Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Woman Struck By Large Branch In East Harlem - 9th Tree Injury In 7 Weeks

tree on woman
An East Harlem woman was struck and trapped by a large tree limb last night when it came crashing down while she was playing basketball at the Metro North Houses a NYCHA complex at 1st Avenue and 102nd Street last night around 8.:00 pm. (Screen shot via Eyewitness News)

This was the ninth person injured by a tree over the past seven weeks.


A woman was hurt when part of a large tree fell and hit her during a crowded basketball game in a Manhattan park Monday evening, officials say, accordng to WNBC. 
A huge tree branch fell down across part of a basketball court at 102nd Street and First Avenue in East Harlem at about 8 p.m., hitting the woman, according to the FDNY. 
Michelle Woods said she was getting ready to pass the ball to her friend when she realized her friend was trapped. The victim complained her back and neck were hurting her. 
"She was like, 'I am not all right,'" said Woods.
Neighbor Willie Agront rushed over when he saw the commotion.
"We heard a noise, we went over and saw the tree that was on the floor," said Agront. "And then we realized someone was underneath."
Woods, who works at a hospital, made sure others waited for the professionals to help the victim. 
"I didn't want anyone to touch her. When you move someone, you don't know what can happen," she said. "When they came, they did their job." 
The woman was taken to New York Cornell Hospital, where she was listed in serious but stable condition. 
Police cordoned off the basketball court and park as they investigated. 

Read/View More:

Woman Hurt by Falling Tree Branch in Manhattan Park: FDNY
NBC - July 29, 2013 - By Gus Rosendale

Woman Hurt By Falling Branch In East Harlem
CBS - July 29, 2013

Woman hit by tree branch in East Harlem
Eyewitness News - July 29, 2013

Prospect Park - Man Stuck In Head By Fallen Tree Limb - 8th Tree Injury In 7 Weeks
A Walk In The Park - July 30, 2013 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - July 20, 2013 - By Geoffrey Croft

Prospect Park - Man Stuck In Head By Fallen Tree Limb - 8th Tree Injury In 7 Weeks


By Geoffrey Croft

A man was struck in the head by a fallen tree limb in Prospect Park early Saturday morning, NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

EMS received a call for a trauma at 7:40am near the Center Drive and East Drive.

EMS transported Jermaine Shell to Kings County Hospital in unknown condition.

Further information was not available at this time.

According to one eyewitness account the victim had a gash on his head and the crown of his head was split open and there was a lot of blood loss. 

The victim was breathing wasn't visible conscious when he was finally put into the ambulance.

This was the eighth person injured by a fallen tree branch in seven weeks.
Read More:

A Walk In The Park - July 20, 2013 - By Geoffrey Croft

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bronx BP Welcomes MLS Stadium But Not On Parkland

Staffers prep the new Yankee Stadium for a soccer match. )Photo courtesy of The New York Yankees)

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. - who as a NY State Assembly member voted to allow 25.3 acres of public parkland to be seized to accommodate the building of Yankee Stadium - said he would welcome a Major League Soccer stadium in the Bronx as long as it was not on parkland. 

 “I do not think that using public parkland is such a good idea,” said Diaz.

Last month the Bronx BP sent a letter to commissioner of Major League Soccer,  Don Garber, urging the league to consider the Bronx, and not Queens, as the home of its newest franchise, the New York City Football Club.

“As reports have made clear, your league’s plans to build a new soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows have stalled and may not be able to be revived. It would appear that there is little enthusiasm for world class soccer in Queens,” Borough President Diaz wrote. 

