Saturday, August 23, 2014

Central Park: Woman Shot In Head With BB Gun - NYPD Hate Crime Unit Investigating Attack

The police released a sketch of one of the female suspects wanted in a August 18th attack in Central Park. A 36-year-old  jogger was shot in the back of the head with a BB gun in Central Park by five people who shouted anti-white epithets. The incident occurred near 60th Street and West Drive just after midnight.  The suspects - three men and two women - are believed to be between 15 and 20 years old.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.


The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating an assault that happened in Central Park last Monday, according to WCBS News.

According to police, a 36-year-old woman was assaulted while exiting the park near 60th Street and West Drive around midnight.

CBS 2’s Don Champion spoke exclusively with the victim, who didn’t want to show her face.

Detectives say she was shot in the back of the head with a BB gun.

“I immediately put my hand to the back of my head and there was blood everywhere and I turned around and I said, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing? What did you do to me?” she said.

What they said to her next, she says, was a mix of expletives, and “white people should die.”

She said she is still struggling to make sense of what happened to her.

“I didn’t make extreme eye contact. There was nothing said,” she said. “I don’t understand, I don’t understand at all.” 

The victim spent the night in the hospital where doctors told her it’s too dangerous to remove the BB that’s now lodged in the soft tissue of her head, Champion reported.

“They physically have marked me, if you will. It’s possible, maybe in the future that they’ll remove it,” she said. 

The victim says she’s now afraid of people coming up behind her and loud noises.  “I also have to pray for those people because where did they learn that kind of hatred?” she said.

Police described the suspects as between 15 and 20 years old and all wearing dark-colored clothing.  The attack has shocked some joggers and put some on high alert.  “It brings concerns. There should be more park rangers protecting runners,” jogger Sujeiry Corniel told CBS 2’s Don Champion.

Anyone with information regarding the attack is urged to  call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Read/View More:

NYPD Hate Crime Unit Investigating Central Park Attack
WCBS - August 23, 2014

‘Anti-white statements’ made after jogger shot with pellet 
New York Post - August 23, 2014 -  By Natasha Velez

Tompkinsville Park Deteriorates Since Police Orders Parks' To Keep It Open Since Eric Garner's Death

Unlawful activity in Tompkinsville Park has increased dramatically since the Police Department instructed the Parks Department not to lock up the park at night. The order came the day after the choking death of Eric Garner's by the police.  As of July, there have been close to a hundred arrests in the vicinity of park this year on quality-of-life type violations.   "The park needs a lot of attention," said a Park law enforcement source. "Public urination, drinking, drug use,  the homeless are washing their clothes in the fountain."  

Police expect a large crowd today at a planned march and rally. The event is expected to begin at 11 a.m. at 204 Bay St. across from Tompkinsville Park where the 43-year-old Garner was killed. 

Staten Island

The NYPD has told the Parks Department to stand down when it comes to aggressively patrolling the park that is located right in the middle of the uproar surrounding Eric Garner's death at the hands of police. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
A sign outside Tompkinsville Park reads "This Park Closes at Dusk." And yet at 10 o'clock at night its gates are unlocked and there are still people hanging out inside.
"I've seen like people drinking, out of the paper bags and stuff, I haven't actually seen like drug use, but I mean, you'll see the guy smoking the doobie and whatever," said one passerby.
As of July, there were close to a hundred arrests in the park this year on quality of life type violations. It's just one of 11 on Staten Island that is supposed to be locked every night by the Parks Enforcement Patrol, or PEP.
PEP officers lock the gate and clear loiterers from the area in the hopes of preventing vandalism and other illegal activity. Parks officers - and the NYPD - are allowed to issue summonses to anyone caught hanging around inside after hours. Residents say that has been common practice for the last several years, until very recently.
"It's supposed to be closed; there's no lights in the park," said one neighborhood resident.
"If they always close it then they shouldn't have changed that," said another neighborhood resident.
But since Eric Garner's death across the street at the hands of the police, residents say that has changed.
Garner is the 43-year-old father of six who died during a quality-of-life crackdown by police who were trying to stop the illegal sale of cigarettes.
The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and a grand jury will decide whether charges will be brought in the case.
Sources say since Garner's death, the Parks Department has been told by the NYPD to stop locking the park and issuing summonses to anyone hanging out inside.
"The police want it open? Why? That makes no sense," said one Tompkinsville resident.
In the short time NY1 was at the park, the station witnessed public drinking, public urination, and a fist fight: All reasons residents say the park should be off limits after dark.
The NYPD confirms it did tell the Parks Department to relax its rules about closing the park because of the sensitivity of the situation with Garner, pointing to a memorial in his honor nearby.
Police vehicles were visible during NY1's visit and the NYPD says the area is still heavily patrolled.
Read/View More:

NY1 - August 22, 2014 - By Amanda Farinacci  

Friday, August 22, 2014

Woman On Bike With Dog Run Over By Parks Department Garbage Truck


Parks Department mini-packer garbage truck. (File Photo)  The Parks' truck hit a 20-year-old woman while biking and her  5-month-old Pomeranian. 


