In Menachem Stark case, new video 'shows the perp,' says source
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A surveillance video released by the NYPD Wednesday night shows a man police believe is a suspect in the abduction of businessman Menachem Stark walking near the victim's Brooklyn office about six hours before the Jan. 2 kidnapping.
The video shows a man exiting a white van and walking to the corner of Broadway and Rutledge Street in Williamsburg. A reverse angle view from a different camera showed the suspect, who was wearing a dark ski cap, a plaid coat with a hood and jeans, walking back to the vehicle and re-entering. "It shows the perp," a law enforcement official said about the new video.
On Tuesday, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said investigators were examining videos, E-ZPass records and license plate readers to find the white van used in the abduction.
Stark was abducted late Jan. 2, and his partially burned body was found in a trash bin outside a Great Neck gas station on Saturday. Stark, 39, was taken from outside his office at 331 Rutledge St. about 11:35 p.m. as the city was being hit by a snowstorm.
Additional cameras captured the abduction and showed two people attacking Stark and putting him into a white van.
Bratton said police were relying on technology to solve the case, though he said that had not helped investigators develop any significant leads.
"This disclosure gives us a clear picture, measures the height and weight and complexion," said Isaac Abraham, a Williamsburg activist, after watching the video Wednesday night. Abraham said that a car seen double-parked near the white van may have been used as a backup vehicle or lookout car.
"I am very happy that this is something that can help us solve this," Rabbi David Niederman, head of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, said after watching the tape, "but it is just the beginning."
A law enforcement official briefed on the case said police are looking into Stark's business activity, as well as the way he treated employees.