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The 86th Street Foot Locker (Source: Google Maps)

The 86th Street Foot Locker (Source: Google Maps)

martinezDanny Martinez, 21, was arrested and charged with spying on women using the bathroom of Foot Locker at 2061 86th Street, where he worked.

Martinez confessed to cops that he used his cell phone to film women in the loo, and has been charged on two counts of unlawful surveillance. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison, and is currently out on $1,000 bail.

The deed came to light when a former employee, Jackie Rico, went to use the bathroom last week and spotted a “blinking thingy” nestled on a shelf behind a dragon figurine. It was a cell phone, which she turned off and notified the supervisor of, saying she believed it was Martinez – who was exiting the bathroom as she went in, according to the Daily News.

Rico knew Martinez personally, having hired him when she was still assistant manager of the location.

Cops were called to the store on Friday. After reviewing the cell phone’s files, they found the video of Rico and another woman, the paper reports.

“My actions were really wrong,” [Rico] told the News when reached by phone. “It was a bad choice to do.”

He tried to shrug it off as fun between friends and said he had apologized to both women. He added that it was the first time he had engaged in peeping and promised it won’t happen again.

“It will be the last of it,” he said.

According to Martinez’s Facebook page, he is a graduate of New Utrecht High School.

Congressman Michael Grimm and Councilman Domenic Recchia

Congressman Michael Grimm and Councilman Domenic Recchia

Republican Congressman Michael Grimm and Democratic challenger Domenic Recchia faced off for their third debate last night, trading barbs about corruption, influence and skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee.

The televised debate was widely covered as the campaign attracts national attention, due in part to Grimm’s 20-count federal indictment and Recchia’s blunders on the campaign trail. The debate followed much the same formula, with Recchia deflecting questions of policy and focusing on the incumbent’s legal woes, while Grimm portrayed the Democrat as a left-wing ideologue unprepared for the job.

On the simpler, seemingly innocent questions, the candidates still faltered. Neither could recall the name of the last book they had read.

“These are not supposed to be stumpers,” said moderator Errol Louis, according to the New York Times.

Recchia also divulged that he has smoked pot, while Grimm said he never did, according to the Daily News.

And when the Democrat accused Grimm of skinny-dipping during a trip to Israel, the incumbent called him a liar, pointing out that, though he was there, it was a member from Kansas who took the nude plunge.

You can find more detailed coverage of the debate here:

The general election will take place November 4.

Councilman David Greenfield, Source: Facebook

Councilman David Greenfield, Source: Facebook

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman David Greenfield:

Councilman David G. Greenfield is partnering with New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) to provide local residents access to free legal help at his district office this Wednesday October 29th. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the NYLAG’s mobile van will be parked outside the Councilman’s office to offer legal assistance to residents who need help but cannot afford an attorney. Anyone interested in taking advantage of these free services is encouraged to call Councilman Greenfield’s office to schedule a 45 minute legal assistance appointment. Attorneys will be on hand to provide free confidential legal advice pertaining to issues residents have with government programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, housing and other public assistance programs.

“Everyday my office receives calls from neighbors seeking legal help. The New York Legal Assistance Group has been an invaluable partner in helping assist these people in need with free legal assistance,” said Councilman David Greenfield. “I am proud to team up with NYLAG this Wednesday to bring their excellent attorneys right to Boro Park to help people one-on-one.”

Councilman Greenfield is committed to expanding legal assistance in his district. He hosted the community’s first ever NYLAG mobile legal assistance day with great success in the spring of 2013. Additionally, the Councilman has sponsored free immigration-related legal services in his district office twice a month in partnership with the City University of New York Citizenship Now project. Any resident interested in accessing immigration services is encouraged to call the Councilman’s district office to schedule an appointment.

The NYLAG mobile van will be parked outside Councilman Greenfield’s office at 4424 16th Avenue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Tuesday. Interested residents should immediately contact his office at (718) 853-2704 for more information about the types of services that will be provided or to schedule a timeslot for Tuesday. Residents should bring identification and any relevant paperwork or documents to their appointment.

Source: assembly.state.ny.us

Source: assembly.state.ny.us

Borough Park Assemblyman Dov Hikind is in hot water with outraged constituents after co-sponsoring a job fair that charged unemployed workers a $20 entrance fee.

The New York Post reports:

The event in Midwood was jointly promoted by the Orthodox Union and state Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

… Hikind, who has $792,691 in his campaign treasury, defended the fee.

“There are expenses involved. It takes money to put this together,” Hikind said of the Jobs Fair held at Young Israel of Midwood on Thursday.

Hikind said many people who showed up at the door were allowed in for free, if they said they couldn’t afford the fee.

A notice put out by the Orthodox Union Jobs Board last month also required employers to pay $200 to participate and not-for-profit groups, $100.

The controversial job fair fee was first reported by JPUpdates. The site said approximately 30 companies attended, paying the fees mentioned above.

The participants consisted mostly from middle aged, 18 and older to special needs kids. “Why are you charging me money to enter? I am unemployed,” one angry person, who refused to identify himself, told a staffer at the entrance. Another person, a lady who arrived at around 6:15 pm, was furious that she was still asked to pay the fee to spend the last 45 minutes at the event.

