jaywalking, intends to sue the city for $5 million. (Daily News)
St. Agnes has its first full time librarian in five years. (DNAinfo)
Alexander Shear, who was hit by a tour bus and killed while crossing 96th street on Jan. 10, led a fascinating life. “When Alex Shear died in New York at 73 this month, he left behind a collection widely described as one of the largest assemblages — quite possibly the largest one — of pop-culture artifacts in private hands, with holdings so vast they once spanned 11 storage facilities in three states.” (NY Times)
A poodle was recently attacked by a large black and tan male German Shepherd in Riverside Park around 108th street. “These dogs live our the neighborhood and frequent Riverside Park above 96th street. This isn’t the first time I have seen an unprovoked attack by these dogs first hand.” (105th Street Dog Run)
The landmarks commission sent the owners of the Apthorp on 79th street back to the drawing board on their plan to build rooftop apartments. “The commissioners deemed that the penthouse plan as it stands would infringe upon the Italian Renaissance Revival design—”throws off the bilateral symmetry,” to be precise—and asked the develoepr to return with a new proposal that is shorter and less bulky.” (Curbed)
Emery Roth is the architect behind some of the Upper West Side’s most famous buildings, including the San Remo and the Beresford. You can now rent the apartment at 210 West 101st street that he designed for his own family for $15,500 a month. (NY Times)
Food pantries have been running out of food early since the federal government cut food stamp benefits. (Crain’s)
A Fairway employee on West 135th street is charged with murdering a co-worker. (NY Post)
The Nicholas Roerich Museum is a “hidden gem” on 107th street filled with Russian art. (Untapped Cities)
Peter Berry died Jan. 19 after suffering a heart attack while running in Central Park. His half-brother had died just days earlier after a heart attack in Prospect Park. (Daily News)
To read our last bulletin, click here.