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. may want a soccer stadium for the Bronx, but forget about sacrificing any parkland for it.
“I do not think that using public parkland is such a good idea,” said Diaz, who would still love to see an arena built in the borough for the NYC Football Club, a Major League Soccer franchise still vying for a home in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, according to the Bronx Times. 
But talks have stalled between Queens officials and NYCFC brass, with the BP and Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. lobbying to find a home for a stadium similar to the 13 acre, 25,000-seat arena proposed there.
BOEDC head Marlene Cintron said NYCFC is vetting space “with access to highways and also access to public transportation.”
But with 25% of the Bronx composed of greenspace, the BP has put himself in a position that narrows the already squeezed playing field.
Longtime Bronx-based commercial real estate broker Kathy Zamechansky said options are fairly limited in the borough for a stadium needing that much acreage, though she pointed to a possible site in the north Bronx.
“There’s a Request for Proposals out by the MTA for it’s unused bus facility on E. Gun Hill Road,” she said.
The site sits across from Co-op City, near the I-95 Interstate and less than a half mile from the subway. “I’m sure a developer could discuss having a stadium there as part of their plan,” she noted.
In ruling out parkland, the BP sidesteps a hurdle that former Borough President Adolfo Carrion faced when he secured land for the new Yankee Stadium in 2007. The plan tore up three acres of parks, angering advocates and Community Board 4, which voted down the proposal.
This time around, NYC Park Advocates president Geoffrey Croft backed the deal so long as Diaz keeps to his word. 
“That can be an exciting thing for the borough,” said Croft.
Getting The Ball Rolling
The BP penned a letter to MLS stating soccer matches temporarily held at Yankee Stadium can draw “tens of thousands of visitors.”
“While here, these soccer fans spent money in local businesses and restaurants,” wrote Diaz “Bringing tremendous economic activity to the 161st Street corridor.”
The New York Yankees is part owner of NYCFC, investing $100 million into the franchise.
But NYCFC is still keeping its options open. Queens park advocates groups are particularly concerned the $340 million project would uproot 13 acres of parkland at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
“NYCFC is looking for a home, not simply a place to play,” said NYCFC spokeswoman Risa Heller. She dismissed a claim by Diaz that NYCFC “walked away” from talks with Queens officials.
“As we said from the start, we will continue to pursue Flushing Meadows while we also review other sites around the city.”
For now, the team will keep hosting home games at Yankee Stadium until 2015, when it’s expected to have found a permanent place.
But even if the Bronx were to succeed in luring NYCFC to a House that Ruth (Re)Built, building the stadium is still years in the pipeline, with NYCFC forced to go back to the drawing board, redesigning a stadium envisioned primarily for Queens.

Read More:

Bronx Times - July 18, 2013  By David Cruz

Bronx BP Pushes For MLS Stadium In Borough
A Walk In The Park - June 13, 2013 - By Geoffrey Croft

Flushing Meadows Park Development Projects Blasted

Willets Point, Related Cos. development schemes provide classic examples of most troubling legacy of the Bloomberg administration’s approach to economic development.

Aerial rendering of the Willets Point proposal. Image Credit: EDC.

The largest of the three projects being proposed in Flushing Meadows Corona Park - Willets Point West - would seize more than 30 acres of public parkland to build the City's largest mall at 1.4 million Square feet.  The city has been chipping away at the only green space many Queens residents have since Robert Moses remade it for the World’s Fairs in 1939 and 1964.

The City Council votes on the USTA expansion today.


Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is Queens’ crown jewel. But the busiest park in the borough is threatened on all sides, according to an editorial in the New York Daily News.  

Queens’ landmark park started out as the “valley of ashes” in The Great Gatsby. Robert Moses remade it for the World’s Fairs in 1939 and 1964, bringing the observation towers that the movie “Men in Black” used for a launching pad.

But ever since, the city has been chipping away at the only green space many Queens residents can reach. In 1964, the state let the Mets occupy 100 acres of the park, followed by 42 acres for the tennis center. In 2009, the Mets built Citi Field on parkland, but got to keep the acres they already had.


Now there’s more. Recently, the tennis center was given another acre of the park. Then the Related Companies announced they wanted to build a 1.4 million-square-foot shopping mall and parking garage on the parkland-turned-parking-lot next to Citi Field. (The land is supposed to revert to recreational use now that it’s no longer needed by the Mets.)

Next, Major League Soccer set its sights on 13 acres of the park just past the huge silver globe called the Unisphere. Observers expect they’ll ask for stadium-size tax breaks, too. The plan would bulldoze the famous Fountain of Planets. Ironically, that area already hosts some of the 1,500 soccer games played in the park each summer—but they’re just teams of regular New Yorkers, not leagues owned by well-connected investors.

Fountain of the Planets. Families enjoying the area where Major League Soccer hopes to build a controversial
$ 300 million, 35,000-seat soccer stadium/concert venue  in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park located on the Flushing River. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) 

Next to the park, on city-owned land in Willets Point, small business owners are being evicted from their rented spaces to make way for more parking, more retail and a hotel. Local advocates are furious that the affordable housing that is supposed to be part of the Willets Point redevelopment plan will be delayed for 15 years, if it is built at all.


