Thursday, July 30, 2015

Public Meeting On Controversial Housing Plan Expansion In Brooklyn Bridge Park Set For Tonight

Battle over Pier 6 luxe and affordable housing heats up

Rendering of the two proposed towers at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. A meeting tonight, which will unveil what the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation is touting as its financial justification for needing even more housing in the park,  is expected to be a highly contentious public hearing.

Initially just high-rise luxury housing, Mayor de Blasio added an affordable housing component which the administration hopes will make the controversial plan easier to swallow. That has not occured. 

Naturally proponents of the development plan do not argue that the heavily utilized park be funded by the government - like most public parks are. 

Opponents of the plan are hoping Governor Cuomo gets involved.

Paying for Parks With Housing

By Geoffrey Croft

Opponents of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation and Mayor de Blasio backed plan to build 339 units of housing by Pier 6 at the southern end of Brooklyn Bridge Park are expected to come out this evening to a meeting being held at St. Francis College beginning at 6 p.m.  - 180 Remsen Street - 1st Floor Board Room. 

Critics have long argued that that the money generated from these last two housing towers - as well as other developments - are not needed to fund the park. They say the three acres now proposed for housing should instead be used as parkland. 

The Empire State Development Corp. recently modified the language in the project plan it approved in 2006 to allow the Blasio administration to move forward with planned 31-story and 15-story towers by Brooklyn Heights waterfront.

Opponents have been strongly against allowing yet another development into the park and are calling the new project plan language, "a bait and switch."

Up until very recently the  General Project Plan (GPP) allowed for building in the park only if a financial need could be demonstrated. 

Page 12 of 2010 GPP plans states that,  “building envelopes described … represent the maximum build-out within the Project, with the intention being to build only what is necessary to support annual maintenance and operations.”  

This language however was recently removed and replaced with:  “without regard to Project finances.”

"The city wants to change the plan (called a Modified General Project Plan or MGPP ) to eliminate the restriction of building housing only for "financial need,"  Judi Francis recently wrote to supporters.   

Instead of parkland the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation and the de Blasio administration want to build controversial housing in the park. 

"For 11 long years, the city and state have promised they would '“build no more housing than is necessary to fund the park”'. They will break their promises if they go forward with these buildings. 

Given the huge changes in the area with 12,500 new apartments not planned 10 years ago, school overcrowding, no new transit and even a reduction in bus service, the loss of our hospital, no new fire, police, sewer or electrical grid improvements, the fact that this area is in a flood zone, has been ignored by the city and state in their quest to build housing inside the park.  The park is now at a breaking point with visitors reaching over 100,000 on a weekend day. This will only increase given the magnificent harbor views and huge increases in population with no new parklands to accommodate residents, let along tourists who represent almost half of all BBP visitors.  Eliminating these unneeded towers will give back 3 acres of park at this critical entrance," Ms. Francis stated.

Opponents of the plan are hoping Governor Cuomo gets involved.

"Tonight we ask Governor Cuomo to step in and retake control of this park,"   The Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund said in a statement. 

"Tonight we ask Governor Cuomo to initiate a Master Planning process for pier 6, pier 7 and 8 along with the former hospital site, a mere 500 feet from this park."

Last month BBPC awarded the Pier 6 project – which also includes retail space to developer Robert Levine,  President & CEO of RAL Development Services weeks after Levine donated $10,000 to the mayor’s fundraising committee.

Levine is also the developer of controversial One Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Show Me The Money

Desperate for a strong public showing the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC) has ramped it its efforts to try and get people to support the plan.

For weeks they have been trying to drum up support.  The BBPC proved once again that they are not below attempting to leverage groups, some say intimidate, that depend on their relationship with the park to generate support for the park's pier 6 position.

Oasis summer camp is one such organization.  The Oasis day camp at Brooklyn Bridge Park depends heavily on many Brooklyn Bridge Park's facilities for the camp it runs for kids ages 3, 15 in partnership with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. (Oasis also utilizes several facilities of St. Francis College  the location of tonight's meeting as well as the Parks Department's Van Voorhees Park near Brooklyn Bridge Park.)

On July 22, Oasis wrote a letter to parents imploring them to support the development plan.

"We know how important this park has become to you and to the whole Oasis in Brooklyn Bridge Park family. We are doing our best at Oasis to make this final phase a reality and hope that you feel the same way. If you do I know that the Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy would appreciate it if you could write a short note supporting this final phase of the project and maybe even volunteer to share your thoughts on July 30th at a public hearing.

