Thursday, November 30, 2017

Joggers Attacked In Fort Tryon Park Near Cloisters


By Geoffrey Croft 

Two joggers were assaulted in an attempted robbery in Fort Tryon Park according to police.

One victim was assaulted after coming to the aid of a fellow runner.  

A 47-year-old man was jogging alone inside the park when he spotted a man accosting a woman. 
He tried to defend the woman against her attacker.  The mugger had taken the phone of a 29-year-old runner.

The Good Samaritan demanded he return the phone and was punched in the face.

The incident happened inside the park on Monday morning at 9:30am.

One of the victims posted his account on Facebook.

"I would like to share what happened to me and another woman (jogger)….while we were both, independently, running through Fort Tryon Park at around 9:30 AM, Nov 27," he wrote.

The 47-year-old woman encountered a fellow jogger in the process of being robbed who was described as, "clearly in distress as she was being assaulted by a young man in the tunnel under the roadway that leads to the Cloisters,”  he wrote.

"She was crying and begged me to help her. This man had taken her phone and she told me in a panic that she was terrified because he had just hit her in the face with his fist,”  he posted.

She confronted the mugger and told him to give her phone back. 

"I was surprised when he complied and gave her phone back. Then I told him to leave the park immediately and directed him to go in the opposite direction we planned on going. 

The victim wrote that at fist the assailant complied and started to go in the opposite direction as they both began to heading south back up the hill but then he turned around and confronted both of them.

"I told the jogger to start going up the hill and blocked his path towards her. He reached in his pocket for something and indicated that he had gun or weapon in his hoodie. Whatever is was, it was protruding out of pocket but it was concealed. I thought it was just has hand but I wasn't taking any chances.     As the jogger started running up the hill I stood in his path. He approached and took his hand out of pocket and struck me in the face with his fist and whatever he had in his pocket. I was knocked over against the low stone barriers just to the west of the tunnel. I came to 5-10 seconds later and started running to catch up to the jogger. He chased us both up the hill towards the south entrance. 

A second woman who evidently had seen part of the incident was now below us. The man changed course and began to approach her back down the hill. I told the jogger to continue towards the entrance as there would certainly be more people there. The man then tried to take the 2nd woman's phone but gave up as I approached him. He ran past me toward the jogger who had stopped as she was calling the police at that point. It appeared that he was giving up as he started running toward the entrance."

Two male joggers passed in nearby Heather Gardens and she asked if they could chase the suspect down. 

The man stayed with the first victim jogger as they reached the south entrance of the park near the corner of Cabrini Place and Washington Avenue.  Police arrived minutes later. 

"About 15 minutes later the two male joggers returned and said he fled down through the stairs behind A Train station towards Broadway, but lost sight of him.  

The jogger said she too was punched in the face, but refused medical treatment. I wasn't as lucky. I spent the day in the hospital, but ultimately my injuries only amounted to bruises to my face and lacerations to my mouth and face area requiring stitches. 

I had blood all over my shirt, tights and shoes. I'm fine if a little shaken.     I hesitate to add this only because I don't know how to interpret it. The jogger told me and the police, that the man commanded her to, 'give me everything have except your shoes,' It was just after he said this to her that I came upon them. "

Her description of him is as follows:  Black male, age approximately 18-21. Approximately 5'11", slight build, short cut hair, and a wide gap in his two front teeth. 

"I am an avid runner, and run in the neighborhood 5-6 times a week. This incident will not stop me from running, anytime, anywhere in our community," he defiantly wrote. 

"I hope others feel the same way as I do. Obviously be vigilant, but do not let an outlying incident discourage you from going outside and to the parks.      I understand that it is a very different story for women running and traveling alone or even in groups. The jogger told me that she is routinely harassed by male school age youths in the area both while running and walking around.”

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WPIX - December 1, 2017 - By Shirly Chan

Friday, November 10, 2017

Teen Slashed, I-Phone Robbed In Brooklyn Park


By Geoffrey Croft

A teen was robbed by a group of males and slashed, NYC Park Advocates has learned.   

The victim, 17, told police three men approached him in City Line Park on Wednesday at 6:40 pm.  

One of robbers grabbed him from behind, pushed him down, forcing his head to the ground.

The two other attackers riffled through his pockets taking cash and an I-phone 6. 

The victim was slashed one time on the left hand.

The assailants fled with the cash and the phone.

The victim was taken to Jamaica hospital where he was treated for the slash wound.

Central Park: Teen Gun-Point Suspects Arrested Ski Mask Robbery


By Geoffrey Croft

The police apprehended two teen suspects wanted in last night’s gun point robbery in Central Park.

The male victim, 37, was walking alone through the park at 9:40 p.m. at East Drive near 96th Street
 wearing headphones, when a boy and girl, both 15,  came from behind and pushed him.

One of the robbers was wearing a ski mask. 

The male lifted his shirt to reveal the butt of a  380 semi-auto pistol gun tucked in his waist and demanded the victims wallet according to police. 

"Give me all your stuff," the suspect demanded.