These proposals are classic examples of the most troubling legacy of the Bloomberg administration’s approach to economic development. The city has approved dozens of real estate mega-projects on city- or state-owned land, or on property where the city has changed zoning rules to suit developers. They all promised “economic development,” but haven’t increased employment or reduced poverty.

There are alternatives to nibbling away at park space and handing out tax breaks. The city can make smart public investments in parks, schools and other needs. Any tax breaks need to be targeted to companies that actually hire new employees.

The next mayor should also focus on industries that build the middle class. Instead of letting hotels and superstores encroach on manufacturing zones while providing low-wage and part-time jobs, the city should study the success of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and develop partnerships in industrial zones like Hunts Point or the Brooklyn Army Terminal to create better jobs.


If the city decides to continue offering subsidies to big-name deals, the next administration should make sure those subsidies include local hiring and wage requirements. Already, dozens of municipalities, from Los Angeles to Minneapolis to Washington, make sure their tax subsidies support projects that create living-wage jobs for city residents.

With the next mayoral election just four months away, the candidates and other elected officials should stand up for good public space and smart economic development. That means opposing the projects in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

It looks like community action will head off one of them, telling the soccer league to build their stadium somewhere other than a busy park. The City Planning Commission votes on another plan, the shopping mall and parking garage that targets land next to Citi Field, in just a few weeks. Voting “no” and bringing this land back to Flushing Meadows would mean parkland within walking distance for another 25,000 residents.

If we can’t all spend our summers at garden parties like Gatsby, we at least need the green of a great city park.

Tarry Hum is professor of urban studies at Queens College. Greg Smithsimon is professor of sociology at Brooklyn College. Laura Wolf-Powers is assistant professor, City and Regional Planning, at University of Pennsylvania.

The USTA expansion would utilize an additional acre of public parkland,  remove more than 400 trees,  bring in an additional 80,000 people, and increase traffic in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park which is already severely impacted by the USTA.  The City Council votes on the expansion today.

Read More:

City leaders would do grave disservice by chipping away at 
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens
New York Daily News -  July 19, 2013 - By Tarry Hum, Greg Snithsimon and Laura Wolf-Powers

Bronx BP Pushes For MLS Stadium In Borough
A Walk In The Park - June 13, 2013 - By Geoffrey Croft

Monday, July 22, 2013

NYPD Arrest 13 As Pool Violence Explodes

Tempers Flare In Public Pools As Temperatures Rise 

City -Wide

By Geoffrey Croft

Police and Park Enforcement Patrol officers working in and around the city pools not only had to battle stiffing temperatures during the heat wave last week but also unruly patrons.

The NYPD arrested at least 13 people in Parks Department pool related incidents NYC Park Advocates has learned.   

The charges ranged from Inciting A Riot, Resisting Arrest, Gang Assault, Robbery, Assault, Criminal Possession of A Weapon. 

Several pools were temporarily closed to quell the violence and more than a dozen lockers were robbed.   

A snap shot of pool related incidents reveals:

Howard Pool - Brooklyn.  Pool was closed for hours on Sunday morning due to gun shots being fired at the adjacent NYCHA projects.

Astoria Pool -  July 20, 2013  (6:15pm)   NYPD arrested a 14-year-old male for Disorderly Conduct and four others after leaving the pool in related incidents. 

It took three police officers, and pepper spray, to subdue an out of control 14-year-old teen on Saturday night. 

The teen was being verbally abusive, cursing at lifeguards and disrupting patrons in the Olympic sized pool according to law enforcement sources.

After being warned multiple times by lifeguards and pool staff he was told to leave.

While being escorted out by police and PEP he turned around and  "chest bumped" and threatened an NYPD officer, saying "what are you going to do,"  said a source. 

The officer responded and pushed him down.  The teen got up with open fists ready to fight and challenged the officer.

Two other officers came to assist. 

The teen refused to be cuffed and flailed his arms in an effort to avoid arrest.  An officer eventually used mace and the situation was soon under control. 

"He confronted the cop with closed fists, " said a source at the scene.  "Nobody in their right mind would have challenged this guy (officer) - he's built like Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Something is definitely wrong with this kid. He thinks he's a tough guy."

