Wednesday, September 28, 2016

21-Year-Old Killed In Bronx Playground - Shot In Head


By Geoffrey Croft

A 21-year-old male was killed last night  after being shot in the head on a playground bench, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

He was transported to St. Barnabas Hospital in critical condition but later passed.

Police found Bronx resident Yunior Manon with a gun shot wound to the back of his head.  

Police don’t believe the victim was the intended target according to a law enforcement source.

The incident occurred at Morton Playground near University Avenue and West Tremont Avenue at 7:30pm.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Teen Shot In Brooklyn Park Playing Basketball After School


A 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg while playing basketball in a Brooklyn park shortly after class was dismissed on Monday afternoon.  

The teen was in Washington Hall Park when another male fired repeatedly onto the court where he was playing near Washington Street and Park Avenue in Clinton Hill at about 3:30 p.m., police said, according to the New York Post.  

The wounded boy then ran to the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Waverly Avenue and discovered that he had been shot in the right leg, police sources said.  

He was taken to Kings County Hospital and expected to survive, cops said.  

Police said they didn’t know if he was the intended target or what the shooter’s motive was.

Read More:

New York Post - September 26, 2016 - By Tina Moore  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Central Park: French Police Officer Catches Purse Snatcher


By Geoffrey Croft

A French police officer chased down a thief who robbed a British tourist in Central Park.

A husband and wife visiting from London were walking by the Conservancy Waters near East Drive and East 71st Street, when a mugger pushed the 47-year-old female victim to the ground from behind and stole her purse.

The incident occurred on Tuesday morning at around 10:30am the police said.  

The Frenchman joined the couple who were chasing him after hearing shouts.  He caught the suspect on 5th Avenue when the thief stopped to catch his breath on a park bench, according to an account in the New York Post.   

The bag with $300 was recovered.

Police arrested Mercutio Hart-Chu, 17,  who lives on Audubon Avenue in upper Manhattan.

He was charged with Robbery.

The French officer, Stephane Rocher is assigned to the French Mission to the UN.

Read More:

New York Post - September 22, 2016 - By Tina Moore, Daniel Prendergast and Gabrielle Fonrouge           

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Central Park: Suspect Caught In Knifepoint Robbery Of Two Girls, 15


By Geoffrey Croft

Two fifteen-year-old girls were robbed yesterday near East 107th Street and East Drive in Central Park at about 6:30 pm, NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

The victims were approached by the suspect with a knife who demanded their phones. The assailant fled after robbing them. 

Police used the Find My I-Phone app and tracked the suspect to Tompkins Square Park in the East Village where he was arrested after a brief foot chase.

Mekhi Ortiz, 18, a resident of  Morningside Avenue was arrested and charged with Robbery, Threat With a Deadly Weapon and  marijuana possession. 

He has at least 9 prior arrests.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Central Park: Man Robbed Of 3 Cell Phones While Playing Pokemon Go Live - Attack Caught Live Streaming


By Geoffrey Croft

A 43-year-old man was robbed of three cell phones in Central Park early this morning while playing and streaming Pokemon Go live.

The incident occurred 12:30 am. about 100 yards inside the park near 59th Street and 6th Avenue.

The victim was walking alone inside the park when he was approached from behind and punched in the back of the head by an assailant.

The attacker forcably removed the cell phones after throwing the gamer on the ground. 

The victim told police he was playing “live” with an unknown number of players on the web and was going to go home and check on his home computer to see if anyone had been recording the action live.

The incident was captured on the victim's Twitch live stream which viewers watched in real time as it occured.   

"Look at me I'm just a lazy Pokemon player," the happy but distracted player wearing a bright yellow shirt says a moment before the attack. 

The video shows the attacker, wearing a black shirt approaching the player from the left side and quickly moving in, violently putting his arm around the victim's throat and tossing him to the ground. 

"Take it off, take it off let's go," the thief tells the victim.

"No, no, no, please, please, please,"  the victim pleads while on the ground.

