Wild in the (Brooklyn Heights) Streets

Yes, folks it’s not shocking that there are freaks, misfits and malcontents out on the streets of New York City. One BHB reader writes us to warn of those lurking right here in Brooklyn Heights:

I live on Columbia Pl. On the way home [Friday] evening (morning) about 2:15am my friend and I were assaulted on State St between Henry and Hicks. We successfully fought him off. White Male 18-25yrs 5′ 8-10″. He kept shouting “you think you’re funny” until we got the upper hand when he started repeating “we’re friends! we’re friends!” he ran away north on Hicks. We did not call the police as we were unharmed.

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  • http://heatherquinlan.com Heather Quinlan

    I knew this would happen once I left the blotter.

  • WillowtownCop

    Do you have a better description?

  • Western Brooklyn

    You should have reported the guy to police immediately. His behavior sounds dangerous.

    Luckily there were two of you. What if you had been alone & not able to fend him off?

  • David on Middagh

    Yes, Heather Q.! Your absence has reduced the local citizenry to reporting crimes first-hand; to assuming the pose of the ink-stained wretch, but without the editorial eye or apprenticeship, not to mention the leveling stamp of the law. Can the police blotter thrive as a mere simulacrum? I fear that only time intervenes between that moment you resigned, Heather, and that moment when this ad-hockery will implode, or explode, or otherwise create a charred pit at the center of the Brooklyn Heights Blog.

    And now my story.

    On Wyckoff Street in Cobble Hill, between Court St. and Smith, I witnessed a heinous phone-napping yesterday afternoon. I was approaching a promising sidewalk sale (I thought I could already see a box of music CDs) just as the gated proprietor was handing his cell phone across the fence to the one other customer. This “customer” (tall, very black, born outside this country judging by accent), made a show of casually turning his back on us and ambling away as he spoke or tried to maintain the signal. Before the proprietor could make it out from behind his gate and sprint halfway down the block, the peripatetic perp had jumped into his double-parked SUV and accelerated away.

    (Ach. You see, Heather, how long it has taken me to tell this simple story? And I’m not even finished.)

    I felt very bad, not having been able to help in any way (my sprinting-after-phone-fiends is currently compromised due to a foot injury), but, the crime having been committed and the thief being escaped, I could not resist taking one last look at the man’s music CDs. Finding nothing, I limped away.

  • skunky

    they should have called the police. what happens when this person assaults someone else? not your problem?

    but you had the time to assuage you guilt by writing an email to your local blog?

    good neighborhoods consist of good neighbors, not people who allow crazed people to run amok without making a simple phone call because you’re too drunk or too lazy to deal with it.

  • Teddy

    The guy was probably drunk or on drugs. It was Saturday night afterall. At least they didn’t get robbed or assaulted at gunpoint, which is known to happen from time to time.

  • cc

    state between henry and hicks…sounds like this happened at the end of my block. i’m not sure i totally understand the details of the story. you say you were assaulted but then you didn’t call the police? thank goodness no one was hurt!

  • Andrew Porter

    Isn’t State Street notorious for crime, which seeps into BH from Atlantic Avenue?

    These crimes should have been reported to the local police precincts. Phone number for the 84th Precinct is 718-875-6811.

  • x

    what if the victim was female?

  • http://inklake.typepad.com Peter

    Peter Parker didn’t call the cops either. He then paid a terrible price for that lack of civic spirit.

  • Master Of Middagh

    All right- some of you folks need to calm down about a solitary drunk kid who tried to pick a fight and got more than he bargained for. Doesn’t sound like some career lunatic to me, just a dumbass- I doubt he’ll cause trouble again, seeing as how he can’t even take a little heat.

    And for the record- it wasn’t that Peter Parker failed to call the police, it was that he failed to kick the crook’ behind. That whupping did happen here, so they did the right thing, from a Spiderman perspective.

  • heightsdiho

    i wish that the”unharmed” BHB reader had taken the minimal time to call the police to report the incident. It was irresponsible not to have done so.

  • skunky

    @Master of Middagh when would it be obligatory to call the police then? what’s the threshold? should we wait until he’s done raping someone or pulling a knife on an old lady? seriously, if there’s a violent person in my neighborhood, I’d like to have the police made aware. Not that they can necessarily do anything about it, but on the off chance that they can. Slightly more effective and responsible than penning an email to this blog.

  • skunky

    I wonder if “some drunk kid” gets a pass from various people because he was white?

  • GHB

    @skunky, if it was the “hoodie” guy, this board would be going nuts!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Skunky et al, You seem to have a fanciful view of the NYPD and their response to such an minor incident. First of all, You cannot just “call in” a report, you must either, still be at the scene where the crime occurred and wait for the cops to show up, or if you went home, they will ask you to come down to the precinct to”file a complaint”. Either way, unless it was something serious (which this was far from) they would file your report away never to be seen again and do absolutely nothing. “increased patrols” LOL LOL LOL Please you people, move back to Mayberry.

  • Master Of Middagh

    @skunky I hear what you’re saying, but,what am I supposed to do if I AM a “violent person in my neighborhood”? The cops already know this and, believe me brother, they don;t care…

  • Master Of Middagh

    By the way- I didn’t even read the description of the attacker, in case anyone was wondering if my earlier comment would have been different based on the race of the half-hearted assailant. I wouldn’t bother to say, but another commenter brought up the question.

  • Knight

    @me: did you call the police when your diaper bag was stolen at the park last Thursday?

  • WillowtownCop

    The main thing that needs to be done here is a better description of the person who did it and what actually happened. I don’t think we’re getting the full story.

