Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Hate Speech: Queens Playground Repeatedly Targeted November 16th.

On November 29th a gold spray painted swastika was found at the entrance to Reiff Playground seen here after it was partly painted over by park workers.   (Photos: NYC Park Adovocates) Click on images to enlarge.


By Geoffrey Croft

The Maspeth playground discovered defaced with anti-Jewish and anti-police graffiti last week has been targeted three times over the last six weeks, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Numerous swastikas have been found scrawled in the 1.5 acre playground on 59th Drive & Fresh Pond Road.   

Several pentagram and pentacle symbols were also drawn. Graffiti was found on play equipment with graphic sexual phrases were kids were seen playing, a derogatory phrase towards Jesus Christ were also discovered. 

The vandal (s) have hit play equipment,  the comfort station, handball courts,  basketball court,  benches and slides in three separate incidents - November 29, 16, and October 30th.

The most recent were discovered last Tuesday where two swastikas in gold spay paint were found including one on the sign at the entrance of the playground. 

November 29, 2016. A swastika in black spray paint and MDMA, aka ecstasy,  was illustrated with a face were found written on the ground of the playground.  “F**k the Jew,” written in gold spray paint was next to them.

"F**k the Police" and "shomoney,"  along with a money and heart symbol were found written in gold spray paint on the handball courts.  

Playground equipment slides, and the comfort station door and benches were also defaced with gold spray paint. 

The walls of a nearby factory building were also hit.

On November 15, six swastikas were found scrawled on the handball courts.  Graphic sexual actions naming two males were also seen on the courts. 

On October 30 playground equipment were defaced with graphic sexual suggestions while kids were seen playing on them. 

A large area of the exterior comfort station wall was also defaced including a derogatory phrase towards Jesus Christ along with the phrase,  “Death over Dishonor.”  A bathroom door was also hit.

The surface of the basketball court, the handball courts, and steps were also spray painted.

Park employees canvassed the area and talked with homeowners and businesses in an effort to obtain surveillance footage.

The NYPD said yesterday that there has been a 115 percent increase in bias crimes since the election last month. Hate crimes are up 35 percent for all of 2016 compared to the year prior. 

The most concentrated number of incidents has come in the weeks since November 8. Police reported 43 incidents compared to 20 during the same period of 2015.  Of the 43 attacks, 24 were directed at Jews—three times as many as occurred last November.

 Seven swastikas were found on the handball courts.

October 30th. 

November 29. Graffitti was found on the slide.

November 29th.

A large area of the exterior comfort station wall was also defaced including a derogatory phrase towards Jesus Christ.

(Photos: NYC Park Adovocates) Click on images to enlarge.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Anti-Semitic & Anti-Police Graffiti Found In Queens Playground


Anti-Jewish and anti-police graffiti were found scrawled in a Maspeth playground, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

A swastika in black spray paint and the phrase "F**k the Jew," in gold spray paint  were found written on the ground. 

"F**k the Police" and "shomoney,"  along with a money and heart symbol were found written in gold spray paint on the handball courts.

The offending messages were found in Reiff Playground by a park goer on Wednesday just after midnight. 

Hate graffiti has recently sprung up in several parks across the city perhaps most noteworthy in Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn Heights named after the former Beastie Boy.

Central Park: Three Charged In Nanny Robbery


By Geoffrey Croft

Three teenagers were charged in yesterday's brazen midday robbery of a nanny in Central Park.

The 50-year-old nanny was pushing a 22-month-old baby in a stroller at 12:40 p.m. in the park near 90th Street and Central Park West when they were approached from behind by three assailants including a 14-year-old girl.

The caretaker and child were coming across the park from speech therepy class on the eastside when one the muggers grabbed the woman’s bag out of the stroller.   

When the victim yelled, "Help me,"  she was pushed from behind and knocked to the ground by the girl. 

The assailants fled westbound out of the park with her purse.  

Police canvased the area and spotted suspects matching the description a few blocks away on Amsterdam and West 85th Street.

When police approached, one of the suspects, John Torres refused to be handcuffed and took off.  He ran to the roof of a building at 222 West 83rd Street a few blocks away and was apprehended by police after a foot chase.

Police recovered the woman’s stolen property including her credit card.

Three suspects were arrested.

John Torres, 19 of Manhattan was charged with Robbery, Possession of Stolen Property and Resisting Arrest.

