The Real Deal New York

Rent-stabilized tenant claims Chelsea super tried to kill her

Sylvia Rivera alleges landlord Joseph Kizner ordered super to scare tenants into moving out

September 27, 2016 12:00PM

317-321 West 21st Street

317-321 West 21st Street

The superintendent of a Chelsea apartment building attempted to kill a 73-year-old resident after the landlord instructed him to harass tenants, according to a new civil suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The plaintiff, Sylvia Rivera, a resident of the 20-unit building at 317-321 West 21st Street for more than 40 years, is suing the super Noe Ortega and landlord Joseph Kizner for the alleged attack, which she claims was an escalation of the landlord’s campaign to harass residents into moving out.

According to the suit, on July 7, following an argument Ortega dragged Rivera to the basement, beat her and then attempted to kill her three different ways: strangling her with a plastic bag, choking her with a broomstick and then with his hands.

Rivera escaped and called 911, and Ortega was arrested on the scene, the New York Post reported. Ortega is awaiting trial on harassment charges.

Rivera claims that Kizner, the landlord, had ordered Ortega to harass and threaten the tenants to get them to move out, and that Ortega had a history of menacing behavior which Kizner “encouraged and supported.”

Rivera pays $900 a month and for the rent-stabilized one-bedroom apartment where she’s lived since 1972, and told the NYP she’s not going anywhere. Other one-bedrooms in the building rent for $2,800 a month, according to StreetEasy. [NYP]Chava Gourarie