The teen was issued a Juvenile Report for Disorderly Conduct and released to a guardian. 

EMS transported one person to Mount Sinai Hospital Queens with unknown injuries. 

Twenty minutes later a group of teens, reportedly friends of the 14-year-old involved in the prior incident,  exited the pool and assaulted two people during a robbery in Astoria Park.  

Two men were listening to music in the parking lot in Astoria Park,  a block south of the pool near the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge when they were approached by a pack of teens.

They proceeded to steal a cell phone and mini speakers from one of the men. When he resisted he was beaten up. When his friend attempted to intervene he too was assaulted. Both men were punched numerous times in the process.

The two victims,  one black- 22,  and Hispanic 19 - were struck several times about the body and received cuts and bruises.   A police barricade was allegedly used as a weapon. 

The victims were treated at Elmhurst Hospital where they received staples to treat some of their wounds.  

Police arrested four teens from Queens - three 17-year-olds and a 14-year-old.  All were charged with Gang Assault , two counts of Robbery, Assault, and Criminal Possession Of A Weapon. 

Jay-Von Fain - 17
Jonathan Campbell - 17
Stephon Gilliam - 17
(information on the minor, including the charges is not available)

Lasker Pool -   July 19, 2013 (5:20)

A Harlem teen was arrested for causing a disturbance on Friday night at the popular pool in Central Park.  Richard Jones, 17,  was "acting in a tumultuous, and violent manner,"  according to the police report.  He was in the middle of a large group picking up women the throwing them around the pool, cursing, and encouraging others to do the same.

The teen was warned several times to stop.  

Jones was charged with Inciting a Riot, and Causing Public Alarm.

Crotona Park Pool  - Bronx  July 18, 2013.    A Bronx woman was arrested after she refused to leave peacefully after causing a disturbance. Gwendolyin Gonzalez, 20, was cursing and threatening patrons. After several warnings she was told by an officer to move which she refused to do. While being escorted out of the pool she struck an an NYPD officer with in the face with her pants.  

Gonzalez, 20 was charged with Disorderly Conduct and harassment of an officer. 

Sunset Park Pool - Brooklyn July 18, 2013 (2:30)  Five people were arrested after scuffling with police when they refused to obey pool rules and regulations.  

The group - including four Brooklyn residents and one from Elisabeth N.J. - were diving and jumping into the pool causing a disturbance and a public safely condition.   They were repeatedly asked to stop. When authorities ordered them to leave the premises they refused,  that's when the situation escalated.  The men resisted being cuffed and fought with the officers.   One,  Roberto Torres, 31 struck an officer in the back of his arm according to the police report. He was charged with assaulting an officer. 

All  were charged with Obstruction of Governmental Administration, Resisting Arrest and Violation of Local Law. 

Lorenzo Orlando - 38 - Brooklyn
Luis Flores - 35 - Brooklyn
Jose Colon - 44 - Brooklyn
Willis Kinard -  35 -  Elisabeth N.J.
Roberto Torres - 31 - Brooklyn 

Highbridge Pool - Manhattan July 16, 2013 (6:20pm) 

Police arrested a Washington Heights woman who created quite a disturbance when she refused to go quietly after putting on a show for pool patrons. According to law enforcement sources, Raiz Nunez, 21,  was wearing a pink thong bathing suit with white sandals and dancing, shaking her behind while holding on to a railing in the deep end treating it like a stripper pole. The audience chanted as she gyrated and encouraged adults, and then children to smack her behind which some obliged.

Th incident prompted some patrons with children to leave and caused a larger crowd to gather. 

"She thought she was on the pole, and this would get her some attention and it did," said an officer at the scene.

She was asked to leave. Things escalated while she was being escorted out by police and PEP officers attempting to remove her from the premises.

"She was saying that she looks good and 'you are all just jealous that's why you're doing this.' She looked liked SpongeBob SquarePants," said an officer referring to the woman's apparent non hour-glass figure. 

According to a source the woman continued taunting the officers and threatened them asking what they were going to do if she didn't leave. She threw herself on the ground  near the locker ares on the pool deck in order to avoid being arrested.   Officers began rolling around with her on the floor trying to handcuff her. Officers had a difficult  time grabbing and holding on to her wrists due to an ample amount of sun screen as she flailed about trying to avoid arrest.  One officer hurt his hip during the altercation. 