The solicitation provided a sample letter to send along and an email address.

"The completion of the development of the park will not only bring tremendous added services and benefits for all of us who use the park, but it will also ensure that BBP will continue to serve my family and 10s of thousands like us for generations to come. I whole-heartedly support this development of Pier 6 and look forward to the completion," it read. 

"While I love the day camp for my daughter," one angry parent wrote in response,  "I'm disappointed in this thinly veiled attempt to garner support for the proposed condo buildings." 

Nancy Webster,  Executive Director of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy claims they are not the ones responsible for putting pressure on the camp whom they are partners with, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation is.    

"It was the Corp who reached out to Oasis, not the Conservancy,"  she wrote on July 24th after receiving an email which called Oasis's letter, "in very poor taste."

Tonight should be an interesting evening watching all the employees and lobbyists swarming around on behalf of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation,  Mayor de Blasio and the developer.   

A few people to look out for:     

All in the Family:  Prospect Park Alliance flack,  and former New Yorkers for Parks spokesperson James Yolles heads up pr for developer Robert Levine for Risa Heller Communications.  It was Risa who tried in vein to help Major League Soccer seize parkland in Flushing Meadow Corona Park to build a new stadium. Belinda Cape,  formerly from State Senator Daniel Squadron office is heading up pr for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation team.  

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation has even organized a rally tonight prior to the ESD hearing in support of building in the park. (It's not in park they are laughably fond of saying)  Naturally the city's park partner organization New Yorkers for Parks' Tupper Thomas are supporting the park development plans as well as the usual city-friendly organizations including the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and the League of Conservation Voters.  

Crain's NY Business was given the "independent study"  that BBPC commissioned ahead of its official unveiling this evening.   The report backs ESDC's claim that the 85-acre waterfront park will not be able to pay for its own maintenance if the Pier 6 development does not move forward.  The report was prepared by Barbara Denham who worked for the city’s Economic Development Corp during the Giuliani administration.  

“They didn’t have the courage to provide it to the public in time for our financial analyst to take a look at it,” Judi Francis, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, told the Development friendly publication. 

Naturally proponents of the development plan do not argue that the heavily utilized park be funded by the government - like most public parks are. 


It’s a fight for the right to stick both high-rise luxury and affordable housing smack at the front entrance to Brooklyn’s hottest park. 

Both opponents and supporters of a controversial plan to build 339 units of new homes by Pier 6 at the southern end of Brooklyn Bridge Park are expected to pack St. Francis College Thursday night beginning at 6 p.m. for what is expected to be a highly contentious public hearing, according to an article in the NewYork Post.  

At stake is whether the Empire State Development Corp. should modify a project plan it approved in 2006 and green light the Blasio administration to move forward with planned 31-story and 15-story towers by the tony Brooklyn Heights waterfront. 

The project was modified to include 117 units of affordable housing for low- to middle-income families as part of Mayor de Blasio’s plans to raise the city’s affordable housing stock. During the meeting, reps for the city-run Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. are expected to unveil an independent study it commissioned. 

Sources said it will back the quasi-government agency’s claim that the 85-acre waterfront park will be in the red in 10 years – and no longer able to pay for its own maintenance – if the Pier 6 development doesn’t move forward.

The report was prepared by Barbara Denham, a renowned economist who once worked for the city’s Economic Development Corp. two decades ago during the Giuliani administration. “The biggest reason why the Pier 6 development should go forward is to make sure the park remains open and is maintained at the same high level it is today,” David Lowin, BBPC’s vice president of real estate, told The Post.

The report was prepared by Barbara Denham, a renowned economist who once worked for the city’s Economic Development Corp. two decades ago during the Giuliani administration. 

“The biggest reason why the Pier 6 development should go forward is to make sure the park remains open and is maintained at the same high level it is today,” David Lowin, BBPC’s vice president of real estate, told The Post.

Francis and other opponents – which include the powerful Brooklyn Heights Association and condo owners residing a block away at the swanky One Brooklyn Bridge Park complex – are quietly hoping de Blasio’s recent bad blood with Gov. Cuomo might cause ESDC to hold off on supporting the new development. However, a state source said “it is highly unlikely” that any friction between Cuomo and de Blasio will play any role in ESDC’s decision.

