On Tuesday, a man walked into an Upper East Side bodega and decided to crack open a beer from the shelf.
It happened at 6:51 p.m. at Smiley’s, located at 802 Lexington Avenue on the corner of East 62nd Street.
When a 51-year-old female employee asked the man (who she didn’t recognize) to pay for it, she tells us he tried to grab another one, punched her in the right eye and threatened to kill her. She was not hospitalized as a result of the incident.
According to a police report, the man – 29-year-old Mohamed Elhadramy – was arrested and charged with robbery.
The female employee told us the store has many surveillance cameras, something she made sure Elhadramy was aware of – though this clearly didn’t deter him.
She told East Side Feed she’s been working at Smiley’s for eight or nine years, and while this was far from the first time she saw someone stealing, it was the first time she felt the need to call the police.
According to the NYPD, Elhadramy has 16 prior arrests on charges including Bail jumping, Grand Larceny, Petit Larceny, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Robbery, Assault, Theft of Service and Criminal Mischief. Most recently, Elhadramy made headlines for stealing a cellphone from a 12-year-old girl in the East Village.
Following the March arrest of 39-year-old Kimond Cyrus (the now-infamous “Hazmat Killer”) for the fatal shooting of Upper East Side deli worker Sueng Chul Choi towards the end of a week-long, three-borough robbery spree, top police brass indicated some new safety measures were being worked on.
“So right now we’re in the process of working with the mayor’s ITB office to build out a communication system where members of the community – a bodega association, taxi drivers – can now communicate with the department and communicate with one another,” said NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey. “So when a robbery like this occurs, they’ll be able to put it out immediately and say, hey there was a robbery incident at this location, here’s a description, be on the lookout, police notified. So this is something we’re trying to build out to start making sure we increase communication and we’re able to respond to these crimes faster and get more information as they occur.”
We’ve reached out to the NYPD to see if any progress has been made on this system, and if it is still on track to materialize.