UWS Landlord Arrested on Assault Charge After Scuffle With Reporter and Tenant

246 West 106th Street.

By Lisa Kava

The landlord of a residential building that tenants say had been without gas for 5 months was arrested earlier this week for assault and criminal mischief after a scuffle with a reporter looking into the gas outage. Michael Rose, 71, spent Tuesday night at the 24th precinct, according to a police administrative aide from that precinct.

Rose, the landlord for 246 West 106th Street, was arrested at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening inside Broadway Cellar at 2746 Broadway, according to Detective Hubert Reyes at the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information. Rose reportedly owns the store. Much of the incident was caught in the dramatic video below.

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Landlord/owner # didn’t like me asking him why his tenants have no heat. After pushing me and breaking the camera, he attacks his tenant Association Founder Owner blames @conedison saying he tries to get the 2 buildings fixed everyday, but @nyccouncil @marklevinenyc says utility told him it’s the owner’s fault. @nypd charged owner Mike Rose w/Criminal Mischief for breaking @ny1 camera. Buildings have +100 @nychousing code violations

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A NY1 reporter investigating the story attempted to speak with Rose Tuesday evening. Residents of the building reported that the building had been without cooking gas since May and were concerned that they had no heat as the temperature started to drop this week. During this encounter, Rose grabbed the reporter’s camera and threw it to the ground, according to Reyes. The reporter needed medical attention, according to NY1. Rose also punched one of his tenants, a 24-year-old male, who sustained a minor injury, Reyes said.

Rose was taken to court Wednesday morning. A spokesperson from the District Attorney’s office said that Rose was arraigned on Wednesday and released on his own recognizance, adding that his next court date is December 5th.

Regarding the incident with the NY1 reporter, Rose’s lawyer, Jeffrey Hoffman, told the NY Post “He (Rose) answered some questions, then when it continued to go on, he asked them to please leave and they refused. This is a business, obviously and it went on for a period of time and when they continually refused to leave and kept the microphone inches from his face, which was disconcerting to say the least, an altercation arose and they ultimately left.”

In a telephone conversation on Thursday, Rose told West Side Rag that gas and heat had been restored to the building as of Wednesday afternoon and that “The whole affair was about tenant stupidity and tenants having no knowledge about how bad Con Edison is.”

“I did what Con Ed told me to do and waited and waited and waited,” he added. Con Ed, however, told NY1 that the landlord had not filed two pieces of paper that they need before doing the repairs.

Rose also asserted that the gas had been restored because his “licensed plumber called Con Ed” and that it was “not because of tenant activism.” He ended the call before West Side Rag could ask about Tuesday evening’s incident or his arrest. Multiple attempts to contact his lawyer were unsuccessful.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 22 comments | permalink
    1. Vivian Baez says:

      I saw the interview on New York 1, and he was very nasty, and you see when he grabs the mic and pushes the reporter – they did not show the part where he breaks the camera, but at the end, you see the reporter raise his hand and the camera broken. The Landlord was VERY nasty, disrespectful and obviously lying. It happened when we had those two horribly cold days. I had heat in my building and it was very chilly, imagine those with no heat or hot water!

      • B.B. says:

        News media reporters for print, and television long have received hostile reactions from people being interviewed. This is nothing new and while it in no way excuses bad behavior, it is an occupational hazard if you will.

        Some people get funny about having a camera, mic or whatever shoved in their faces. Then you have tactics that make a “good” reporter out to get a story can tick some people off.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          It’s very clear from the video that the landlord attacked the reporter. If a homeless person attacked someone, on video, in exactly the same way, we would have comments on this blog calling for mass arrests, jailing of all homeless, etc. when a landlord does it, oddly, we have defenses of his actions. Talk about a double standard.

    2. Josh says:

      The lawyer: “This is a business, obviously and it went on for a period of time and when they continually refused to leave and kept the microphone inches from his face, which was disconcerting to say the least, an altercation arose and they ultimately left.”

      The video: many inches from his face. Nothing warranting his attack. “An altercation arose” — nice legalese! Yeah, it just arose, there was no one to blame, it just happened. This landlord and his lawyer are brutish, unscrupulous rogues!

    3. Lorraine Varjabedian says:

      According to NY1’s follow up today, the Mayor’s office intervened with Con Ed and told them to put the gas back on. I was a little disappointed in Mark Levine’s statements yesterday just punting it back to the landlord.

      • B.B. says:

        Mayor’s office has no direct authority over Con Edison. Gas would not have been restored if utility felt and or had a legally valid reason for not doing so.

        In other words someone is lying, either Con Edison or the landlord. If all it took was someone from city to lean on Con Ed and they magically decided to turn on the gas, my guess is the former.

