Is There a Stalker on Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights?

A disturbing dispatch just arrived in the BHB Inbox.  Our tipster claims that there’s a mentally ill person who follows and stalks people on Hicks Street.  She alleges that the 84th Precinct is familiar with this individual (he was once  picked up running naked on Hicks Street) and that he supposedly robbed a neighbor at gunpoint last year.

The full email after the jump.

This morning my son and I were followed by a very unkempt person in the neighborhood who appears homeless, but is not. He is a mentally ill person who lives at [REDACTED] Hicks Street, the house with the kelly green trim paint. I have known of him for years because I had a friend who used to work next door.

We were on our way to school walking up Henry Street between Montague and Pierrepont when I saw him headed towards us. I stopped and let him pass, but then he turned around and came up behind us. I crossed the street and so did he, and at that point I turned around to a young man who was also behind us and told him I felt we were being followed and asked him to walk with us (he said yes). The scary individual turned and walked away.

He is very tall, african american, dressed all in black and he smells awful and from what I recall my friend saying he is picked up periodically by the police and/or Dept. of Health and either put in jail or a mental hospital, but is always released. I don’t know if he’s ever been physically violent with anyone, but he is certainly very menacing.

I was wondering if others had had any experiences with him. I would be very careful if you see him.

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  • x

    I have seen him a couple of times on Montague Street.. although he didn’t do anything to us. That stench is very memorable and almost offensive.

  • cat

    Is this the same man who has been doing odd jobs in the neighborhood for years, and occasionally begs for money? I’ve never seen him stalk, but he can be somewhat “assertive” when asking for money. Since I moved off of Hicks St I don’t see him very often.

  • Eason

    Wait, is this from the same lady who submitted the gang initiation ritual report?


  • x

    just in order to protect the neighborhood, can we know at least which
    part of Hicks does he live?

    A concerning brooklyner living on Hicks

  • Heights mom

    I’m the one who sent this to Homer, and no, I didn’t send in the gang initiation post. If you knew who this guy was you wouldn’t joke about it. After I posted this on Brooklyn Heights parents I was contacted by someone whose friend was robbed at gunpoint by this guy last year. He is mentally ill and a danger to himself and the community. I called the 84th precinct today about him and they told me he was picked up last year for running naked up and down Hicks Street. They know him well there.

  • momoschki

    Cat, I think you might be referring to James, who sweeps sidewalks and does odd jobs for many people on Hicks St. Although he can be insistent about the need to sweep and be paid for it, my experience with him has been that he is totally harmless.

    I’m pretty sure I saw the person in question yesterday on Montague St.

  • brooklynheighter

    Unless my memory fails me, I think James (the guy who sweeps sidewalks on Hicks Street) and this guy are different people. I’ve met James (who seemed nice to me) and also have seen twice the person to whom I think this article refers. They aren’t the same. The latter stuck out in my mind because he seemed very angry (he was talking to himself) and scary. Both times I saw him we was near the intersection of Henry and Clark Streets.

  • brooklynheighter

    I meant to say “he was near,” not “we was near.”

  • heighter

    I see this individual on the platform at the Clark St subway sometimes. Several weeks ago he was meanancingly approaching commuters and stalking them as they backed away from them. The stench is undeniable.

  • heighter

    meant “backed away from him.”

  • Heights mom

    It’s not James. This guy is different.

  • heights neighbor

    I have seen this guy quite a bit around the neighborhood and had a scarey incident when I was walking my 3 year-old to school a few weeks ago. He stopped when we passed him and then started to follow us. I grabbed my son and walked faster and he just starred at us. I wasn’t sure if I was over reacting but I was pretty freaked out. He had an awful look on his face and was almost growling at us. What else can we do?

  • Heights mom

    Heights neighbor that’s exactly what happened to us! The stopping and following. Where exactly were you walking?

    The police officer I spoke with today said to call 911 immediately. They know this guy so if they get a report like this they will try to find him. They can’t pick him up for nothing but if he gets aggressive like that they can question him, at which point the officer said it will probably be pretty clear that he needs hospitalization.

  • velvetflip

    Is this the same guy who has a guitar and amp and hangs out in the Clark Street station?

  • Heights mom

    Velvetflip I don’t know the person with the guitar, but I can assure you that this man never appears benign. You would certainly know if you had seen him or run into him. It’s really sad because he clearly is mentally ill and unmedicated, but he is very menacing and appears like he could get violent. It’s frightening that he has access to a gun, or at least did last year.