By Geoffrey Croft

A 20-year-old woman and her  5-month-old Pomeranian puppy, Charlie, were injured after being struck by a Parks Department garbage truck NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The incident occurred yesterday evening around 5:10pm at 104 Street & 43 Avenue.

A Parks Department source said the rider was weaving through traffic on her bike when it struck by the garbage truck.

The woman sustained an injury to her left arm when the rear tire of  "mini-packer" ran over it. 

The injured bike rider and dog were transported to Elmhurst Hospital. The woman was in stable condition according to EMS.

The puppy suffered three fractures and substantial bleeding, but no internal injuries, so he should be able to make a full recovery according to the FDNY. 

Read More:

City Parks Dept. Truck Hits, Injures Woman Biking With Her Puppy in Queens
DNAinfo - August 22, 2014 - By Natalie Musumeci  

Central Park Cafe Robbed


Burglars swiped a safe containing thousands in cash from a Central Park cafe, police sources said, according to the New York Post.

A clerk arriving for work at the Knish Nosh cafe near East 74th Street at 6 a.m. Monday realized the side door was ajar, according to sources.  He alerted the owner of the cafe, who found that the safe had been pried loose from its floor bolts, the sources said.  Work boots and a pickax were recovered at the scene, police sources said.

The safe contained between $15,000 and $17,000, said authorities.

Read More:

Daily Blotter
New York Post - August 22, 2014 - By Matt McNulty, Aaron Feis and Natasha Velez

Couple Held Up At Gunpoint In East River Park Robberies


Cops are looking for four robbers believed to be responsible for three thefts in 35 minutes on the Lower East Side, according to the NY Post.   

The gang of two men and two women knocked a ­29-year-old victim to the ground at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday near Cherry and Rutgers streets, authorities said.  The suspects punched the victim and stole his bracelet and $40, police said.  Cops said the goons struck again a half-hour later, pulling a gun on a man and a woman sitting in East River Park.  Neither victim was harmed, but the thieves fled with the woman’s purse, authorities said.  Five minutes later, the group held up an 18-year-old man in the park, snatching the victim’s watch, according to police.  The thieves are believed to be between 18 and 20 years old.

Read More:

Daily Blotter
New York Post - August 22, 2014 - By Matt McNulty, Aaron Feis and Natasha Velez

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Suspect Wanted In Central Park Robberies

The police released this sketch of a suspect wanted in several strong-arm robberies
in Central Park since Monday in the vicinity of 74 Street and East Drive near the Loeb Boathouse just after 12:00am. In both incidents the assailant placed the victim in a chokehold and robbed them.  


The NYPD is seeking the public's assistance in locating and identifying the following individual wanted in connection to a robbery pattern within the confines of the 22nd Precinct (Central Park). 

The circumstances are as follows:

1:  On Monday, August 18, 2014 at approximately 0005 hours, the suspect approached the 47 year-old male victim from behind in the vicinity of 74 Street and East Drive and placed him into a chokehold. The suspect then brought the victim to the ground and removed his backpack, which contained $7 in cash, one (1) debit card, and two (2) credit cards.  The suspect then fled to parts unknown.

2:  On Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at approximately 0025 hours, the suspect engaged the 47 year-old male victim in conversation in the vicinity of 74 Street and the East Drive and placed him in a chokehold.  The suspect then brought the victim to the ground and removed his bag, which contained $140 in cash and a debit card.

The suspect is described as follows:

Male, Black, approximately 6'5"

A sketch is attached.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Judge Dismisses Flushing Meadows Park "Willets Point West" Lawsuit - Group Vows To Appeal

A scheme hatched by the Bloomberg Administration and the City Council aims to hand over 47. 5 acres of Flushing Meadows - Corona Park worth as estimated $ 1 billion dollars to The Related Companies and Sterling Equities to build a 1.4 million sq. ft. mall known as Willets Point West. They are attempting to push the massive project through without receiving any approvals or even a vote. (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) 


A New York State Supreme Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed to prevent dozens of acres of public parkland from being developed into the city's largest shopping mall.  The group vows to appeal.     

