The latest 100th Precinct Community Council meeting was chock full of information and questions.
The meeting was held on Zoom on Wednesday, March 31. Council president Kathy Heavey kicked it off with a moment of silence for those who’ve died of Covid, those affected by hate crimes and for local active member Denise Kershaw, who died on March 21. The floor was then open to local elected officials and their representatives. Community Affairs officer Maurice Moore and Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson announced that on Saturday, April 10, the 100th Precinct is holding a community and police graffiti cleanup effort. Those who want to participate can meet at the precinct on Beach 94th Street at 10 a.m.
The first speaker was Fabricio Caro from FDNY community affairs. Caro spoke about what the office does, including providing community liaisons who work with community boards and other community groups. Caro didn’t have any fire stats to share but said he will for future meetings. Instead, he spoke of the community services the FDNY offers. Prior to the pandemic, Caro says the FDNY was doing seven- to eight thousand in-person fire safety presentations in communities, schools, senior centers and beyond. Now presentation have switched to a digital format. “Fire safety education is alive and well,” he said.
Next up was Deputy Inspector Ronald McCall of Transit District 23. McCall said the district has only had three crimes so far this year, one of which was an assault the day before the meeting. “It’s not a bias incident, it’s just two customers on the train that didn’t seem to get along,” he said. The incident involved a woman who allegedly stabbed a man and fled the train at the Broad Channel train station. “One woman was on the train already when the victim got on the train. When he went to sit down, the woman had her feet on the seat. He politely asked her to move her feet off the seat and when he sat down, she put her feet on him. There’s some kind of etiquette that needs to be followed. To put your feet on someone’s lap is pretty disrespectful to say the least. They had words with each other, which I understand, but in that situation, the woman got up and attacked him and he didn’t know he had punctures in his arm. He said she might’ve had a sharp instrument,” he explained.
“My NCOs jumped right on it. We got video of a person of interest that came off the train and matched the description. Hopefully We’ll close this case very soon,” he said. The incident began when the man boarded the train at Beach 36th Street in Far Rockaway and ultimately ended at the Broad Channel station. “That’s a situation that happens in our subway system rarely. We’re doing our best to keep you safe. If you see something, say something to our officers,” McCall said.
Next, Captain Carlos Fabara spoke of recent crime stats in the 100th Precinct, explaining that overall, crime in the last 28 days was down more than 40%. Rapes were up by one from zero the same time last year. “It happened on March 14 and details are sketchy right now, but it is under investigation by the special victims unit,” he said. There were no murders in this period. Robberies are down to zero from five the same time last year. There were eight felony assaults, the same as last year. “Fifty percent were domestic and three-quarters are close to arrest. Six occurred between 4 p.m. and midnight,” Fabara said. There was one non-fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man outside of a pool hall on Beach 72nd Street on March 14. There was another incident of shots fired on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 69th Street with no injuries. There was one incident in which a 53-year-old man was hit in the head with a bottle when getting off of a bus on March 7. Burglaries remain the same with four this period, including one residential and three commercial that are linked to a citywide problem. “All three are close to arrest. A 20-year-old male was arrested in connection,” Fabara said. There was a 55% decrease in grand larcenies, down to five from 11 last year. Grand larceny auto is down to one from four and involved a 2018 Jeep taken on March 19.
Despite the concern over recent hate crimes across the city, Fabara said “I’m happy to report we did not have any hate crimes in the period or for the year to date. I know there’s a lot of anxiety about that and it’s something that we’re focusing on and watching intently.” Fabara ended by alerting the community about the newly passed legalization of recreational marijuana. “With that, there’s going to be a big change. It’s basically legal to smoke anywhere where normal smoking is allowed,” he said. Asked about driving under the influence, Fabara explained that it is still illegal, but there is no definitive way to test marijuana levels in a person that can be used in court.
Darrel Wilson, vice president of the Hammels civic association thanked the captain for addressing an issue he brought up at prior meetings regarding homeless people and drug addicts causing disruptions in the mall area between Beach 86th and 88th Streets. “Thank you because it actually changed. There’s a big difference. There’s not big crowds anymore. The 100th Precinct has given us 110% support with these issues we had in our immediate area with people blocking the stores in front. These guys are on board and I appreciate the captain for stepping up,” Wilson said. Heavey also confirmed that she noticed a difference. “I really appreciate the feedback,” Fabara said. “We talk about strategically focusing on deployment and that’s one of the areas we’ve been doing it in and I’m happy it’s working.”
A resident of the Beach 80s, Jocelyn Smith brought up an incident in which she was concerned about how the police responded. On March 29 she reported that her mailbox was broken into at 1:20 in the morning. She saw the people who did it and they fled after she banged on the window. However, she found a bike in her driveway that wasn’t hers. Smith said the police were nice when they responded, but she thought there would be a record of the bike that was found but was disappointed to find that when she called the precinct the next day, they didn’t have it on record. She said the officers didn’t believe the bike wasn’t connected to the crime, as the suspects would have taken it when they fled. The captain said he would have someone follow up with her.
By Katie McFadden
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