A few seconds later the attacker, wearing red basketball shorts, is seen running away into the park and breathing heavily.    

About a minute later the thief is heard shutting down the devise. 

The victim told police he had purchased the three phones, a Samsung S-7, a Samsung S-7 Edge and a Nexus S-P, for the express purpose of playing the game.

"I got mugged playing Pok√©mon GO in Central Park. Still talking to police and will go to hospital soon, "  the victim tweeted out that at 2:04am using his screen name, "Rickeybot." 

A good Samaritan shouted and chased the assailant north into the park but lost him.

Minutes later the good Samaritan returned and helped the victim find his glasses.

Police have made no arrests.

The suspect is described as approximately 6 foot tall.  

“He literally just sucker punched me,” the victim said over the phone. 

“My right jaw is swollen. He clotheslined me with his fist. I hit the ground. I have a bump on my head and a scratch on my elbow.” 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Group Robs Man, 86, Walking With Wife In Central Park


By Geoffrey Croft

A eighty-six year-old man was robbed and thrown to the ground early this morning by a group while strolling in Central Park with his wife.

The couple were walking near 76th Street and East Drive at 12:30 a.m. when the group approached the couple and asked if they could spare any money according to police.

The man declined and one of the suspects grabbed him by the back of his shirt collar and threw him to the floor.

The suspect reached into the victims's backpack and stole his wallet containing $20. The thief also stole his MetroCard and ID.

The victim suffered a gash to his right cheek. He refused medical attention.

His wife, 56, was not hurt. 

The suspects fled westbound through the park.

The suspect who threw the victim to the ground is described as a male black, in his 20s, chubby and wearing a white T-shirt.

His three accomplices were also decribed as male blacks. Police provided no other description of the suspects.  

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Girl, 17, Raped At Gunpoint In Queens Park


By Geoffrey Croft

A 17-year-old girl was raped at gunpoint in a Queens park early this morning, according to police.  

The incident occurred in Detective Keith L. Williams Park near the corner of Liberty Ave. and 173rd St. at about 12:45 a.m.,

The girl said she and female friend had gone to the park with to meet several guys including the suspect.

Once they were in the park, one of the males pulled out a gun and ordered the victim’s friend to leave the park.

After her friend left, the suspect allegedly raped the teen while his friends threatened her with the gun.

Roger Rivera, 18, of Jamaica was arrested and charged with Rape.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Man Arrested In Washington Sq. Park After Pulling A Knife


An East Village resident was arrested by police in Washington Square Park after pulling a knife on a pa

A police officer on foot patrol was in the park on Friday afternoon when a park patron approached and said a man had pulled a knife on him.

The man was seen riding a bike away from the park heading northbound on Washington Square West.

Ten minutes later he returned to the park where the victim pointed him out to police.

Rodney Spencer, 54 from Pitt Street in Manhattan was arrested and charged with Menacing.

The incident occured within the convines of the 6th Pct at approximalty 1:30pm.

- Geoffrey Croft

Body Found In Trunk Of Burning Car In Queens Park

Dead body found in trunk of burning car

Firefighters putting out a car fire in the parking lot of Idlewild Park near 224th St and 149th Avenue made a gruesome discovery last night.  The burnt body of an unidentified male was found in the truck. (Photo: Ellis Kaplan)


A dead body was discovered in the trunk of a burning car at a Queens park, authorities said according to a report. 

Firefighters responded to a report of a car fire in a public parking area inside of Idlewild Park around 11:40 p.m. Saturday.

After the flames were extinguished, police found the charred remains of an adult man stashed inside the trunk of the 2010 Nisan Sentra.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.  Police are still investigating the incident.

The incident occurred within the confines of the 105th Pct.