Hikind spent approximately two hours at the event, with campaign workers hanging posters on the wall and handing out palm cards. An update on the story says that the OU took issue with the blatant campaigning, and the pol had been told he would not be permitted to hang posters or to distributed literature.

The organization also defended the fee, citing expenses, but said they accommodated those who could not pay.

Hikind is running for reelection on November 4.

Source: mikey k/flickr

Source: mikey k/flickr

A dead man was found beneath Coney Island’s Riegelmann Boardwalk on Saturday, sparking an investigation into his death.

The man, who has not been identified, is described as a Hispanic man in his 40s. He was found at approximately 6:15pm near West 25th Street.

The Daily News reports that no foul play is suspected, but an autopsy will be done by the medical examiner to determine how he died.

Photo by Ben Cooper / LaunchPhotography.com

Photo by Ben Cooper / LaunchPhotography.com

With gorgeous weather slated for the rest of the evening, New Yorkers may be gifted a rare treat thanks to NASA: a first-of-its-kind rocket launch from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia should be visible just after sunset.

The egg-heads down south will be shooting the fiery phallus into space at 6:45pm. Hopefully the sun will have sunk below the horizon, making the otherwise clear skies dark enough to see it as it streaks through the atmosphere, but there’s really no guarantee.

The rocket, owned by Orbital Sciences Corporation, is capped off with a Cygnus cargo spacecraft that will make its way to the International Space Station. According to NASA’s info page, “Cygnus is loaded with about 5,000 pounds of science investigations, food, supplies and hardware for the space station and its crew.” It should reach its destination on November 2.

An example of what tonight’s launch could look like if the sun hits it just right. (Source: USCLA Dept. of Physics and Astronomy)

This is the fifth ever launch of the Antares orbital rocket, and the first time it’s blasting off after sundown, so nobody is really sure what you will be able to see. Making it even more dicey is that it’s not really happening at night, but rather at twilight.

We asked our resident space guru Ben Cooper, of Manhattan Beach, who photographs such rocket launches for a living, what to expect from tonight’s launch.

“This one won’t be quite as bright [as the one I photographed last year, seen above this post],” he said. “It is also possible that the upper stage exhaust will catch the sunlight and look like a white comet type thing. It’s hard to say what tonight will look like. The Antares rocket has never launched at night before. A similar past launch from California could look like [the adjacent photo] if it is impressive enough.”

The best places in the area to catch a view of the rocket is the waterfront along Southern Brooklyn. Plumb Beach, Manhattan Beach, the Riegelmann Boardwalk in Brighton Beach or Coney Island and the Shore Parkway greenway spanning Bay Parkway to the Verrazano are your best bets.

According to a map distributed by NASA, you should be able to see the rocket between 180 and 210 second after it launches, when it climbs high enough over the horizon. You can also keep tabs on the launch here, where NASA will host a livestream. Launch coverage begins at 5:45pm.

In the unlikely event that weather hampers the launch – it’s currently considered 99 percent favorable – it will be postponed until Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. If you get a great photo, make sure to send it to nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com!

20141015_orb-3_visibility_w-traj_w-title_2

grimm2

An e-mail shows that Congressman Michael Grimm requested illegal donations to his 2010 campaign, marking the first time the representative has been directly implicated in the probe of his finances since allegations first surfaced in 2012, according to an exclusive report by the New York Post.

The email, shared with a Post reporter by an anonymous source, is from Grimm to the organization of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, requesting $10,000 donations from six people – well over the legal limit of $2,400.

The paper reports:

“We have very little time, as I need to start collecting checks as soon as today or tomorrow,” Grimm wrote in the Oct. 18, 2010, missive to Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto’s organization. “I think that if the Rabbi calls the six people and asks them to each write one check for the $10,000, then we can finish this in the next few days.”

Grimm went on to say he needed $190,000 to buy two weeks of television commercials and direct-mail solicitations.

“I can raise $120-$130 [thousand], but I must have the other $60,000 as soon as possible. Please e-mail me back, as I am very nervous and concerned about the final amounts of money,” he wrote in the e-mail, which was seen by The Post.

The Post’s source said that the money was given, but none of it showed up on his campaign filings. That would mean that, if true, it was funneled through multiple “straw donors” to hide the sources. Straw donors are phony donors who are given the funds to donate back to the campaign under their own names in order to keep it under the legal limit.

Diana Durand, a former flame of the congressman, pleaded guilty earlier this year to recruiting straw donors to give money to Grimm and another congressman in 2010.

Durand kept mum, and Grimm was not implicated in that case. While several instances of finance improprieties have surfaced around the congressman’s 2010 campaign, none have directly implicated the congressman of being aware of the schemes.

A spokesperson for the Grimm called the accusation “baseless,” and part of a “smear campaign.”

“The incredulous source of these baseless accusations has proven over four years to be nothing more than part of a smear campaign that does not warrant a response,” a spokesman told The Post.