ESDC and the city under former Mayor Bloomberg had long promised to only build housing at Pier 6 as a last resort — provided the park wasn’t generating enough revenues through other residential and commercial development to pay for its maintenance. 

The proposed amendment to the project plan, opponents say, wipes away a nine-year agreement that required the city to demonstrate it needs additional revenues to pay the park’s bills before it can break ground on new housing inside the green space. 

Opponents also say the green space is already self-sustaining thanks to 440 luxury condos already up at One Brooklyn Bridge Park – not to mention the more than 150 other condo units, a 200-room hotel and tens of thousands of square feet of commercial space already in the construction pipeline on the park’s north end in DUMBO.

However, city officials and their supporters claim the amendment is needed so that affordable housing can now be part of a park project plan once vilified by opponents for allegedly catering to the rich. 

“We think adding affordable housing makes the project more responsive to the needs of the city and the community,” said Lowin. 

Opponents also say the new housing would overwhelm Brooklyn Heights and adjacent Cobble Hill, which are already in line to be banged with a series of other nearby large construction projects. 

They include repairs to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and a planned conversion of former Long Island College Hospital into more than 800 units of condos. 

BBPC last month awarded the Pier 6 project – which also includes ground-floor retail space and a 75-seat pre-kindergarten school — to developer Robert Levine, weeks after Levine donated $10,000 to the mayor’s fundraising committee. Levine is also the developer of One Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Read More:

New York Post - July 30, 2015 - By Rich Calder 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Park Worker Sent To Hospital After Being Overtaken By Fecal Fumes

A Parks Department worker was forced to spend the day in the emergency room after being overtaken by fecal fumes in Sara D Roosevelt Park in the Lower East Side.   "What the hell is this, what the hell I'm I looking at.... Toilet paper and shit,"   (Video Warning: Graphic Language) 


By Geoffrey Croft

A Parks Department worker was forced to spend the day in the emergency room after being overtaken by fecal fumes, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Daniel Roca, 54, arrived at work for his 8 am shift in Sara D Roosevelt Park yesterday but before he even got passed the second set of doors into the building he was confronted by a putrid smell.

The building's basement had been flooded with fecal matter after the adjacent public bathroom was clogged. 

A hoodie and other items were found jammed into the toilet which caused the plumbing to back up into the building.

"It smelled so strong.   I was gagging, " the worker said. 

Roca said he threw up in the street from the stench while out getting masks. 

He said he felt nausuais, dizzy and a tightness in his chest.  

"Thank goodness I didn't have a heart attack, I'm lucky"  said Roca who has a 10-year-old son. 

"My doctor was very clear, he said do not go back there."   

The Park Enforcement Patrol officer is assigned to the Communication Division located in a building in Sara D Roosevelt Park on Broom Street, between Chrystie and Forsythe Streets.  (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.

The bathrooms were left open overnight on consecutive evenings according to several park workers familiar with the incident. 

"You can't do that there, the junkies stuff rags, shirts and newspapers down the toilet," said a park maintenance worker. 

"There's no toilet paper, the homeless and junkies steal it.  The bathrooms in Central Park and Bryant Park are tended to why aren't these?   

Wearing a mask Roca ventured into the basement to investigate the source of the smell with a parks plumber. 

"What the hell is this, what the hell I'm I looking at," the park worker can be heard asking in a video obtained by NYC Park Advocates.  

"Toilet paper and shit," the other park worker responds.   The worker describes items in the basement including a copier  and paperwork. 

"Its gotta get thrown out," a worker says.  

"I couldn't believe it, you have to be kidding," Roca said as he saw first hand the human waste that had bubbled up from the floor.

"It's a bio-hazzard.  If you can smell it's airborne. You're breathing that in. " 

This is not the first time the basement has flooded. A rusted botton of a filing cabinet.

While the workers eventually got masks they had to regularly remove them to answer the phones.

"We should not be in that building period," Roca said after spending the day in the emergancy room and undergoing a barrage of tests at NYU on 1st Avenue.  

"Would central communications for the Police Department for the Fire Department be located in a building like that, of course not.  This is a disenfranchised agency. We've been marginalized. "  

Mr. Roca works as a Park Enforcement Patrol officer assigned to the Communication Division in a building located in Sara D Roosevelt Park on Broom Street, between Chrystie and Forsythe Streets. 

Approximately two dozen park employees work in the building. 