Justice Manuel J. Mendez  dismissed the lawsuit which challenges the give-away of 47 acres of public parkland in Flushing Meadows Corona Park worth an estimated $ 1 billion to The Related Companies/ Sterling Equities to build "Willet's West," a 1.4 million square foot mega-mall adjacent to CitiField.  (full decision below)

A coalition of area residents,  environmental groups, business and home owners, and State Senator Tony Avella filed a lawsuit in New York County Supreme Court in February demanding the City halt its illegal handing over of mapped Parkland to build a mega-mall.

The suit also asks the Court to nullify actions taken by the Planning Commission, and approved by the Council in October of last year, to permit construction of parking facilities in Willets Point in lieu of the affordable housing and supportive facilities called for by the 2008 plan.  

The complaint alleges that the project cannot proceed without approval by the State Legislature under the “public trust” doctrine that protects all parkland throughout the State against non-park uses without the consent of the Legislature which was not requested or obtained.

The City and developers claim entitlement to the land based on a 1961 law which authorized the construction of Shea Stadium.

The suit claims that the 1961 law never granted the defendants the use of the premises for these purposes.  

During the oral arguments on July 30th the developers and the City spent most of the time talking about the alleged benefits their project and very little time addressing the legal issues before the Court.  The Plaintiffs argued that the defendants were brazenly violating State law and the City Charter's land use provisions. 

“Most of their response, in their argument, had actually nothing to do with the issue at hand," State Senator Tony Avella commented after the hearing last month.

"The issue is that they still have to get the necessary approval from the State Legislature and undergo the City’s land use process before being able to develop on-site. As things stand right now, the developers are illegally taking away parkland and the City is letting them!" the Senator said.

Related Companies and Sterling Equities are attempting to build a 1.4 million square foot mall on 47.5 acres of mapped parkland in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, west of Citi-Field stadium.  This represents the largest public parkland giveaway in recent history. The proposed project would allow the seizing of the public parkland to be used exclusively for non-park purposes without first getting State Alienation approval as is required under the law.  The construction of such a mall on public parkland would be unprecedented. 

The oral arguments also  provided some colorful moments.  Former Chief NY State Supreme Justice Judith Kaye, counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom representing the developers  explicitly inferred that shopping was a "recreational use." 

Plaintiff's include State Senator Tony Avella, City Club of New York, Queens Civic Congress, several members of Willets Point United Inc., and nearby residents/business owners, and NYC Park Advocates. 

"The decision flies in the face of the Public Trust Doctrine and ignores long-established case law, " said NYC Park Advocates, president Geoffrey Croft, a plaintiff in the suit. 

"Equally troubling is it bestows the powers of the former Board of Estimate for  land-use decisions to one person, the Mayor.  This is ironic considering the Board was declared unconstitutional because it violated the "one man, one vote"  provision of the Equal Protection Clause  which was determined to be un-democratic.  This is an issue that every NYC resident and elected official should be greatly concerned with," Croft stated 

"Plaintiffs believe that the decision misunderstands the common law doctrine that prohibits any nonpark use of parkland without the specific and explicit approval of the State Legislature,"   the plaintiff's attorney John Low-Beer said in a statement.  

"The State Legislature, when it passed the 1961 law permitting the construction of Shea Stadium, did not intend to allow construction of a shopping mall.  That law did not allow the construction of anything except a stadium and related facilities on the site.  Plaintiffs will appeal, and believe that this decision will be reversed on appeal."

"It was disheartening to learn of Justice Mendoza's decision today in respect to the Willets West lawsuit," NY State Senator Tony Avella, who represents the 11th Senatorial District, and a plaintiff in the lawsuit stated. 

"We made some very good legal arguments and strongly believe that we are in the right on this issue. I look forward to submitting an appeal alongside the other plaintiffs and feel confident about a future positive outcome."

The proposed  1.4 million square foot retail and entertainment development was approved by the City Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Rendering of the $ 3 billion dollar Willets Point projects.

Read More:

New York Daily News - August 21,  2014 - By Eli Rosenberg

Despite win, Willets Point developers are cautious
Crain's NY Business -  August 21, 2014 - By Joe Anuta 

New York Daily News - August 4, 2014,  By Tony Avella & John Low-Beer 

A Walk In The Park - February 11,  2014 

City Limits - November 1, 2013 - By Patrick Arden

Legal Questions Emerge About Citi Field Mall

City Limits - July 30, 2012 - By Patrick Arden