    What did the person actually do? Something is a bit off with the story- I’ve never heard of a lone, unarmed mugger trying to physically grab two people at the same time for no apparent reason unless he was drunk/crazy. Do you have any evidence/idea what he intention was? And then both people decide, oh, well, I wasn’t hurt, I’ll be on my way – telling the police is too much work, so I’ll tell a blog instead?

    He grabbed me for no apparent reason and I wasn’t hurt = harassment 2, which is a violation. He could get a ticket for that, if he was still on the scene, if the victim wanted to sign the ticket. He grabbed me and I was hurt = assault 3 – he would get arrested if he were still there, but if they couldn’t find him and he was unknown to the vic, a report is filed but no investigation. He grabbed me and used a weapon, or I was seriously hurt (assault 2) tried to snatch my purse/wallet, (attempted robbery/grand larceny) pull up my skirt, drag me off, (sex abuse) etc. THAT would be investigated, whether you were hurt or not or whether he got anything or not. Increased patrols for those? Probably not, unless there was a pattern. If you go to the public NYPD page, click on Crime Stats, and look at the 84th Pct, you will see that there have been 803 “index” crimes in our neighborhood alone this year.

    You probably should have called right when it happened, so they could have sorted out who he was and what he was doing right then, and even if you didn’t want to be involved or it was only a violation, they would have had his name in case it happened again, or escalated with other people, or whatever. Maybe he was a crazy person that should have been hauled off to LICH. Maybe you would have prevented HIM from getting hurt in the future, because he would be sorry if he tried to grab me. Making a report now might or might not result in an investigation – if that story is the best you can do, though, it won’t amount to much.

    A better description of the person and the story could help others in the neighborhood watch their backs if they see anyone, or maybe he lives here and someone knows who he is.

    It’s also not a bad idea to get pepper spray – it works very well if you can surprise the person and have good aim. I think some come with dummy cans that spray water so you can practice.

    The “you would have called if he were black” comments are a little much. How do you know the victims or the commenter aren’t black? Does anyone really care what color the person is who grabs you on a dark street? It was only mentioned in the first place as part of a description.

  • nabeguy

    I wonder what would have happened if the assaulter had actuallly turned the tables and called the cops himself to file a report. After all, it sounds like it was two against one, regardless of who started the altercation.

  • skunky

    @Willowtown Cop thanks for your insight, it is quite helpful. My point about the race issue is that regardless of who the victims were, I have seen the commenters on this blog freak out over similar incidents in the past when no one called the police, whereas now it’s almost like people are making excuses for the “stupid drunk kid”. It’s very hard to establish a pattern if no one reports the data.

  • Master Of Middagh

    @WillowtownCop- Thank you for all of that helpful information and advice. Quite a bit of it was new to me. And you do your neighborhood a great service to share your experience and knowledge of law enforcement, or as I like to call it, crime-fighting.

  • Master Of Middagh

    @skunky- a pattern of what exactly? What do you think this is, C.S.I.? Are you looking for a pattern of harassment on the street in the middle of the night? There’s already a well established pattern that drunk youths may accost people.in such a fashion. We need this kid’s name on file for what purpose exactly? So if he ever gets arrested for shoplifting, the officer can say: “Say- you’re that guy who got his butt handed to him by that elderly couple on State St. last month!”?

    Willowtown Cop is right. Without more information indicating otherwise, it doesn’t sound as though this incident is serious enough to warrant the attention of the Police Department. It isn’t entirely clear WHAT exactly occurred.

    Skunky… Skunky, listen to me. You’re gonna be fine. We’re all gonna be fine. The terror of the drunk kid on State Street shall not consume us all. The police do a good job maintaining a presence and responding to situations, but we are all responsible for own safety to a degree. Not roaming the streets at nearly three in the morning would be a good way to avoid meeting this miscreant, don’t you think? I think WE can handle this guy. Quick, Skunky! To the Mastermobile!

  • http://heatherquinlan.com Heather Quinlan

    @Dave I nominate you as my successor.

  • nabeguy

    Sounds like it’s time to start digging the moats.

  • Western Brooklyn

    @Master Of Middagh:

    “Not roaming the streets at nearly three in the morning would be a good way to avoid meeting this miscreant, don’t you think?”

    Shouldn’t one be free to safely walk the streets anytime? 3 a.m. too late, what bout 1 a.m. or 11:30 p.m., is that okay? What’s the appropriate curfew time in your opinion?

  • GHB

    @Western Brooklyn, I agree. Although I’m rarely (never!) out and about at 3 AM, I’ll be damned if anyone should tell me not to.

  • Master Of Middagh

    @Western Brooklyn & GHB- Don’t be silly. No one is suggesting a curfew. But if you have a problem with children, don’t leave your home right when school lets out. If you don’t want to meet belligerent drunks, don’t wander the streets at 3 a.m.. Everyone is free to leave their home when they please- just don’t complain if the company you meet is not to your taste…You’d be in danger at 3 a.m. on a country road- it’s just a more dangerous time of day in general. There’s a reason they call it “the soul’s midnight”- because more people die at 3 a.m. than any other time…

    Here’s another way to look at it- you have every right to cross the street if you’ve got the right of way. But a man who steps into the path of a car because he didn’t feel the need to look because he’s got every right to cross the street would be a danged fool. We want you alive- do take SOME precautions for your safety.

    You have the right to be safe, yes. But you have some measure of responsibility for guaranteeing that…

  • Western Brooklyn

    @Master Of Middagh:

    Crime happens 24/7. I don’t agree with your blame-the-victim philosophy because, “they were out too late at night.”