The red brick building has been plagued by a host of issues including bed bugs and mold since being completely gutted and renovated a decade ago.

"The place is deplorable, " said Local 983 President Joe Puleo which represents the PEP workers.   

"No one should have to endure toxic fumes while working," he said.   

The bathroom toilets are clogged all the time several park employees said.

"There are no workers on the grounds, look at this place, it's disgusting,"  fumed a park worker pointing to the copious amount of garbage piled around the park.

"Everyone is moble,  we have no permant workers assigned here. These people deserve nice parks,"  the worker said.  

Coined "America’s finest playground,” when it opened in 1934,   the city has allowed the 7.8-acre Lower East Side park which serves largely immigrant patrons,  to deteriorate into a cesspool.   

The park, built over demolished tenements,  is in desperate need of tens of millions of dollars in capital funds to fix sink holes that plague the park.   

The park's filth had been caused by decades of neglect due to a chronic lack of staffing.  The neglect has long impacted the safety and enjoyment of the public in this heavily utilized park near China Town.    

The building is adjacent to a popular, and terribly maintained and falling apart, soccer field.

The bathrooms are often out of service due to a lack of permanent staffing needed to deal with unsanitary conditions. 

One of several unsightly flypaper hanging in the building. 

For years the stairs in the front of the building have been blocked off due to the crumbling condition.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Central Park Water Gun Fight Cancelled For Great Lawn - Event Will Continue Throughout Park - Organizers

Waterfight NYC 2015  Facebook page screenshot.


By Geoffrey Croft

The tension created by tomorrow's un-permitted water gun fight which had been shaping up as a potential showdown in the park has been at least been partially defused as organizers have canceled the initial battlefield location - The Great Lawn.

"We are no longer doing it on the Great Lawn, " said co-creater Brian De La Cruz.  "It's going to be spread out throughout the park," he said. 

Authorities were concerned that if the number of people who confirmed on Facebook actually showed up they could damage the lawn.

The social media-promoted event is billed as Waterfight NYC 2015.  Sixty-three thousand people have already said they were coming and another six thousand "maybe's".

The event, the brainchild of cousins Brian De La Cruz and Joshen Abreu had been planned for The Great Lawn at 2:00pm. 

A Central Park Conservancy spokesperson explained that large events like this require a permit which organizers do not have. 

"The NYPD and PEP are aware that this is an un-permitted event," a Conservancy spokesperson said. 

"It's not illegal to have water guns in the park, " said De La Cruz who said they were never contacted by the Parks Department.

"You can't stop people from coming in.  It was never an organized event, it was always friends inviting friends but now that the media began covering it, it has grown huge. 

They (the city) have every right to stop a large un-permitted event. I agree with that," he said.

Last year's Water fight looked like a lot of fun. 

"Ladies remember your hair will get wet, but who cares? The idea is to have fun," the narrator states, adding, "and most important make friends."

Read More:

Central Park: Annual NYC water fight will be shut down
Am NY - July 23, 2015 - By Ryan Kushner

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tree Branch Injures Teen In Brooklyn Playground


By Geoffrey Croft

A 19-year-old male was struck in the head by a large tree branch in a Brooklyn playground, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The incident occurred yesterday at 12:55pm at West Playground on Avenue Z, and West 1st Street near Coney Island.

The teen was transported bleeding with "multiple trauma" injuries to Coney Island Hospital according to EMS.

The incident occurred just two days after two young boys were struck by a tree branch in the Bronx.

On June 15, a tree branch fell on a 65-year-old man in Thomas Jefferson Park in Manhattan causing lacerations to his leg. 

NYC Park Advocates has been calling for a dramatic increase in tree inspections by licensed professionals and a budget allocation for tree maintenance. The taxpayers are being forced to spend money on settlements as a result of tree injuries instead of preventing the accidents from happening in the first place.  

A tree reporting bill (S1028) sponsored by State Senator Tony Avella has stalled in the Senate. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Child Molester of 2-Year-Old Girl In Riverside Park Plead Guilty - Receives 25 Years

Jason Carroll, 32,  of West 56th Street pleaded guilty for sexually assaulting a 2-year-old girl in the bathroom at Neufeld Playground in Riverside Park near West 75th Street on September 24, 2013.   He was convicted of two felonies - Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree and Possession a Sexual Performance By a Child and sentenced to 25 years in prison followed by 20 years of post-release supervision.


