Friday, November 4, 2016

Park Contractor's Equipment Torched By Arsonist In Astoria Park

A van with newly delivered polyurethane glue inside needed for playground construction was set ablaze by unknown assailants.   The Fire Department was called twice to the location when a second vehicle was deliberately set on fire. They were found under the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.  (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge


By Geoffrey Croft

Contractors working in Astoria Park arrived morning to find two of its vehicles deliberately destroyed by fire, NYC Park Advocates has learned.  

Electrical wiring of a $ 120,000 dollar back hoe was also torched and its front window smashed.  A generator and power tools were also destroyed.   

The van had two large containers filled with polyurethane glue needed for playground construction when is was set ablaze.

The Fire Department was called to the scene at 11:05 pm Tuesday night for the first vehicle. Not content the arsonist (s) came back a second time the torched another vehicle.

The Fire Department responded to a call at 3:44 am early Wednesday morning and extinguished the second blaze.

A pick up truck was destroyed. 

The  burnt out wrecks were found adjacent to the park’s tennis courts under the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge at 21st street between Hoyt Ave N & Astoria Park S.   

Brighton Builder LLC contractor from Brooklyn has been working on the site since April, doing demo repaving work as part of a more than $ 2 million dollar Parks Department contract.

The contractor is about to begin installing a spray shower, playground safety surfacing volleyball courts and concrete ping pong tables under the bridge as part of the contract.  750,000 

A representative for the company said he was grateful that non of the playground equipment was damaged and does not expect the job to be delayed by much. 

The electrical wiring of a $ 120,000 dollar back hoe was torched and its front window smashed. 

The spokesman said he had no idea why this job was targeted.

“If it was something that was part of our professional activity that’s one thing, if its straight forward vandalism it’s not something you would expect in this neighborhood.”

If it was union related as some have suggested, “it would turn my whole perception of the business upside down,” he said.  

One employee was forced to work in his sneakers because he left his work boots in one of the vehicles  which was burnt overnight. 

”We don’t know who or why someone did this, “ he said. 

Surveillance footage from Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority cameras around the bridge are being reviewed. 

The FDNY has an open investigation.  

(Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge

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