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Man Arrested for Sending Kids Into Traffic to Sell Candy, Police Say

By Heather Holland | September 25, 2013 1:35pm | Updated on September 25, 2013 5:35pm
 A man was arrested after leaving his three young children alone to sell fruit snacks in the street.
A man was arrested after leaving his three young children alone to sell fruit snacks in the street.
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — A man was arrested after police found his three young children selling fruit snacks alone on a Village street, the NYPD said.

Police spotted the three children, ages 8, 10 and 11, walking through heavy rush hour traffic to sell Welch's fruit snacks to pedestrians near 14th Street and Sixth Avenue about 6 p.m. Sept. 18, police said.

The children were in the middle of the street, in line with moving cars, according to the criminal complaint.

When approached by police officers, the kids said their father had told them to sell the snacks for $2 each and to meet him at a nearby PATH station when they were done, police said.

The children were carrying three boxes of candy, each holding 52 individual packages of snacks, police said.

The police escorted the children to the PATH station to meet their father, but he was nowhere to be found, police said.

Marcus Wright, 29, showed up about 15 minutes later to meet his kids. He was holding an open 200-milliliter bottle of Georgi vodka, police said.

Wright admitted to police that he had left the children to sell the snacks while he went to get vodka, according to the criminal complaint.

“I was not drunk, but I was intoxicated,” Wright told police, according to the complaint.

"I made a huge mistake, I can admit it. I had spread the children out at different places. They knew the drill.”

Wright was arrested and charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, the Manhattan DA's office said. 

Police notified the Administration for Children's Services, and the children were taken to Bellevue Hospital, police said.

Information regarding Wright’s lawyer was not immediately available. A representative from the Administration for Children's Services said the agency is investigating the matter.

Wright and his children also did not have licenses to vend in the city, police said.

Wright is due back in court on Oct. 15.

Other notable crimes in this week's NYPD blotter for the 6th Precinct include:

► A man was arrested outside of the Employees Only bar last week for allegedly hitting another man in the head with a glass cup, police said.

The 24-year-old victim told police that Moses Laboy, 30, began arguing with him outside of the bar, located at 510 Hudson St., at about 4:15 a.m. on Sept. 18.

As the argument escalated, the victim told police Laboy pushed and punched him, before picking up a 9-ounce glass cup and throwing it at his face, causing cuts to his left eyebrow and left upper lip, police said.

Laboy then fled in a yellow cab going north on Hudson Street, police said.

The victim said that he had worked with Laboy in the past. Laboy was arrested on the same day, police said.

Laboy’s lawyer declined to comment. Employees Only declined to comment. Laboy is due back in court on Oct. 28.

► A teen was arrested after punching a man in the face in front of 501 Hudson St. at about 2:50 a.m. on Sept. 15.

Jonte, 17, whose last name was withheld by authorities because of his age, allegedly punched an 18-year-old man in the face, giving him a black eye, police said.

Jonte then pushed the victim into a window, causing it to break and cutting the victim on the wrist.

The victim told police that he knew Jonte previously. Jonte was charged with assault, attempted assault and harassment, the Manhattan DA's office said.

Jonte's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

► A 43-year-old man was arrested after allegedly breaking a car window and trying to steal property that was inside.

Rolando Colon allegedly broke the rear driver's side window of a car in front of 33 Bank St. about 4:35 a.m. Sept. 19, causing $250 worth of damage, police said.

Police found Colon holding a metal tool, commonly used for robberies, in his left pants pocket, the NYPD said.

Colon was identified by a witness and was arrested on the same day.

Information regarding Colon’s lawyer was not immediately available.

► A 27-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly snatching a Louis Vuitton wallet, worth $200, from another woman’s purse inside of Wicked Willy’s bar, located at 149 Bleecker St.

The 29-year-old victim left her purse hanging on a bar stool unattended about 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 12, and upon returning to her seat, she found that her wallet, which contained her driver's license and an American Express credit card, was missing, police said.

She told the bar’s staff of the incident and reviewed a surveillance video, which showed Pariis Francis removing the wallet from the bag.

Police tracked down Francis using her driver's license, which the bar staff had photographed before she entered the bar, police said.

Police said they found no activity on the stolen credit card.

Francis was charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny.

Information regarding Francis’ attorney was not immediately available. She is due back in court on Jan. 17, 2014.