Defendant Also Possessed Images of Child Sexual Assault on Cell Phone
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the guilty plea of JASON CARROLL, 32, for committing a criminal sex act against a two-year-old girl in a bathroom stall in Riverside Park, as well as possessing images of child exploitation. The defendant pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree and Possession of a Sexual Performance by a Child, and is expected to be sentenced on August 6, 2015.
“An act of violence against a child is the worst imaginable crime,” said District Attorney Vance. “In this case, concerned members of the public alerted law enforcement about the defendant’s conduct, and their heroism in protecting a defenseless young child cannot be understated. I am thankful to those good Samaritans, and to the prosecutors in my Office’s Child Abuse Unit who work on behalf of vulnerable young victims every day.” 
According to his guilty plea and documents filed in court, on September 24, 2013, CARROLL took a 2-year-old girl left in his care into a bathroom in Riverside Park near West 74th Street and the Hudson River Promenade. While inside a bathroom stall, CARROLL sexually assaulted the girl. Two individuals who witnessed the defendant’s behavior in the bathroom area and other bystanders called 911, and responding NYPD officers arrested the defendant. 
The defendant was also found to be in possession of a cell phone containing images depicting the sexual exploitation of children.
Assistant District Attorneys Heather Buchanan and Colleen Walsh handled the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg, Chief of the Child Abuse Unit, Executive Assistant District Attorney Audrey Moore, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division.
District Attorney Vance also thanked members of the NYPD’s 20th Precinct, and in particular, Officer Anthony Giambra, for their assistance with the case.
Defendant Information:
JASON CARROLL, D.O.B. 6/25/1983
New York, NY
  • Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
  • Possession a Sexual Performance By a Child, a class E felony, 1 count

Rread More:

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Press Release  -  July 22, 2015 

 New York Daily News - July 22,  2015 -  By Dareh Gregorian 

A Walk In The Park -  October 24, 2015

Man Arrested For Sexually Assaulting Toddler In Riverside Park Playground Bathroom
A Walk In The Park -  September 25, 2013 - By Geoffrey Croft

NYPD Installs Watchtower In Tompkins Square Park

The Police Department erected a portable SkyWatch observation tower in Tompkins Square Park yesterday. Recent news reports have focused on homeless activity in the famed East Village park.   (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.


By Geoffrey Croft

The Police Department has deployed a portable SkyWatch observation tower in Tompkins Square Park, NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

The tower was erected yesterday as a "deterrent" according to several officers familiar with the move.

The deployment comes after several high ranking city officials including Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton visited the park recently after news outlets reported an uptick in the number of homeless activities in the East Village park.  

The SkyWatch towers, manufactured by Forward-Looking InfraRed (FLIR) Security Systems,  have four digital cameras including HD,  thermal,  and infrared which allow police to monitor and record surveillance footage.  The tower also has a high-powered spotlight and various sensors. 

The two story tall tower is a portable surveillance system that allows an officer a high vantage point to observe activity.  The machine collapses and can easily be moved to various locations.  

Yesterday a number of homeless people could be found throughout the park.   A large contingency occupied a number of benches on park's south-west end and were seen smoking, drinking and sleeping. 

Yesterday a homeless couple had three large dogs in an area that is off-limits to canines.   Just five Park Enforcement Patrol officers, plus two supervisors cover hundreds of park properties in Manhattan South - from 59th Street to the tip of the island. The City hired no additional PEP officers in the recently passed budget.    

The park's bathrooms remain a constant source of dangerous activity according to several city employees. 

Shooting drugs, finding used and unused hypodermic needles, stealing liquid soap, and having sex are the main bathroom complaints. 

"Would I want my kids in the park? Absolutely not,"  said a parks worker.

"It's a shame because it's a beautiful park. Tourists also come here. No one should have to be subjected to this. We don't have the people (personnel) we need."

Tompkins Square Park isn't the only area park with homeless conditions - several other downtown Manhattan parks including Washington Square and Union Square Parks also remain problematic. 

A few weeks ago the Mayor and City Council passed another embarrassing parks budget which allocates just  $  354,761 million in city funds out of an overall $ 78.5 billion budget for the Parks Department,  an agency responsible for 14% of the city's land. 

That is less than one half of one percent  (0.45%) of the budget allocated to maintain more than 29,000 acres of city park land. 

