Brooklyn Heights Blog » Police Blotter http://brooklynheightsblog.com Dispatches from America's first suburb Fri, 21 Jul 2017 13:42:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Security Cameras Coming Along Joralemon Streethttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/83209 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/83209#comments Thu, 09 Mar 2017 04:27:54 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=83209

DNA Info’s Alexandra Leon reports that about ten to twelve street-facing security cameras will be placed on residential buildings on Joralemon Street between Clinton and Furman streets this spring. This is in response to residents’ complaints about an increase in crime because of Joralemon’s becoming the principal entrance to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The DNA Info story quotes Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Peter Bray as saying the cameras will be placed on the buildings of residents who volunteer to have them there and agree to make footage available to the NYPD as needed. Mr. Bray also said this constitutes a expansion of Borough President Eric Adams’s “Safe Shoppers” program, originally targeted only on commercial areas.

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BHA Annual Meeting: P.S.8’s Phillips and Others Honored; Expert Panel Dubious about BQXhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/82930 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/82930#comments Wed, 01 Mar 2017 06:03:32 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=82930

Court hearing on Pier 6 towers has been rescheduled–see below. At Monday evening’s annual meeting of the Brooklyn Heights Association, BHA President Patrick Killackey (photo) began by asking, rhetorically, what a neighborhood association can do in a time of political turmoil. He answered by arguing that the nature of the times requires more action at the local level. We might not, he said, be able to bring about the disarmament of North Korea, but we can do, and have done, things that can improve our lives and perhaps inspire others to do more, both in our community and in others. As examples, among others, he cited the Promenade Gardeners and those who fought to reduce helicopter noise in the Heights and nearby.

Mr. Killackey noted some new developments. The BHA House Tour, which ended in 2015, will be replaced with a new Designer Showhouse event to take place in September of this year. More details are forthcoming. On Monday, March 6, there will be a hearing in court on the BHA’s lawsuit to prevent construction of two high rise residential buildings near the Atlantic Avenue entrance to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Update: The new hearing date before NYS Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings will be Friday, March 17th at 11:00 AM at 71 Thomas Street, Room 203, in Manhattan.

Mr. Killackey noted with regret the departure of DCI Centa as commander of the 84th Precinct, but expressed confidence in his replacement, Capt. Roberto Melendez. Mr. Killackey reviewed the progress that had been made under DCI Centa, including the installation of cameras on Joralemon Street and the appointment of two community affairs officers to Brooklyn Heights.

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Awards for community service were presented by Heights resident and Channel 13 personality Tom Stewart (photo above), who got a good laugh for announcing that the first award went to La La Land. The real first award for community service went to Irene Janner, who served on the P.S.8 PTA during the years of the school’s transition from struggling to desirable, was instrumental in laying the groundwork for Brooklyn Bridge Park, and was treasurer and office manager for the BHA. The second was to Love Our Pool, a group of parents who fought to keep the Pop-Up Pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park open for at least another summer, while the Park finds another way to provide a swimming venue. The third was to community activists Judi Francis and Ren Richmond, and to the law firm Jenner & Block, which has donated its services pro bono, for their fight to keep high rise towers from being built near Pier Six in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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The BHA’s top award, the Martha Atwater Award, went to Seth Phillips (photo above), who became principal of P.S.8 when it was still a struggling, underperforming school to which local parents tried to avoid sending their children, to one so successful that it now has an overcrowding problem. He was also instrumental in expanding the school, and in establishing a new middle school, I.S.8, to relieve the shortage of nearby, attractive middle school options for local students.

The meeting concluded with a panel discussion, moderated by New York Times writer Jim Dwyer, and featuring experts on transit matters. The topic was the proposed “Brooklyn-Queens Connector,” a streetcar line that would connect Sunset Park in Brooklyn with Astoria, Queens. The panel members were. in general, skeptical of the project. The notion that the project could be financed by property tax increases on adjacent properties was questioned because the properties along the line were either fully developed or too small to produce the needed revenue. Engineering problems related to the route being mostly within a flood plain, and lacking a dedicated right of way, which would mean traffic delays. Concerns were also expressed about the ability of the proposed route to connect with other means of transit, such as subways and buses. Finally, it was argued that money would better be spent on improvements to transit on underserved areas like East New York and others on the City’s edge. One panelist said that underserved areas near the proposed BQX route, such as the Red Hook Houses and other NYCHA housing near the Queens waterfront, could be served more economically by providing better bus service connecting to subways.

