Yesterday, Dimitri Sheinman, a former Inwood resident, was convicted of assaulting a man - and his dog - while in Inwood Hill Park. Usually a story like this wouldn't be newsworthy, but Sheinman has actually been the "number 1" suspect in the May 2004 murder of Juilliard student Sarah Fox since December 2004. Fox's body was found in the Inwood Hill Park after she had been jogging, and her death sparked an massive police search of the area that came up short. The NY Times has a more in-depth look at the two cases. During the 2005 assault, Sheinman claims that Rene Perez's dog jumped on his wife's pregnant belly and his young daughter's stroller; Perez says that Sheinman the kicked the dog away. Sheinman then proceeded to punch Perez when Perez called him a criminal. That's a good move - to be publicly known as the number one suspect in a murder and to beat people up. Then again the DA's office never charged him, because there wasn't enough evidence.
What's interesting is that though the prosecutors couldn't talk about Sheinman's involvement in the Fox case (he offered his services as a clairvoyant to police during the Fox investigation), jurors seemed to figure out there was "something else going on." Sheinman has been released on $100,000 bail; he and his family had moved to South Africa last year.