At one point one she even managed to slip out of one of her cuffs.

One officer had to put on gloves in order to get a grip on her oiled up body.

"You're in a thong bathing suit resisting (arrest)," one officer commented afterwards.       

"I'm going to the precinct like this," Ms. Nunez asked incredulously.    

Police charged Raiz Nunez with Resting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct and Obstruction of Governmental Administration.     
The "thong lady" came back to the pool on Saturday wearing the same outfit but staff turned her away. 

In High Bridge Pool on Saturday night three pool goers were ejected  for fighting in the water - no charges were filed.      

Tony Dapolito Recreation Center Pool - Manhattan.  July 14, 2013 -  (6:00)  Six people, including four and five-year-old boys,  were sent to the hospital after being maced by an out-of-control Brooklyn teen.   The incident began inside the pool when a teen, described as a 16 or 17 began arguing with a woman who was outside in James J. Walker Park with her family.  A wild melee ensued, when the abusive teen was escorted out of the pool and began spraying the crowd with pepper spray. Park employees  were forced to barricade the front door of the recreation center to prevent warring factions from gaining access to each other.   The assailant slipped away before police arrived. 

Other Incidents: 

Coney Island  - July 19, 2013 (5:30) NYPD arrested a female for threatening a parks worker with a knife by the bathrooms on Riegelmann Boardwalk West near Stillwell Ave.   Police say Yamira Cajagas, 35, of E. 118th Street in Manhattan was arrested and charged with Menacing and Criminal Possession Of A Weapon during an altercation with a 47-year-old parks JTP employee

Mullaly Park Pool - Locker Break In. July 18, 2013. (2:30) Stealing from unsuspecting pool patrons was taken to a heightened level when a thief broke into a woman's secured locker and removed the victim's cars key. The assailant then found the car and robbed the contents including a purse and clothing.
This was one of a dozen locker break-ins during the week. 

Read More:

Report: 13 arrested at city pools during heat wave 
Fox 5 - July 23, 2013 - By  Ben Simmoneau

New York Daily News - July 22, 2013 - By Mark Morales and Daniel Beekman

A Walk In The Park - July 14, 2013 -  By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park  - July 8, 2013

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Riverside Park: Teen Girl Hurt By Falling Tree Limb - 7th Tree injury In Six Weeks

Brooklyn Man Struck On Sunday In Union Square Park

Riverside Park - 81 St. & Riverside Drive near where a 13- year-old girl was struck by a fallen tree limb yesterday.   The Parks Department press office has refused repeated requests for information regarding the incident. 

At least seven people have been hurt by falling tree branches since June 3rd. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.


By Geoffrey Croft

A 13-year-old girl was struck on her shoulder and back by fallen tree limb in Riverside Park, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The incident occurred yesterday afternoon at 81st St. near Riverside Drive around 3:10pm.

EMS transported the girl to New York Hospital suffering from "multiple trauma" according to a spokesperson. 

The extent of her injuries is not known at this time. 

 Remains of yellow caution tape on a fence near where a girl was struck yesterday by a tree limb as a family relaxes nearby on an adjacent park bench.

The Parks Department press office has refused repeated requests for information regarding the incident. 

The Mayor's office also failed to respond.  

Last Sunday a 51-year-old Brooklyn man was hit by large tree branch in Union Square Park, NYC Park Advocates has also learned. 

Murat Calikusu,  was out with his family and friends relaxing under an Elm tree trying to escape the heat when a 15-20 foot long branch came crashing down, falling three stories stricking him in the shoulder and neck.

On Sunday a Brooklyn man was hit by fallen tree branch from this Elm tree in Union Square Park.  The adjacent area had been cordoned off with mettle barricades and a large dead tree limb was clearly visible dangling above. The day after Sunday's incident Parks Department forestry employees removed the dead limb. 

The incident occurred at 3:00 on the northern section of the park in a crowded sitting area on the lawn area where lime green tables and chairs are put out.

The man suffered lacerations to his shoulder,  a separated bone in his neck, bruising and scratches on his back and was treated at Beth Israel Hospital said his 17-year-old daughter who was shaken up by the incident.

"I felt so scared, I was going to cry. He couldn't breath," she said.

"He couldn't see things at first, and then he was going to faint. He couldn't talk and his blood pressure was high. His neck was in pain. 