Pedro Castillo, 19, of the Bronx was also charged with Robbery.

The 14-year-old girl was also charged with Robbery.   She has no priors and was processed as a juvenile.  She lives in the same 3rd Avenue building as Torres. 

The assailants were put in line ups but it appears they were not involved in other robberies in the park. 

Castillo has at least six priors including arrests for stolen property and petit larceny.

Castillo and Torres were arrested together on September 9th for marijuana possession.

Read More:

A Walk In The Park - November 30, 2016 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Central Park: Nanny With Child Mugged By Group Of Teens


By Geoffrey Croft

A nanny pushing a 22-month-old infant in a stroller was mugged inside Central Park today, NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

The 50-year-old Asian woman was pushed from behind, knocked to the ground. The assailants when took her knapsack and fled.

The incident occurred at 12:40 p.m. near 90th Street and Central Park West.  

Police responded and caught the three suspects, two males, 19, and a female, 14,  on Amsterdam and West 88th Street and recovered the stolen goods.

Charges are pending according to police.

The woman and child were not injured.

Police are investigating the possibility that one of the males is wanted in other Central Park robberies.    The suspects have been in the Pct. for hours as the police conduct line ups to see if they are responsible for any other crimes in the area.

This is the second Asian woman robbed in recent days in the park. 

On Sunday a fifty-six-year old upper eastside woman was beaten and robbed in Central Park on her way home from work near 67th Street and Central Park West. The victim was pushed her to the ground, kicked and robbed of her iPhone.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Central Park: Woman Robbed & Beaten By Group Walking Home From Work


By Geoffrey Croft

A fifty-six-year old upper eastside woman was beaten and robbed last night in Central Park returning home from work. 

The victim told police she was walking home through the park after finishing her job on the westside.

She entered the park at 67th Street and Central Park West and walked eastbound on the pedestrian path. She passed four males, Hispanic and black, 15 to 17 sitting on a bench near the carousel about 9:30 p.m. 

Two suspects shoved her and smacked her iPhone out of her hands and picked it up and fled.

Two others pushed her to the ground and kicked her.

The theives took her black Gucci handbag with credit cards along with $500 dollars.

Her injuries included a bump on her head, cuts and bruises to her wrist and knee.

Police tracked the phone to 151st. Street and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx where it was turned off.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

City Buys Final Piece Of Long Promised Bushwick Inlet Park For $ 160 Million

The city has finally purchased the last piece of land needed to complete the long promised Bushwick Inlet Park along the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront. The city announced it will purchase the 11-acre site for $ 160 million.  The 27 acre park was promised more than a decade ago in exchange to allow luxury high-rise housing.   (Image: Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park) Click on image to enlarge

The deal ends years of contention between the community and two administrations.  Much anger was also directed towards Norman Brodsky, the majority owner of the former CitiStorage site, who many park and open space advocates felt was holding the site hostage preventing the purchase from moving forward.

The city has now spent $358 million purchasing land over the past decade on the park plan. 

Brodsky gave credit to the local Council member.

“The deal was made possible because of Steve Levin’s work, period,” Brodsky said.

 “He put the whole deal together."   

"Today is the day we begin turning the full vision of Bushwick Inlet Park into a reality," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. 

“After an extensive negotiation, we have struck a fair agreement to acquire the CitiStorage site. This is an investment in the future of Brooklyn, and in the children, longtime residents and newcomers in this community,” he said.

Read More:

City makes final land buy in long-delayed Brooklyn waterfront park
New York Post - November 22, 2016 - By Rich Calder  

New York Daily News - November 22, 2016 -  By Erin Durkin

A Walk In The Park - July 11, 2016 

A Walk In the Park - June 13, 2012 

A Walk In the Park - May 18, 2012 

A Walk In the Park - July 21, 2011 

Monday, November 21, 2016

High Line Assault


By Geoffrey Croft

A  good Samaritan was punched in the face yesterday afternoon on the High Line,  NYC Park Advocates has learned.  

A group of teens were up on the elevated park near 28th Street at 4:20pm.  when a park goer asked one of the teens if they needed help.

That’s when one of them turned around and suddenly hit him in the face.

The victim, a 40-year-old caucasian male,  suffered a bloody nose and cut on his hand.

The teens fled.

The assailant is described as a black male approximately 16-years-old and wearing a grey hoodie.

NYPD responded to the scene.