Just five Park Enforcement Patrol officers, plus two supervisors are assigned to cover hundreds of park properties located in Manhattan South - from 59th Street to the tip of the island. The City hired no additional officers in the recently passed budget.  

Despite the best efforts of park employees certain park users continue to reach in and turn on the water which causes unsanitary and unsafe park conditions.   

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ferry Point Park Bat Beating Attack As Park Crime Intensifies


By Geoffrey Croft

Police are investigating an incident involving a 19-year-old Bronx man who claims he was attacked inside Ferry Point Park, adjacent to Donald Trumps new Ferry Point golf course in the Bronx, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The man told police he was walking through Ferry Point Park West about 8 p.m. Sunday night when he was attacked and struck in the head several times with a baseball bat.

EMS transported the victim to Jacobi hospital where he was treated for cuts and bruises.

Park patrons notified PEP officers of the assault.

The victim was clearly intoxicated and very uncooperative, according to the police. 

The park is located between Schley Ave. and the Hutchinson River Parkway and is one of the city's worst maintained parks. 

Every single park safety light has been abandoned the park has no bathrooms and the feilds are dangerious.

In shart contrast, Ferry Point West is adjacent to Donald Trumps's new luxurious tax-payer funded Ferry Point golf course which is located in another section of the park.

A few hours later six people were shot in Franz Sigel Park at E. 153rd St. and the Grand Concourse early Monday morning.

On Saturday night six teens tried to rob a  77-year-old man in Central Park at gunpoint.

Homeless Man Attacks Man With Pipe Striking Him In Eye In Flushing Meadows Corona Park


By Geoffrey Croft

A homeless man with an active criminal past violently attacked another homeless man with a pipe in Flushing Meadows Corona Park NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Jose Gomez, 40, attacked and struck a fellow homeless man 47, with a metal pipe, hitting the man in the right eye, police said. 

The incident occurred inside Flushing Meadows Corona Park at 11 am. on July 14th outside  the Ederle men's bathroom near 48th Avenue and 111th Street. Police responded to a report of an assault and found Gomez after canvassing the park. 

Police recovered the metal pipe.   

The victim was taken to Elmhurst where he was treated for a facial injury.  

Gomez was arrested and charged with assault, weapons possession and disorderly conduct.    He was arraigned on the 14th on $1,000 bond/$500 cash.  An order of protection was also issued. He is due back in court on September 23th.

Gomez had three open warrants at the times of his arrest.

The incident occurred while Gomez was awaiting sentencing for another area crime.

On April 10th Gomez was arrested for stealing side view mirrors and hubcaps from numerous cars including a Lexus and BMW. 

Police caught up to Gomez and a colleague, Vincenti Cornelio, 26,  pushing a shopping cart full of stolen items near 102-40 62 Avenue at 3:00 a.m.  Eight hubcaps and ten side view mirrors were recovered. Police also recovered a knife and screwdrivers. 

Gomez was charged with six counts of auto stripping,  six counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle,  six counts of criminal possession of stolen property and one court of possession of burglars tools.  

He was arraigned on April 10th on $4, 000 bond and $1, 500 cash. He didn't make bail but pleaded guilty on April 24th and was released. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 30th.

On April 4th Gomez and colleague Salazar German, 31,  were arrested for stealing an air conditioner from a house on 110th street, two blocks away from the  Flushing Meadows Corona Park park near Forest Hills High School in the  112 Pct.   He was charged with  petit larceny,  criminal trespass and possession of stolen property. 

He has also been summoned several times for public drinking.

Tree Branch Injures Two Kids, ages 9 and 8, In Bronx Playground

Officials coordinate after a falling tree fell on two boys in Bronx River Park Submitted photo.
First responders at the scene. The large tree limb suddendly came down on two Bronx boys as they were filling up water balloons in a playground in Bronx River Park.


Two young boys playfully filling water balloons in Bronx River Park on Monday were suddenly clobbered by a falling tree branch — one so hard his “head caved in” cops and family said, according to the New York Daily News.  

Jhostin and Edward Reyes, ages 9 and 8, were hanging out near a park playground in the park at E. 180th St. and Boston Road in West Farms when there was a resounding crack and the boys were walloped by the plummeting limb around 3:30 p.m., police and witnesses said. 

The boys were dazed and bloody as emergency workers arrived. 

 “(Jhostin's) head caved in. It hit him that hard,” said the boy's uncle Roberto Hernandez, 18. 