The audience seemed mostly hostile to the BQX proposal, as each criticism of it from the panel attracted a vigorous round of applause.

All photos by Andrew Porter.

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Heights Burglaries Continue in New Yearhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/82650 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/82650#comments Mon, 16 Jan 2017 01:01:40 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=82650

According to Alexandra Leon in DNA Info, the rash of burglaries in Brooklyn Heights that began in December has continued into January. Of the seven burglaries reported in the first week of January, at least one may have occurred earlier. A theft of $66,410 worth of jewelry and accessories from an apartment near Hicks and State streets was reported on January 2, but could have taken place between December 21 and then, apparently the time the victim was away on vacation. Police say the burglar got in using a key left in a mailbox. Other early January burglaries occurred on Henry Street (two apartments in the same building near Henry and Joralemon were hit on the same day), Montague Street (Montague Street Bagels lost $1,000 in an early morning break-in), Remsen Street, and Sidney Place. Most of the residential burglaries took place during the day, when the apartments weren’t occupied.

The DNA Info piece quotes Brookyn Heights Association Executive Director Peter Bray as urging residents to “take the common-sense steps to secure their apartments.”

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Seven Burglaries in Last Two Weeks in Brooklyn Heightshttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/82605 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/82605#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2016 20:32:22 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=82605

This just in from Brooklyn Heights Association:

The 84th Precinct notified the BHA today that seven burglaries of homes and apartments have taken place in the Heights over the last two weeks. The break-ins occurred during the work week when apartments and homes were unoccupied. The NYPD believes that they took place during daytime hours.

Since one burglary occurred in a doorman building, a fire escape may have been used to gain access through unlocked windows. Doors were forced open in some instances.

The NYPD cautions residents to lock their doors and windows whenever they are away from their dwelling. There will be extra police officers patrolling the Heights in response to this situation, but the NYPD needs your help to apprehend the perpetrator. Be alert and call 911 immediately if you see any suspicious activity.

 

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Adam Yauch Park Defaced With Hateful Graffitti – Electeds Organize “Stand Up Against Hate” For This Sundayhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/82251 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/82251#comments Sat, 19 Nov 2016 02:16:20 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=82251

Hate is on our doorstep, where our children play. On Friday afternoon a resident alerted Senator Daniel Squadron’s office that Adam Yauch Park playground had been defaced with swastikas and the message, “Go Trump.”  The Daily News reports The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident and the Parks Department is in the process of removing the offensive graffiti.

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Image courtesy Office of Daniel Squadron

In response, elected officials and community leaders immediately organized an event for this Sunday to “Stand Up Against Hate.” 

State Senator Daniel Squadron, Congresswoman Velázquez, Councilmembers Brad Lander & Stephen Levin, elected officials, community and faith leaders invite the community to denounce hate in our neighborhood and across the country. 

The gathering  is scheduled for this Sunday at 11:30 am at Adam Yauch Park, located on State Street between Columbia and Willow Place.

UPDATE: Per a press release on Sunday morning, the blog can confirm the attendance of Beastie Boys’ Adam Horovitz (Ad Rock), the Anti-Defamation League, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Tish James and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Numerous music industry publications have reported the incident including Billboard and Pitchfork. Adam Yauch, a.k.a MCA was a founding member of the seminal hip-hop group, The Beastie Boys.  Like his two surviving band mates, Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) and Michael Diamond (Mike D), Yauch was Jewish.  The park was posthumously renamed in Yauch’s honor in 2013 after his death from cancer in May 2012. Horovitz is scheduled to attend.

Officials announced the event via social media.  In one of several tweets, Daniel Squadron invited the President-Elect.

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Councilmember Brad Lander released a statement via his Facebook page, “Yet more hatred and anti-Semitism from Trump supporters. Swastikas on the playground equipment in Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn Heights.

Adam Yauch is weeping for our country. His mom was Jewish. He was a practicing Buddhist. He spoke out against Islamophobia. And though some of the Beastie Boys early lyrics were homophobic and misogynist, they later apologized, in an open-heared and earnest way. “I want to say a little something that’s long overdue/The disrespect to women has got to be through.”

