Gramercy Spa Worker Busted for Prostitution, Authorities Say
GRAMERCY — A spa employee was charged with prostitution after she propositioned an undercover police officer, NYPD said.
When the officer went into QM Spa at 132 E. 23rd St. and asked for a massage at about 5:45 p.m. on Aug. 14, Dong Wei told him she'd give him a hand job for an additional $30, according to police and the Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal complaint.
Wei, 29, was charged with prostitution, a misdemeanor.
When reached by phone on Tuesday, Wei said in Mandarin that the undercover officer was the one who requested the illegal sexual service, and she refused.
“I told him I don’t do that,” Wei said.
She said that after she rebuffed the officer, he asked her for a 30-minute massage and a foot massage instead. When she left the room to check on the price, officers poured into the salon and arrested her, Wei said.
She is due back in court on Sept. 16.
Three other employees of the spa — Xiu Ling Fu, 37; Jian Yi Gao, 26; and Qingling Chai, 36 — were arrested on the same day for performing hourlong massages without a license, according to police.
Police confiscated $700 in cash from the spa and all of its surveillance cameras, said Kong Na, manager of the spa, which has been operating for three years.
Na added that there was no prostitution in the spa and that the workers who were arrested for being unlicensed were allowed to do massages as apprentices.
“There are no such actions here,” Na said of the prostitution charge. “They were just bargaining over the price. She didn’t do anything."
Wei's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Information about lawyers for the other spa employees was not immediately available.
Additional reporting by Serena Dai.
Other recent crimes in the 13th Precinct include:
► A teen grabbed a man by the neck and tried to rob him on East 20th Street between First Avenue and the East River, police said.
Tory Lugo, 18, attacked the victim from behind about 8:35 p.m. on Aug. 16 and reached into his pants pocket, but ultimately didn't take anything, according to the criminal complaint.
Lugo was charged with attempted robbery. The court ordered a psychiatric exam during his arraignment.
He is due back in court on Sept. 17. His attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment.
► A food cart detached from a man's car, crashed into the sidewalk and flipped over in the middle of a crowded bus stop last week, police said.
Arturo Garcia, 32, was transporting his food cart with his Nissan Pathfinder about 1 p.m. Aug. 11 when the cart suddenly came loose, landing on a busy sidewalk at Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street, police said.
Garcia fled after the accident but returned to the scene 20 minutes later and admitted that the cart belonged to him, police said.
Garcia was charged with reckless endangerment. Information regarding his lawyer was not immediately available.