The recent repurposing of an Upper West Side hotel from a dormitory for musical theater students into an asylum seeker shelter is not going without incident.
Since the Stratford Arms building (117 West 70th Street) began welcoming new residents, there have been numerous noise complaints, unregistered bikes parked in the area, and most recently, a violent reaction to police attempting to confiscate the bikes in an incident that was caught on video.
Police say that on Thursday, August 31, officers were on the scene responding to a community complaint about various mopeds, scooters, and bikes parked in the area of the building on West 70th Street. While officers were attempting to confiscate the vehicles, the NYPD report says that 20-year-old migrant Baibaia Rodriguez was arrested after trying to stop the officers from taking a bike. The initial report says that she “hit an officer with an open hand” and “refused to be cuffed after she was taken into custody.”
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Police ended up seizing four mopeds, one motorcycle, nine bicycles and one scooter.
Police Activity @CitizenApp
2025 Broadway Aug 31 10:22:47 PM EDT
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office gave us a copy of the complaint stating that at 10:13 p.m. on Thursday, Police Lieutenant Stephen Schoefer “felt an individual’s open hand hit his right shoulder from behind.” Rodriguez, who police believe lives in the building, was charged with resisting arrest, attempted assault in the third degree, and disorderly conduct. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office agreed to release her on her own recognizance with charges that were not bail-eligible and with a court date of October 19.
The Stratford Arms building was formerly a dormitory for the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). Mayor Eric Adams announced in early June that it would become an asylum seeker shelter, and since then, the NY Post has reported on complaints of excess noise, prostitution and unregistered bikes – which led longtime resident Joe Germanotta (Lady Gaga’s dad) to create the West 70th Street Tenants Association in order to petition City Hall to take better control of the situation.