The victim handed over the wallet. When the victim couldn't open his phone with the pass code, the male suspect pulled the gun and racked the slid as if loading a bullet in the chamber.

The victim handed over the phone and the perps fled westbound in the park.

The victim used a park patrons phone to call 911.

While he was on the phone with the dispatcher, before the call was typed out and transmitted, the alert came over the smartphone of the NYPD's plain clothes team inside the park who went to the victims location.

Police canvassed with the victim and they activated his Find-My-iphone app. Police used their department issued smart phones to track the missing phone and found it still inside the park.

Police spotted the suspects matching the description walking on West Drive near 96th Street. They spotted the police and ran. They were caught.

In a bag the female was carrying, police found the stolen wallet, the ski mask used during the robbery.

The male suspect had the ringing stolen phone in his front pants pocket and the gun still tucked in his waistband. The gun was unloaded.

The female suspect is from the Bronx and the male suspect is from Manhattan, both 15 were charged with robbery as juvenile offenders.

The victim is a Manhattan resident. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Gang Attacks Teens In Fort Tryon Park - Several Other Stabbings In Area



By Geoffrey Croft

New details have emerged in Monday's multiple stabbing incidents in upper Manhattan by a large group.

Police responded to at least three separate stabbings on Monday evening. 

Two teens were viciously attacked by a gang of males inside Fort Tryon Park NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Two victims, ages, 16, and 17,  were walking out of the park near Broadway and Dongan Place and Arden St. at 6:10 pm when they were confronted by a large group of males. 

The 16-year-old was stabbed five times according to police. He was stabbed in his stomach, left thigh, buttocks and twice in his forearm.  He was hit with an object and sustained a compound fracture of his right forearm.  

The 17-year-old was slashed in his face and neck.   Both victims were punched in the face and body. 

Both victims were hospitalized.

Police are investigating if the same group is responsible several other similar attacks nearby.

Police are investigating the stabbing of a 17- year-old near 1552 St. Nicholas Avenue btw. W. 187/188th at 6:30pm.

The teen was stabbed in his torso.  

A few hours later a large group attacked a couple at West 173rd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. 

A 23-year-old male was walking with his girlfriend, 22, at 10 p.m. when they encountered a large group of men. 

The attackers called his name and began throwing bottles at him.

The victim was stabbed in the buttocks and struck with a baseball bat.

A witness drove the victim to Columbia Presbyterian hospital where he was treated.

All incidents are under investigation.

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Vigil Held For Hudson River Park Bike Path Victims

"All of us, I know feel shocked, and saddened and angry that this beautiful part of our daily lives as New Yorkers this incredible stretch of parkland where we ride our bikes and walk with our children and our loved ones was turned into an instrument of death and destruction."  -  Brad Hoylman - New York State Senator

Two women originally from Argentina hold the country flag during the vigil.  Five of the victims killed in Tuesday's murder spree were Argentine. The attack was the deadliest incident of terrorism in New York City since Sept. 11, 2001.  After the march police began installing cement barriers along the four plus miles of bike path, protections the public had been calling for over more than a decade.  (Photos by Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge


By Geoffrey Croft

Hundreds of mourners turned out yesterday evening for a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of Tuesday horrific tragedy in Hudson River Park.

The crowed converged at Pier 40 at West Houston Street near where the murderer entered the park.

Parents pushed strollers,  people held hands, some cried, some hugged, others were consoled.  

 They walked in silence along the esplanade, parallel to the bike path twenty feet away, the sun setting over the Hudson River on the right. 

Police on motor scooters lead the precession. 

The crowd makes its way along the Hudson River.

The crowd stopped at Pier 25 where the group gathered to say a few words.

"All of us, I know feel shocked, and saddened and angry that this beautiful part of our daily lives as New Yorkers this incredible stretch of parkland where we ride our bikes and walk with our children and our loved ones was turned into an instrument of death and destruction," New York State Senator Brad Hoylman said in a moving tribute.   

Hoylman, a former chair of Community Board 2 noted that one of the victims grew up nearby and was a constituent. 

"I'm also here to say we stand in solidarity with the victims and their loved ones. Those who lost their lives including a constituent of mine Nicholas Cleves who lives in Greenwich Village. Twenty-three years old and undertaking that very simple and pleasurable experience that so many of us have shared, riding his bicycle,  struck down. We can not explain it but we can be defiant in the face of such darkness and that’s why I think we are here."   

After the march police began installing cement barriers on the bike lane where the vehicle entered, and throughout the four mile long greenway, protections the public had been calling for over more than a decade.

The burning question is why did it take more than a decade and the needless deaths of eight innocent people and injuries of eleven more for the authorities finally install barriers, protections which would have easy prevented this.

West Houston St. & West Street.  After the march police installed cement barriers on the bike lane where the vehicle entered, protections the public had been calling for since at least 2006, more than a decade. 

On Tuesday a terrorist plowed a truck into unsuspecting Hudson River Park bike path users killing eight and wounding eleven more. The horrifying incident occurred around 3:00 when the driver entered the unprotected bike path at West Houston St. and West Street and sped south, indiscriminately hitting pedestrians and cyclists.