        Ever since those two huge gas expolsions (one of which leveled almost 1/4 of a block on LES), and subsequent investigations turning up large numbers of illegal gas connections/work, Con Edison will not turn on or restore service unless all T’s are crossed and I’s dotted.

      • Tom says:

        Can you link us to that NY1 follow up? I dont see it anywhere on their site.

    4. hudson mckinley uss says:

      I am a tenant in the building. Heat has technically been restored, but it is still below 50 at night, and half of the apartments are without cooking gas

      • MJ says:

        This is inexcusable. Make sure the gas is properly installed and he isn’t siphoning it illegally somehow.

        • Billy Amato says:

          MJ / you are correct and look what happened on the lower Eastside with that idiot landlord that now may be sent away for life in prison without parole.

          • MJ says:

            Yes that was exactly what I was referencing in my head. What a tragedy. Seriously, get it inspected or just report to 311 if you are concerned. The worst thing for a bad landlord is an educated tenant.

      • Gretchen says:

        This is clearly a case of landlord abuse and harassment. If I were you, I would contact the great tenant law firm Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben et al. for a free consultation. I used them and so did others I recommended and we all got great results and settlements. Don’t put up with this any longer, because it will only get worse. I wish you the best.

    5. BJK says:

      “The reporter needed medical attention?” Really? He needed medical attention after that tiny scuffle? Sounds like the “reporter” is faking drama to build up his story.

    6. Jay says:

      I’m not on the side of either tenant or landlord, but I do know that Con Ed takes an inordinately long time to restore gas when a leak or smell is reported. Ollie’s to Go and Candle Cafe have been closed for months due to such a problem in the residential building in which they are located. I’m not privy to any updated news in the building, so I don’t know if residents have gas restored and the restaurants are now just out of business, or if both building and businesses are still without gas. It’s been a long time!

    7. Ground Control says:

      Another case of a landlord who ranks as a slumlord and should have been prosecuted long ago for 107 open violations aside from no heat in 28 degrees. This is precisely what’s wrong in this city! Instead the NYPD is busy in the subway arresting churro vendors!!! As for Broadway Cellar, I have shopped there and apart from some nice employees never felt more uncomfortable when Mr. Rose is behind the counter. A very unfriendly man who doesn’t like people. I buy cases of wine for holidays and won’t be buying them there. Why are our community boards and council members not intervening in such egregious cases of tenant abuse?

    8. Lv says:

      I live in 246 west 106th street and this whoke situation has been extremely traumatic. The physical and emotional stress of being cold and in fear of your life and your friends that you live next to, children – has been overwhelming and so sad. To think that there was never even a warning, or an apology or anything from the management company just shows what complete losers they are. He should just sell the buildings to someone who cares about them.

    9. Sherman says:

      This is an old and grimy building. My guess – and please correct me if I’m wrong – is that the apartments in this building are all rent controlled or stabilized.

      As such, this landlord lacks incentive to properly maintain this building as no matter what he does to it his rental income will be unchanged. I mean, if he was to pave the hallways in platinum he would still collect the same rent.

      Obviously the landlord has legal obligations to properly maintain his building but market incentives are far more effective and efficient.

      I’m not justifying this landlord’s alleged lack of upkeep but you get what you pay for and this is predicted by Economics 101.

      • Jen says:

        Shreman, legal obligations stay regardless the profit you are making. Law 101.

        In addition, I think most of us are sick of your whining about rent stabilization. These people make the neighborhood desirable for you to move in, but your gratitude is to throw old people out.

    10. Jessica says:

      I used to live at 488 Amsterdam and had the same exact issue despite me and my roommates paying over $4K a month for a small 5th floor apartment in a pre-war building without any amenities. The landlord, Zelman Biederman, illegally plugged up the steam pipes and installed baseboard heaters so that he wouldn’t have to pay for heat. The city fined him for it. I formed a tenants association, we had a consultation with a lawyer, and sent a joint letter to Biederman demanding him to restore cooking gas, restore heat, and deal with mold in some units. Our unit’s cooking gas was restored a few weeks later but other tenants went over a year without cooking gas. The city needs to seize buildings or mandate building sales from landlords like Rose and Biederman.

    11. Maggiemay241 says:

      His tenants and community members should protest in front of his wine store. I had no idea he owned that store. He shouldn’t be profiting while his tenants are cold and can’t cook in their own homes. The city should close his store and take its profits to pay for the tenants’ damages. Disgusting.

    12. Nia B. says:

      Remember the movie “The Landlord?” Force him to live in his own building. And…boycott the wine store.

    13. David N says:

      Wow, that’s the last time I shop at Broadway Cellar!