"Thank God, it could have been his head,"  she said. 

His daughter had just left him and was on her way to Starbucks to get drinks when she recived a call and came rushing back. 

She said her father was going to lose two weeks of work.

Early the next morning Park Department's forestry division removed a large dead branch which had been dangling two stories up a few feet away from where Sunday's incident occurred. The area under that dead branch had been barricaded off earlier in the week.

The same day in Bronx Park a 5-year-old boy was hit by a fallen tree limb but was not seriously injured.

This follows a series of tree injuries over the last six weeks.  

On June 20, an elderly man and a teen girl were struck by a falling branch in the NYCHA Ingersoll Housing development.  

On June 12th a 59-year-old tourist  from Indiana was hit by falling tree branch in Central Park. 

On June 3, a 46-year-old man was struck by a tree limb on 96th and Central Park West at 7:00am.

The City and the Central Park Conservancy recently settled two high profile tree injury cases for a total  $ 14.5 million dollars.   

Read More:

A Walk In The Park -  June 20, 2013

A Walk In The Park - June 12,  2013 - By Geoffrey Croft 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pool Incident Sends 6 To Hospital - Including Two Kids - After Being Maced In West Village

Lack of Security Cited


By Geoffrey Croft

Six people, including four and five-year-old boys,  were sent to the hospital after being maced by an out-of-control Brooklyn teen at a West Village pool,  NYC Park Advocates.

A wild melee ensued with park employees barricading the front door of a recreation center to prevent warring factions from gaining access to each other.

The altercation occurred last night just after 6:00pm at the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center at  7th Avenue South and Clarkson Street.

The incident began inside the pool when a teen, described as a 16 or 17 began arguing with a woman who was outside with her family, including her two young brothers,  in James J. Walker Park.

"She kept threatening her, cursing and saying she was from Brooklyn," a city employee said at the scene. 

The abusive pool patron was asked to leave by park employees and escorted outside where the women met.

A crowd formed.

The abusive teen was yelling and screaming and began spraying the crowd with pepper spray.

"Everybody got maced but her intended target,  including the target's little brothers,"  said a source.  

"She maced my brothers, she maced my brothers, " the woman kept saying. 

A park worker was also sprayed during the fight.

Park employees brought the young children inside the building and helped wash the stinging spray out of their eyes.

The woman tried to get inside the building as did the assorted families members and friends were were now involved. 
"It was crazy for about 15- 20 minutes. They were trying to get inside the building. We had to close the door and push up against it so they couldn't get in."

Multiple NYPD units responded but the assailant slipped away before police arrived. 

EMS transported six people to Beth Israel Hospital.

Several park employees questioned the security arrangements at the pool noting there were no NYPD officers or PEP officers stationed at the time of the incident.  The NYPD police presence they say is  "on and off."  They also note there are no PEP officers assigned there on weekends after 5:00pm. when the recreation center is closed, only CSA  "park security." 

"It's normally pretty quiet but you never know.  Having a uniformed presence is certainly a  deterrent, " an employee stated. 

Teen Shot In O'Donahue Park In Far Rockaway


By Geoffry Croft

An 18-year-old was shot last night in O'Donahue Park in Far Rockaway NYC PArk Advocates has learned.

According to police the teen was approached by a light skinned black male from behind and shot once in the stomach.

The bullet exited his forearm.

The victim was unable to get a good look at the assailant. 

He transported himself to a local hospital where he was in stable condition. 

The incident  occurred at approximately 7:00pm at O'Donahue Park across from 14-30 Seagirt Blvd. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mini Floating Pool For Brooklyn Beats Kickstarter Fundraising Goal

Plus-shaped pool
The innovative project that aims to put a massive floating pool into the East River will install a mini replica in the waters off Brooklyn Bridge Park in August. Two days ago the project was $ 30,000 short of its fundraising goal.


Next month something unusual will be floating in the waters off of Brooklyn Bridge Park—a cross-shaped swimming pool, according to Crain's New York Business.

The founders of +Pool—a 164 feet by 164 feet river water pool with a water filtration system designed for challenging conditions—said on Friday that they had surpassed their crowdfunding goal.

The project generated $273,114, or $23,114 more than its goal on Kickstarter. The funds will enable the visionaries behind the project to build a replica which they are calling a science lab. The mini-version—35 feet by 35 feet—will be dropped into the East River in mid-August. But it is strictly for research, not swimming.

