Chamber honors some of the Finest
BY GABE HERMAN
The Greenwich Village Chelsea
Chamber of Commerce (GVCCC)
hosted its 16th Annual Safe
City Safe Streets luncheon on Dec. 12,
which honored local police offi cers for
their work in the communities.
The event is held every year to award
police offi cers for their service and
work in local precincts, and also to create
connections with business owners
and the local community. Those awarded
as Offi cers of the Year included Police
Offi cer Nikitamari Whatley of the
5th Precinct; PO Charles Odekirk of
the 6th Precinct; P.O. Ravin Balgobin
of the 9th Precinct; P.O. Kai Estwick of
the 10th Precinct; Police Offi cers Manuel
Rodriguez and Peter Rodriguez of
the 13th Precinct; and Police Offi cers
John Guercio and Joseph Soldano of
the Midtown South Precinct.
Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison
and NYPD Assistant Chief Stephen J.
Hughes served as the keynote speakers.
Other speakers included State Senator
Brad Hoylman and President Andres
Pazmino of GVCCC.
“This event does not only memorialize
and celebrate the commitment and
professionalism that our law enforcement
offi cers deliver day in and day
PHOTOS COURTESY GREENWICH VILLAGE CHELSEA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Left to right: PO Nikitamari Whatley, PO Manuel Rodriguez, PO Peter
Rodriguez, GVCCC Executive Director Maria Diaz, PO Joseph Soldano,
PO John Guercio, and PO Charles Odekirk.
out,” said Pazmino, “but our presence
here today cements our shared responsibility
to maintain the well-being and
quality of life of our communities.
“Our local businesses, our local institutions,
our community groups, our
neighbors and everything that belongs
to our communities make up a holistic
ecosystem,” Pazmino added. “And you,
the Police Department, are one of the
foundations of that ecosystem. Thank
you for your character, your professionalism,
your bravery. Thanks for the
hearts that you have in carrying that
The afternoon event was held at
Manhattan Penthouse on Fifth Avenue,
at West 14th Street.
Two Man. street deaths in 12 hours
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
Two pedestrians were fatally
struck by drivers in trucks on the
streets of Manhattan in less than
12 hours last week, police reported.
Law enforcement sources said the
fi rst fatality occurred at 4:57 p.m. on
Dec. 19 at the corner of Broadway and
Howard Street in SoHo.
According to a preliminary investigation
that police obtained, the 41-yearold
male driver of an 2013 International
box truck was heading southbound
on Broadway when it passed Howard
Street, then began to reverse.
As he went backward, police said, he
struck 26-year-old Katherine Miller, of
Lancaster, Pa., as she attempted to cross
Broadway from west to east.
The box truck driver stopped the vehicle
and remained at the scene, where
First Precinct offi cers arrived moments
Cops found Miller with severe body
trauma. Paramedics pronounced her
dead at the location.
No charges have been fi led against
the driver at this time. The NYPD Collision
Investigation Squad is handling the
Early the next morning, a private
sanitation truck driver fatally hit a man
crossing a street in Hell’s Kitchen.
A woman was fatally struck by a driver in a box truck on Broadway
near Howard Street in Manhattan on Dec. 19.
Cops said the deadly incident occurred
at 4:45 a.m. on Dec. 20 at the
corner of West 49th Street and 10th
According to information police obtained,
58-year-old Robert Alford, of
Plainfi eld, N.J. was driving the truck
northbound along 10th Avenue and attempted
to turn westbound onto West
As he did so, law enforcement sources
PHOTO VIA GOOGLE MAPS
said, Alford struck the man, who was
attempting to cross within a marked
crosswalk. Alford stopped his vehicle
and remained at the scene.
Offi cers from the Midtown North
Precinct and EMS units responded to
the location. The unidentifi ed man was
Following questioning, police charged
Alford with failure to yield to a pedestrian
and failure to exercise due care.
Cops seek teen
in Majors case
PHOTOS COURTESY OF NYPD
Images of a person of interest
wanted in the Dec. 11 murder
of Tessa Majors.
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
The NYPD released photos
Friday of a young teenager
currently sought as a person
of interest in the murder of Barnard
College freshman Tessa Majors at
Manhattan’s Morningside Park.
Police did not immediately provide
an identity for the person of
interest, or how the photos were
obtained during the course of the
Majors was fatally stabbed on
the early evening of Dec. 12 as she
walked through Morningside Park
in what police believe was a robbery.
Two juveniles, ages 13 and 14,
have since been arrested in connection
with the case. One of the suspects
had been released following
In remarks made at One Police
Plaza, on Dec. 19, Chief of Detectives
Rodney Harrison said cops
are looking for a third teenager,
believed to be 14, who’s believed to
be Majors’ killer. That individual
had agreed initially to turn himself
in, but ultimately abandoned those
plans, and remains on the lam.
An NYPD source said Friday
that the youngster in the photos is
being sought for questioning, and
the public’s urged to help police locate
As this paper went to press Monday,
the person of interest remained
Anyone with information regarding
his whereabouts can call
Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS
(for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA),
visit the Crime Stoppers website,
nypdcrimestoppers.com, or send a
direct message on Twitter @NYPDTips.
All calls and messages are
kept confi dential.
4 December 26, 2019 Schneps Media