Grimm’s contact in the Pinto organization, Ofer Biton, pleaded guilty to visa fraud last year, after the FBI claimed that much of the money needed to obtain a special visa for investors came from fraud and extortion. It had previously been reported that Biton sought help from Grimm in obtaining a green card after raising more than $500,000 for the pol through Pinto’s organization.

It was Pinto himself who sparked the probe into Grimm’s campaign after he told federal authorities that Biton and another close aide extorted the donations from his flock. Pinto was allegedly threatened by Israeli authorities to cease his cooperation with the FBI’s investigation or face charges in that nation; he was later charged with attempting to bribe officials.

Grimm faces unrelated charges of tax evasion, fraud and illegal hiring practices in connection to a Manhattan-based restaurant he once owned. Biton, too, seems to have a connection to the restaurant; the congressman’s former business partner in the venture, Bennett Orfaly, put up $30,000 for Biton’s bail. Orfaly also has ties to the Gambino crime family, according to a report in the New York Times.

18th Avenue and 65th Street (Source: Google Maps)

18th Avenue and 65th Street (Source: Google Maps)

A 59-year-old man was hit by a car early Sunday morning, leaving him seriously injured.

The accident happened as the man was crossing 65th Street at 18th Avenue at approximately 6:20am. The car, a pickup truck, whipped around the corner and barreled into the pedestrian.

The man, who has not been identified, was brought to Lutheran Hospital in critical condition.

The driver stayed on the scene, and was arrested for failure to yield, according to an NYPD Twitter account.

After a busy week, here’s a chance to catch up on some of the news happening outside of our neighborhood! We’ve pulled together some of our favorite recent stories from our site and our sister sites, as well as some other fascinating pieces that are worth a read this weekend:

A 22-year-old man died after accidentally setting himself on fire in Borough Park. [KensingtonBK]

A sneak peek inside The Finch, Clinton Hill’s new farm to table restaurant from a former Roberta’s chef. [Fort Greene Focus]

Will the landmarked Brooklyn Lyceum be turned into condos? [Park Slope Stoop]

A Sheepshead Bay man and Texas woman locked in a suicide pact committed the deadly deed using cyanide on Monday. [Sheepshead Bites]

New York expands its role in caring for immigrant children, sometimes using shackles during transportation. [Capital NY]

A 20-year-old man was arrested in last week’s fatal home invasion in Ditmas Park. [Ditmas Park Corner]

Locals want to re-imagine what the 4th Ave/9th St subway station could look like. [South Slope News]

Pedestrian-friendly changes are coming to Brooklyn’s Myrtle and Park Avenues. [FGF]

MTA breaks ridership record, still $15B in the hole. [Gothamist]

Puppy City, where the Wee-Wee Pad was invented, closed for good after 50 years in Sheepshead Bay. [SB]

In case you were wondering, even bike share programs are really just for the rich. [City Lab]

After six weeks of no cooking gas, irate tenants push for change. [DPC]

A study on the controversial rezoning proposal for Prospect Lefferts Gardens is going forward. [Brownstoner]

Exploring Midwood, one bite at a time. [SB]

The Statue of Liberty could’ve ended up in Central Park – or, worse, Philly or Boston. [Failure Magazine]

This is an actual photo of the Gowanus Canal. [PSS]

All of Brownstoner’s Buildings of the Day, mapped. [Brooklyn, one (thousand) building(s) at a time.]

Annual Halloween party on Saturday doubles as fundraiser to Cure Huntington’s Disease. [SSN]

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our daily newsletter. If you have any news tips, story ideas, questions or anything else, e-mail us at editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

(Source: Aaron Landry/Flickr)

D LINE

From 11:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, Coney Island-bound D trains are rerouted via the N from 36 St to Stillwell Av. To 9 Av, Fort Hamilton Pkwy, 50 St, 55 St, 71 St, 79 St, 18 Av, 20 Av, Bay Pkwy, 25 Av, and Bay 50 St, take the Coney Island-bound D to 62 St-New Utrecht Av or Stillwell Av and transfer to a Manhattan-bound D or N. From these stations, take a Manhattan-bound D or N to 62 St-New Utrecht Av or 36 St and transfer to a Coney Island-bound D.

From 11pm Friday to 5am Monday, D trains run local between DeKalb Av and 36 St.

From 10:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, 205 St-bound D trains run express from 145 St to Tremont Av.

N LINE

From 11:45pm Friday to 5am Monday, Ditmars Blvd-bound N trains are rerouted via the D from Stillwell Av to 36 St. To 86 St, Avenue U, Kings Hwy, Bay Pkwy, 20 Av, 18 Av, Fort Hamilton Pkwy, and 8 Av, take the Ditmars Blvd-bound N to 62 St-New Utrecht Av or 36 St and transfer to a Coney Island-bound D or N. From these stations, take a Coney Island-bound D or N to 62 St-New Utrecht Av or Stillwell Av and transfer to a Ditmars Blvd-bound N. To/from 59 St, take the R instead. Transfer at 36 St.

From 11pm Friday to 5am Monday, N trains run local between DeKalb Av and 36 St.

R LINE

There are no service advisories scheduled at this time.

F LINE

From 11:15pm Friday to 5am Monday, Coney Island-bound F trains are rerouted via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts. Trains run express from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza.

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