Five of the victims killed were Argentine tourists in New York for a 30-year high school reunion. Those killed were Hernán Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi. A sixth member of the reunion group, was among the wounded.  

Another victim, Ann-Laure Decadt, 31,  a mother of 3-year-old and 3-month-old, from the town of Staden, Belgium was also killed. Three of those injured were also Belgian according to officials. 

Twenty-three-year old Nicholas Cleves, a software engineer from the West Village went to Elisabeth Irwin High School on Charlton St, four blocks from where he was murdered.  

Darren Drake, 32, of New Milford, New Jersey was the last person killed to be identified. 

Darren was a project manager for Moody’s Investors Service at the World Trade Center.  He was out for a bike ride, exercising between meetings when he was murdered.

According to his father he would have turned 33 on November 18th.  Darren was his only child.  

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

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Union Picket Stabbing At US Open Tennis Construction Site In FMCP


By Geoffrey Croft

A violent melee broke out yesterday between union and non-union Iron workers that left one man in serious condition after being stabbed and two others slashed several times.

The first victim, 35,  was stabbed in the arm and in the groan which cut an artery.  He underwent surgery last night and remains hospitalized. 

A second victim, 45 received 20 stitches in his side and stitches in both hands as a result of his efforts in trying to disarm the attacker according to a union representative. 

A third victim, 50, was slashed in the stomach but refused medical attention.  

Police arrested Delroy Danvers, 65, of Brooklyn. He was charged with Assault and Criminal Possession of a Weapon.

Ironworkers LOCAL 197 Stone Derrickman & Riggers were out on a picket line protesting non union work re-building the Louis Armstrong Stadium job site in Flushing Meadow Corona Park.

At approximately 3:25 p.m., a 65-year-old non-union worker emerged from the construction site and pulled a knife.  

"There were no problems," said William Hayes, the Local's Financial Secretary, Treasurer, and Business Manager who noted it was quiet before the incident.     

"The non-union guy was running his mouth going back and forth and went back inside and came back outside the door and stabbed the man.

The attacker then took off running where union workers caught up to him and held him until police arrived.  

"It was crazy,” said Hayes.

The union picketed with inflatable rats and about fifty workers to protest subcontractor U.S. Crane and Rigging’s hiring of non-union workers to install exterior precast stone work panels at the new stadium.

Hayes said some other trades were threatened on the job site today and are refusing to work over safety concerns for their members.

He says he does not understand why the City's Project Labor Agreement regarding city parkland is not in effect here.  

"When the contracts go out they say it's not a park entity," he said.  "They’re saying the US Open is a different entity and they don’t have to follow it."

 “At this time we have no comment,"  subcontractor U.S. Crane and Rigging said when reached for comment. 

According to Hayes, Hunt Construction, the general contractor is, "ultimately responsible for what's going on over there.”

A message for Hunt Construction seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hudson River Park Bike Path Used To Kill 8 In Terror Attack, 11 More injured

The Hudson River Park Bike Path was strewn with bodies and mangled bicycles after Tuesday's terrorist attack that killed eight and wounded eleven more.  (Photo: Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press)  


By Geoffrey Croft

A terrorist plowed into unsuspecting Hudson River Park bike path users killing eight and wounding eleven more in what officials called a terrorist attack.

The horrifying incident occurred Tuesday afternoon around 3:00 when the driver of a rented Home Depot pick up truck entered the popular bike path at West Houston St. and drove straight down the path. He began hitting pedestrians and cyclists as he headed south.  

The vehicle stopped less than a mile later when the driver crashed into a school bus on Chambers and West Street across from Stuyvesant High School. 

The driver got out of the vehicle and was confronted by police after waving what appeared to be firearms.  After the suspect did not comply with orders to drop the weapons an officer opened fire, striking him in the stomach. 

The rampage left bodies and mangled bicycles strewn along the bike path along West Street.

Five of the victims killed were Argentine tourists from Santa Fe Province who were in New York for a 30-year high school reunion. Those killed were Hernán Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi according to Argentine authorities the NY Times reported. 

A sixth member of the reunion group, was among the wounded. 

Another victim, Ann-Laure Decadt, 31,  a mother of 3-year-old and 3-month-old, from the town of Staden, Belgium was also killed. Three of those injured were also Belgian according to officials.

The two other victims have now been identified as American. 

Nicholas Cleves, 23, a software engineer from the West Village.  He went to Elisabeth Irwin High School on Charlton St, four blocks away from where he was murdered.  A 33-year-old man from New Milford, New Jersey has also been Identified, but his name has not yet been released. 

The suspect was identified as Sayfullo Saipov, 29, from Uzbekistan who was in critical condition on Tuesday night.  He was expected to live law enforcement authorities said.

Saipov was living in Patterson, N.J.

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The carnage along the bike path near West Houston St. in the aftermath of Tuesday's rampage in lower Manhattan.  (Photo: Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News)