Read More:

Dead body found in trunk of burning car 
New York Post - September 11, 2016 -  By Daniel Prendergast

Thursday, September 8, 2016

City Beaches Reopen Today After Tropical Storm Hermine Riptide Conditions Pass

Reg flags, indicating the water is off limits, were in place this week at the city’s beaches. The city has lifted the ban on swimming.  Although the tropical storm warning was lifted for New York late Sunday,  the riptide precautions remained in effect until today. The beaches and public pools are open till September 11th. (Photos: NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge


By Geoffrey Croft

The City’s 14 miles of beaches will reopen today for swimming after being closed this week as a result of Tropical Storm Hermine.

While the beaches remained open the public was prohibited from entering the water since Sunday due to strong riptide conditions.

For the most part the public complied with the water ban however there were a few scattered incidents.

In Rockaway, home of the city’s only designated surfing areas some surfers took to the waters despite stern warnings from NYPD and park police officers.

The city has not provided the number of summons issued for non compliance, however at least four surfers were ticketed for refusing to get out of the ocean on Sunday according to a report.

The surfers said they would fight the $ 80 tickets.

Signs at Orchard Beach, the Bronx's only public beach.

Also on Sunday a reportedly intoxicated swimmer had to be rescued by two EMTs in Coney Island near W. 12th St. shortly before 8 p.m.  One EMT dived in while her colleague tossed her the rope. They were both pulled back in. 

The swimmer was taken to Coney Island Hospital.

The city extended the beach and pool season by a week and will remain open through Sunday, September 11.  

Read More:

A Walk In The Park -  September 3, 2016 - By Geoffrey Croft

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Mother Shot In Bronx Park


By Geoffery Croft

A 38-year-old mother was shot last night in a Bronx park, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Police say the woman was with her son and his friends in Grant Park on E. 170th Street last night around 10:15 when a burgundy colored van pulled up.  A gunman opened fire into the park and struck the victim in the left shoulder.

The vehicle drove headed south down Grant Avenue.

The victim was taken to Lincoln Hospital in stable condition.

Read More:

Man, 24 Shot In Bronx Playground - Second Shooting In 7 Days In An Unlocked Park
A Walk In The ParkJune 30, 2016 

Referee Assaulted In Flushing Meadow Park During Soccer Game


By Geoffrey Croft

A New Jersey man was arrested after he hit a referee in the face with a beer can during a soccer game, NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

The man became irate at a call and began yelling and cursing him out. 

He threw a beer can at the 20-year-old who was officiating the game which struck him in the face.  The victim suffered a laceration to his nose and cheek.

The incident occurred in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park on Sunday on Field # 3, near the park’s Pitch & Putt and Fountain of the Planets at 3:45pm.

A park patron flagged down a PEP park police officer on a foot post who was told that a referee was getting beat up.

“He was bleeding profusely,” said an officer at the scene. 

EMS responded but the victim refused medical treatment.

The crowed pointed out the assailant. 

Police arrested Recardo Cruz, 41, from North 7th Street in Newark, N.J.  

He was charged with Assault and Harassment. 

Cruz was released on his own recognizance and his next court date is October 26th.  

If convicted he faces up to a year in jail. 

A temporary Order of Protection was granted the victim according to the Queens District Attorney’s office

A law enforcement source said that it is not uncommon for referees to hire private security for themselves for protection while working the soccer games in the park.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

City Beaches Closed For Swimming On Sunday As Hermine Approaches - Warning To Surfers


By Geoffrey Croft

With winds potentially reaching 40 to 50 mph and "extremely dangerous" ripe tides expected from Tropical Storm Hermine Mayor de Blasio announced today that city beaches will be closed for swimming on Sunday and possibly for several days after.

“We will be closing our city beaches on Sunday meaning that people can go on the beach but not in the water,"  the Mayor said.   "Our beaches will be closed for swimming on Sunday.”

“Do not go into the water it will be very dangerous, it will be unusually dangerous,” the Mayor warned. 

“We will likely be closing our beaches for swimming on Monday and Tuesday as well but we will make those announcements as we get closer and see how the storm develops.”

If you go in the water you are putting your life in danger. 

The Mayor also had a message for swimmers and surfers.

"Don’t even think about it, it's going to be unusually dangerous."