  • Katie

    I too have seen this man. I was walking on Henry by the Clark St. Diner towards the Dojo with my 5 month old in a stroller and he stopped and watched us pass him and then started to follow us. His smell is unbearable and you would never confuse him for someone that did odd jobs or played guitar. Believe me. I’ve seen him at least twice in that same general area and every time he stops and stares as I pass, but has never started to follow me again. I would not engage with him and try to cross the street if you see him. You can’t miss him, he’s very tall and as I mentioned his smell is unbearable.

  • MadeInBrooklyn

    I cannot stand James, who in the past has tried to play the intimidating role when asking for money and has almost gotten his teeth handed back to him in return,

  • heights neighbor

    @Heights Mom- We were walking on Pierrepont between Hick and Henry but I’ve also seen him on Henry near Clark’s. I ussually cross the street and will definitly do that from now on!

  • heights mom

    Seems like he hangs out in the area between Montague and Clark, and Henry and Hicks. He lives on Hicks between Pierrepont and Clark so this makes sense. It also seems he is usually out in the mornings. Has anyone seen him in the afternoon, or later in the day? I really wish he would get the help he obviously needs. It’s very scary to constantly be looking over your shoulder.

  • nabeguy

    If it’s the same guy I’m thinking of, I saw him once sreaming at the counter person at Cranberry’s for not buttering the roll that they had given to him for free.

  • AAR

    Where is Willowtown Cop on this subject? It is so hard for the police to deal with this. Unless they are charged with a crime (and sometimes if they are) the police bring the person to the hospital (LICH, in this case since they have a Psych unit). If the psych evaluation indicates that the person is not at risk of harming him/herself or others, hospitalization and stabilization on medication will be offered. The mentally ill person has the right to refuse treatment unless posing a danger to self/others. Many mentally ill people refuse medication due to side-effects. It is a tragic situation for the community, its institutions and the poor afflicted person.

  • CharlieSahadi

    I assume that we’re all speaking of the same person here… if so,
    Yesterday morning he was yelling at a fleeing father and his children walking in front of the McD’s on Court; and then
    Very early this morning he was down on Clinton below Atlantic outside of Tripoli just screaming at traffic. Perhaps he spent the night at LICH?

  • heights mom

    I didn’t know he really ventured below Montague Street but that’s pretty scary if he does. If he spent the night at LICH I’m so disappointed he was released. How can someone like him not be a danger at least to himself, and does he have to actually hurt someone to be considered a danger to others? What about threatening and following people?

  • WillowtownCop

    I’m here. We had one in Red Hook two weeks ago who barricaded himself in his apartment for 8 hours and turned the gas on. The whole building had to be evacuated and every rank up to chief was on the scene. Three days later LICH LET HIM OUT and he came right back home and lit the building on fire. Luckily he didn’t hurt anyone else, but he’s been in the ICU for two weeks for his own injuries. And when he gets better they will let him right back out. We take the same people in on a regular basis and they give them drugs, pronounce them cured, and let them out again. I think they should reopen the state psych hospitals for these people and send them where they can’t hurt anyone else.

  • Sid

    call 911. Hospitals can’t hold anyone unless they are immediately dangerous to themselves or others and even then the doctors hate the paperwork. Come to the next meeting of the 84th precinct council and talk with the precinct Captain. they can alert the patrol cars to look out for him….

    the Next meeting is on Feb 16th at the Baptist temple in Boerum Hill call the 84th precinct they will arrange transportation for you.

  • heights mom

    WillowTown Cop are you with the 84? This guy is apparently well known. Do you have any info?

  • WillowtownCop

    I’m not with the 84- we’re not allowed to work in the pct we live in.

  • heights mom

    I see. I did speak with the community affairs officer there who was helpful and knew this guy by his first name, where he lives etc. and gave me some information he probably should not have, but whatever. They are certainly aware of him, but I just wish they’d be able to get him off the streets for good. No kind of life for him, and a menace to the rest of us.

  • fritz

    Is James the hunched over guy. I saw him faced down passed out in the pouring rain last month

  • Columbia St Gal

    Willowtown Cop: With your ref to Red Hook, I suspect you are with the 76. If so, what about OUR resident Street Menace on Columbia and Irving? This guy throws bottles at people, screams at people, strips naked at 7:30 in the morning, and the TRASH?! He has so much refuse (trophies, window fans, mattresses, comp chairs, etc.) All spread out ACROSS the new bike path! People have to actually exit the path and ride in the street! What about him? I myself have called 311 a ga-jillion times. Please help!