The founders want to use the extra money they raised to develop an educational exhibition space where the public can observe their progress, how they test the water and the structure.

"There are two options for the exhibition space," said Dong-Ping Wong, an architect and one of the three partners in the project. "There are outdoor spaces in downtown Dumbo and the other option is finding a storefront."

While the +Pool project ultimately calls for a walkway allowing people to get to the floating pool, the science lab will not have one. To avoid any risk to the public during the testing phase, and potential vandalism, staffers will reach the pool via kayak. But the founders may be allowed to take small groups of visitors to the site, said Mr. Wong.

The science lab will remain in the water until October. The total cost of the project is about $15 million. The founders have raised $314,114 so far through crowdfunding.

floating pool

Read More: 

Mini Floating Pool Beats Kickstarter Fundraising Goal
Crain's New York Business - July 12, 2013 -  - By Lisa Fickenscher

Monday, July 8, 2013

Police Arrest 4 In McCarren Park Pool Incident


By Geoffrey Croft

Stupidity returned to McCarren Park Pool yesterday as police arrested four Brooklyn teens who refused to obey pool rules and insisted on jeopardizing public safety NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

The group was repeatedly told to stop diving in the pool, horsing around in the water and running on the pool deck according to several city sources who said they were putting other patrons in danger by ignoring safety rules on a stifling hot day when the pool was packed to capacity.   

Police, park employees and life guards repeatedly warned the teens,  ranging from ages to 15-19 to stop but they continued. Police officers and park employees were forced to chase several of them around the pool deck until they were eventually caught. 

One,  Jevone Mcilwain - 19,  shoved a park supervisor and ran away according to the criminal complaint.   He was charged with Disorderly Conduct and Assault.   

When authorities caught up with Jose Carrero, 17  police say he resisted arrest by flailing his arms and refusing to be cuffed.  

The incident occurred at 5:40 pm.  on Sunday according to police.


Jose Carrero - male hispanic -17, charged with Reckless Endangerment, Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest.

Guillermo Coronador - male hispanic-18, charged with Disorderly Conduct, Reckless Endangerment.  He had an outstanding warrant.

Jevone Mcilwain - male black-19, charged with Disorderly Conduct, Assault (shoving a park employee)

A juvenile report was issued to a male black - 15. He was released to his parents according to the police. 

After almost 30 years of being closed the majestic pool finally reopened last summer after undergoing a $ 50 million dollar renovation.  The pool however spent a good portion of its inaugural season in the news as crime and altercations were widely reported.  

This year the security plan was noticeably different compared to last year when only a few officers were present during the first few days. 

Other Pool News - 

Last night police and Park Enforcement Patrol had to break up a large group of approximately 40 people outside Thomas Jefferson pool stemming from a fight between two females.  One female was injured. During the fight someone stole the keys to a Parks Department vehicle. 

There were also multiple locker break-ins in Parks Department  pool facilities across the city and several arrests over the weekend. 

• A 17-year-old male was issued a Criminal Court summons for Disorderly Conduct in West Brighton Pool in Staten Island on Sunday 

• NYPD arrested two males stemming from a fight in the male locker room in Faber Pool in Staten Island on Friday.

• A 19-year-old female was arrested  by the NYPD for stealing a wallet and purse from a locker in Betsy Head Pool in Brooklyn also on Friday.

Read More:

A Walk In the Park - July 26, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In the Park - July 20, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In the Park - July 20, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - July 19, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - July 17, 2012

A Walk In The Park - July 15, 2012

A Walk In The Park - July 12, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - July 10, 2012 - Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - July 4, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - July 3, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - July 2, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - July 1, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - June 30, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - June 29, 2012  - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - June 5, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - March 27, 2012  - By Geoffrey Croft

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Driver Dies On Ocean Parkway As Car Hits Tree - 2 Males Injured In Accident


By Geoffey Croft

A 20-year-old driver from Brooklyn died when he lost control of his car and stuck a tree on Ocean Parkway and Ave J.  NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Zahurul Alam was driving a 2001 Lexus traveling northbound with two other passengers inside,  ages 20 and 23 when the accident occured.

The two males survived the incident and were transported to Lutheran Hospital in stable condition according to the NYPD. 

The accident occurred this morning at 2:45am. 