The children were taken to Jacobi Medical Center, both conscious and alert, cops said. Family said Jhostin, whose leg was also broken, was in intensive care with an apparent skull fracture.  

Police said both boys were in stable condition.

The two boys being treated at the scene by the fire department.

“He was crying and kept saying, ‘Why’d this happen to me? Why’d this happen to me?” Zulanlly Luna, 23, the boys’ aunt said of Jhostin.  Edward suffered bumps and bruises from the foot-thick oak branch, which was at least 10 feet long, police sources said.

“That should’ve been a wakeup call to check the other trees,” said Luna, who remained near the scene of the injury as parks workers closed off the area around where the branch fell.

Several precarious boughs hung near the playground in the park on Monday, leaving parents wondering if the incident would repeat itself on another day when such a thing could happen again. 

 “That’s dangerous. Any one of our kids coulda got hurt,” said Takasha Ross, 25, of Parkchester, who had come to the park with her kids, ages 1 and 6. “At least trim the old branches.”  

The FDNY and Parks Department were on scene removing the branch late Monday in a closed-off portion of the park.  

“Parks is investigating the tree and has closed the playground pending the results,” a parks spokesman said in a statement.

(Photo: Sam Costanza/For New York Daily News)

The fallen tree limb the struck two kids.  (Photo: Sam Costanza/For New York Daily News)

 (Photo: Sam Costanza/For New York Daily News)

Read More:

New York Daily News - July 20, 2015 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Woman, 26, Punched In The Face In Central Park Robbery: Robberies Up

A Brooklyn woman was punched several times in the face while being robbed on Wednesday morning in Central Park.  The attack happened as the victim walked along this secluded path from the restrooms on the Great Hill near W. 105th Street.  Robberies in the park have nearly doubled from the same time last year. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.


A freelance writer who went to Central Park to seek solitude from the noisy city had her peaceful retreat shattered by a brute who violently mugged her of a measly $1.60, according to the New York Daily News. 

 The 26-year-old scribe from Brooklyn sought out a quiet spot in the iconic park to research a piece on finding secluded spots in the Big Apple when she was attacked and robbed, the victim told the Daily News Thursday.  

The woman, who asked that her name not be used, was on a break from her job at a PR firm around 11 a.m. Wednesday and decided to swing by the park, she told The News. 

 “I was writing a story on silence, what the noise of the city does to us, and where to find silence,” said the writer, who was recovering at home Thursday.

While contemplating the bustle of life in the boroughs on a bench near W. 101st St., overlooking The Pool, the woman found the repose she hoped to write about, and walked along a secluded path to the restrooms on the Great Hill. 

 “There were nannies reading books and people jogging right next to it,” she said. “I thought, this is so peaceful.” 

 But walking back from the restroom on the same path, that calm was broken by a “muscular” 6-foot man who pounced on her and beat her, police said. The hulking attacker, a man between 35 and 40, continued punching her in the face even after she fell to the ground, cops said.

“I looked at him when he was walking … I thought this could be a very dangerous situation,” said the woman. “When he started screaming ‘Give me your purse’ and punching me in the face the first thing I thing I thought was, ‘So this is what it’s like to be beat up.’ ”  

The mugger made off with just $1.60 in cash and two credit cards, which the woman canceled. He also got her Social Security card and her drivers permit, but overlooked her laptop and engagement ring, she said. 

Police have stepped up patrols on the Great Hill after the attack on Wednesday morning. There have been at least 16 robberies in Central Park in 2015. The attack occured as the victim  walked south along a secluded path towards the Pool after using the restrooms on the Great Hill near W. 105th Street, above.

The woman, who is working on a journalism degree from New York University, suffered a black eye, bruising, and possibly a broken wrist, she said.

The attacker was still at large Thursday, police said.  Robberies inside the park, which is policed by its own NYPD precinct, have nearly doubled so far this year compared with 2014, jumping from eight to 15 as of July 12, according to NYPD data.  

Residents who live near the park said the attack has them rethinking their daily walks. “I’m not going to walk in the park, not anymore, I’m going to walk in the sidewalk,” said Sandrine Poaty, a construction estimator from Harlem.  

But the recovering writer said she won’t let the attack keep her down — and it wouldn’t keep her from writing her story. 

 “It was a very ironic situation,” she said. 

“Thank God he didn’t have a knife.”

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