The Mayor said the Police and Parks Department will patrolling beaches and "aggressively" telling people not to go in the water.

The Mayor stopped short of saying the city was going to force people not to go in when asked.

"We have not yet gotten to the question of whether we would be forcibly stop someone from going in there." he said.

"I think the Police Department and the Parks Department folks are very good at getting their point across and I think anyone who talks to one of them will get the message that they just shouldn’t go in and people will listen to law enforcement personnel, ” de Blasio said. 

The city extended the beach and pool season by a week and will remain open through Sunday, September 11.  

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Beach & Pool Season To Remain Open For A Week


The city has extended the beach and pool season by a week.

All city beaches, except Cedar Grove and Wolfe’s Pond beaches on Staten Island will remain open through Sunday, September 11. 

Cedar Grove and Wolfe’s Pond beaches will close on Labor Day.      

All intermediate- and Olympic-sized pools will also remain open through Sunday, September 11. 

Mini pools will close on Labor Day.

Traditionally Labor Day had been the Park’s Department’s official closing date. 

Last year the city extend the beach season but pools were not included.

- Geoffrey Croft

Shots Fired Inside Washington Square Park - Missing Intended Target


By Geoffrey  Croft

A man was pistol whipped and had several shots fired at him last night in Washington Square Park, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The victim, a 27 year-old shelter resident was inside the park at 11:15 p.m. when he was approached by the assailant according to police. 

The man was angry because the victim had approached his girlfriend a few days earlier and asked her for oral sex.

An argument began and the assailant pulled a gun and smashed the victim twice on the side of the head with it.

He then pointed the gun at the victims chest.

"Go ahead. Just tell my mother I love her,” the victim said.

The gunman stepped back and lowered the gun, pointing it at the victims legs and fired. 

The victim moved out of the way just as the gunman opened fire.  The bullet missed. 

The victim was struck by a piece of concrete from where the bullet hit the ground.

Police responded to several calls of shots fired in the park and later found the victim.

Crime and vagrant activity in Washington Square Park has noticeable increased recently.

"It's become llke the old Tompkins Square Park," said a Parks Department law enforcement source.   

Read More:

A Walk In The Park -  August 6, 2016 

Man Charged With Stalking Girl, 14, In Brooklyn Park At School Tennis Tryouts


By Geoffrey Croft

A Bronx man was arrested for stalking a teenage girl while she tried out for her school’s tennis team, NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

The assailant followed the fourteen-year-old girl for numerious blocks from the subway station to Fort Green Park on Tuesday morning where her local school was having tennis tryouts. 

Along the way he waited for her outside a store where she purchased water for the tryouts.

Once inside the park he followed her in various directions. He made psst sounds in an effort to get her attention and stared at her.  The defendant watched her and refused to leave the park after two requests.

At the courts the scared teen informed a coach who took photos of the man standing right up against the fence watching the young players.  He confronted him asking what he was doing.

"I ain't doing nothing,"  he reportedly said.

The coach told the man that these were young girls and he shouldn't be following them.  He asked him to leave the area but he refused.

The stalker then threatened the coach’s life.  

“Coach you made a wrong move. Save a life, save your own,” he reportedly said.

The man sat down on several benches that overlook the courts and watched the girls play.

The coach told a parks maintenance worker that one of his students had been followed from the subway. The worker notified a supervisor. 

Police arrived and initially let him go but upon further investigation arrested him.

Police arrested Vladimir Joseph, 32,  a Bronx resident. He was charged with menacing,  endangering the welfare (of a child less than 18), stalking,  and harassment.

According to the criminal complaint, these actions caused the girl, “to fear physical injury and become alarmed and annoyed.”

He was arraignment at Brooklyn criminal court and released on his own recognizance.   

The incident occurred within the confines the 88 pct.

Sources say the police have arrested several people over the last few years in that area of the park. Last July police arrested a person wanted for touching himself near the tennis courts after he returned for a forth time.

The hill overlooking the courts is a popular area for sunbathers.