Police said the car was "most likely" traveling at a high speed at the time of the crash. 

Last year the Tri-State Transportation Campaign designated Ocean Parkway as Brooklyn's most dangerous roadway for pedestrians in a study that covered 2009 to 2011.  

Ocean Parkway had the highest number of traffic fatalities involving pedestrians than any other street in the borough.  

Saturday, July 6, 2013

UPDATE: Homeless Man Attacks Woman In Inwood Hill Park

"Help me, Help. Somebody help me."   -  Victim

A  park patron pins an "emotional disturbed person" to the ground who attacked a woman taking photos early this morning in Inwood Hill Park.  Bystanders came to aid of the victim after hearing repeated cries for help.  The woman suffered cuts to her face. The man was taken to North Bronx Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.


By Geoffrey Croft

A woman out taking photos in Inwood Hill Park early this morning was attacked by a homeless man and park patrons stepped in and apprehended the deranged man NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Bystanders heard the woman - who police described as in her 50's - crying out for help and came to her aid and held the man until police came. 

According to police a black male approached the woman and accused her of taking photos of him and demanded she delete the photos. When she informed him she did not taken photos of him he became irate and took a swipe at the camera knocking her to the ground.

She suffered lacerations to her face and was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.  

The assailant -  approximately 35-40-years-old was taken to North Bronx Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

He has refused to identify himself to police.    

The incident occurred this morning at 8:00am on the northwest end of the baseball fields on the path heading toward the soccer fields.

Area resident Connie Vasquez had just exited the dog run with her greyhound and some freinds when she heard a woman screaming,  "Help me, Help. Somebody help me."  

"At first,  we thought it was kids playing,  but because the woman kept yelling HELP ME,  we soon realized someone needed help," she said.

When she arrived eight people had him surrounded on the floor and a large man had his left foot on the alleged assailant's shoulder pinning him on the ground.

According to Ms. Vasquez, the woman's face was red and the victom said she may have been "hit in the face."  The woman who had a camera with her - said she was "just shaken up,'" but was not seriously hurt.  

The victim thanked park patrons for coming to help.

"Crime is an issue" said Ms. Vasquez who has lived in the area for six years and is member of the Northern Manhattan Civilian Observation Patrol (NMCOP),  overseen by the 34th Precinct.

She applauded her neighbors who got involved. 

"I love that about this neighborhood," she said.

"CUDOS to the neighborhood heroes. Several people interceded and one man had his foot on the would-be assailant. THIS is our Inwood at its very best: neighbors looking out for each other and taking action,"  she posted on Facebook. 

Several people posted comments and photos of the incident on Facebook. 

 Police and an ambulance at the scene early this morning in Inwood Hill Park. 

Ms. Vasquez said the police responded with lighting speed. The first officer to arrive came in a small vehicle.

"I was flabbergasted how fast that golf cart with the officer came," she said. 

The NYPD were unable to provide details of this morning's incident at this time other than to say the man was removed to the hospital as an emotional disturbed person.  They added it was not a mugging.

We will update the story when additional information becomes available. 

"I hope this woman is okay," said Susan Ryan who has been raising the alarm for greater security and more maintenance in area parks after her husband was violently mugged in Isham Park last June.  

"This incident in broad daylight once again underscores the need for dedicated PEP officers and for security cameras in Inwood Hill Park.  Inwood's beautiful parks are woefully neglected because Inwood is a poor community of color and because every elected official who represents Inwood ignores their constituents when it comes to the issue of Park Safety.  The 34th Precinct's manpower is already stretched thin to begin with.  In addition, the 34th Precinct has more parkland than any other precinct in Manhattan except for Central Park which has it's own police precinct. Central Park also has 31 security cameras.  Seems like the wealthy get more resources for Park Safety.  Not only is this totally unacceptable, it's a violation of our civil rights.  What do our elected officials do about it?  Nothing."

"There's nowhere near enough park workers or park enforcement," added Connie Vasquez, a sentiment shared by many in the community. 

"It's bedlam up here in the summer in Inwood Hill Park on the weekends.  It's disgusting.  The coolers with alcohol with start arriving by 10am.  You can smell the pot, and people leave garbage everywhere. No one cleans up and no one seems to be doing anything about it, " she said. 

Read More:

Woman Attacked While Taking Pictures In Inwood Hill Park Police

WCBS - July 6, 2013