BY THE VILLAGE SUN | The New York Post provided more information on the recent slashing on E. 14th Street that left a man in critical condition with a gashed neck.
As The Village Sun first reported, the incident occurred Sun., Jan. 21, around 5 p.m., on the south side of the street, just east of First Avenue, along a stretch frequently used by unlicensed street vendors.
According to police, a man was peeing on a parked car near the McDonald’s.
According to the Post, the caretaker of Immaculate Conception Church, John Mach, 54, told the guy to knock it off. The Post said the man was actually peeing in between two parked cars. Mach said the wayward whizzer also, at one point, even tried to pee on the Catholic church’s wall.
As the custodian tells it, the urinator told Mach, “F— you” and took a swing at him. He said the man also threatened two other church employees, warning he had a blade.
Saying he had to defend himself, as things turned physical, Mach punched the pee’er, claiming he knocked him out.
“I had to defend myself and the church,” he declared.
But the angry dribbler returned soon after — having changed his clothes, according to Mach. In a surprise attack, as Mach, with his backed turned to the street, was helping a woman in a wheelchair down a ramp, the attacker came up from behind and savagely sunk the boxcutter into his neck. The vicious slash — stretching from beneath the church worker’s ear to under his chin — required 16 stitches to close.
According to the daily tabloid, Mach, who is originally from Puerto Rico, tried to catch the fleeing creep, but gave up after about half a block. He then trudged the two blocks to nearby Mount Sinai Beth Israel ER to treat the gaping wound.
Mach blasted the police for not adequately patrolling the area.
“New York police should do their job better,” he said. “We’re at 14th and First, we’re in one of the main avenues of the Lower East Side, and we never see officers here.”
Surveillance photos show the suspect wearing a red-and-black The North Face puffer jacket and a gray hat, pulling a small shopping cart and carrying a cup containing a golden-colored liquid in his hand. He sported a light growth of dark facial hair.
Police ask that anyone with information call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted on the Crime Stoppers Web site at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org or on Twitter at @NYPDTips.
Some refer to that stretch of E. 14th Street as a “thieves market.” However, Sal Sadik, one of the vendors, told The Village Sun that the Asian women, for example, who sell canned food and the like on the sidewalk there actually get their goods for free from churches.
The 58-year-old vendor, originally from Morocco, said police periodically do sweeps of the strip.
“Sometimes they give me a ticket; sometimes they take your stuff,” he said of the cops. “It depends on who it is. If you say you don’t have a vending license, a nice cop would say, ‘Pack up.’
“This area used to be quiet and nice,” he recalled. “But the people mess it up, drinking and fighting.”
The interview took place last April, a few months before the long-delayed Panda Express on the west side of the intersection finally opened. Sadik was selling his wares from atop a blanket outside the place. He said when the eatery finally did start business, there was no way it would still allow vending on that corner.
He was selling $2 DVD movies, books, a crocheted vest, a golden pirate necklace, a blue clown wig, small children’s toys and other sundry items. He said people donate things to him and that there’s also a place in Hell’s Kitchen where he can pick up free stuff.
Sadik lives in a homeless shelter on the Bowery — in a single room, which he said makes all the difference, since some of the residents can be trouble. He spends the money he gets from vending on Cokes, Budweisers and loose cigarettes.
A former cook, he used to make good money, up to $900 a week. He enjoyed cars and taking women out on the town for a fun time. But kitchen work is fast-paced and demanding.
“I used to cook,” he said. “I got tired of cooking. … You have to be flying. It’s not easy to get a job.”