#NeverIsNow #WeveSeenThisBefore

*Cover photo Flickr Creative Commons/Sam Beebe

 

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Henry St. Ale House to Pharma Bro: Take It Somewhere Elsehttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/81779 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/81779#comments Sun, 16 Oct 2016 01:42:59 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=81779

Did anyone walk by Cadman Plaza yesterday and get an icky feeling all over? That’s because Martin Shkreli, aka the Pharma Bro, was stinking up the Eastern District federal courthouse. And what does Pharma Bro do after a hearing on his securities fraud case that could land him in federal lockup for many a years? Tweet to his “fans” to meet him for happy hour at the nearest neighborhood bar, of course.

But, our very own Henry St. Ale House was having none of it. CNBC was the first to report the twitter shut-down by the Ale House of the “fan meet-up” that was planned there. Here’s the twitter exchange:

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The Ale House’s manager told CNBC, “We’re a small place, and we operate a restaurant. We’re not a big bar. This has nothing to do with politics, but this is a controversial figure. We’re a low-key place, we needed advance notice.”

So, you’re asking – Pharma Bro has fans? Apparently, yes. And Gothamist reports that one even called for a boycott of the Ale House.

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Oh, thank you, WineNot. Please do get yourself and all of your kind to boycott and never step foot in our Ale House.

Next BHB meet-up at the Ale House? All in favor, say aye.

Update: After being turned away from Henry Street, Shkreli tweeted that the meetup would be at Brooklyn Public House, 247 DeKalb Avenue in Fort Greene. Instinct reports that the owner of Brooklyn Public responded by tweeting that the price of all drinks was being increased by 5,000% (the same percentage by which Shkreli increased the price of an AIDS drug).

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Update on Brooklyn Bridge Park Vehicle Joyridehttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/81776 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/81776#comments Fri, 14 Oct 2016 03:50:49 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=81776

As a clarification to earlier news reports, we have learned the following from Brooklyn Bridge Park authorities:

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, several individuals broke into the Pier 2 Uplands maintenance and operations yard.

Without keys, they turned on and drove a series of BBP’s utility vehicles and a bobcat.

It appears they used the bobcat to lift, and turn over, an NYC Parks Enforcement patrol car. The extent of the damage is under review.

The entire incident was recorded by our security cameras, and the tape has been handed over to NYPD, with whom we are working closely.

We will let you know of any further developments.

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Joyrider Steals Construction Vehicle, Wreaks Havoc at BBPhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/81751 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/81751#comments Mon, 10 Oct 2016 14:41:41 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=81751

Never a dull day at Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. NBC New York reports that at around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, a vandal stole a bulldozer (CBS Local calls it a forklift) and drove it through Pier 2, toppling a parks police truck and damaging other items at the site. Police believe a construction worker left the keys in the vehicle before leaving for the weekend on Friday. Video of the joyride remnants at the link to the story here.

 

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Thefts in Brooklyn Bridge Parkhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/81472 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/81472#comments Wed, 14 Sep 2016 16:35:02 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=81472

A series of “park plunders” took place in Brooklyn Bridge Park in the past week according to Brooklyn Paper’s “Police Blotter.”  On September 7th at about 9:00 pm, two men left their bags at the foot of Furman Street to play soccer.  When they returned the bags were gone, their wallets and phones along with them.

On September 10th, two men left their bags unattended at Pier 2 to shoot some hoops.  Their bags were discovered missing at 9:45 pm.  Finally, a young woman who had borrowed a bike from her roomate and locked it up near Pier 5 at about 5:00 pm, returned several hours later to find the lock had been cut and the bike had vanished.

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Robber Hits Careland Pharmacy on Clarkhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/81231 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/81231#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2016 19:07:45 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=81231

According to Brooklyn Paper’s “Police Blotter”, on Sunday a man took nine packs of razors and six packs of headphones from a display case in a store your correspondent has identified as Careland, on Clark Street between Henry and Monroe Place (photo). The Brooklyn Paper story quotes a worker at the store as saying the robber held a knife, said “Leave me alone before you get cut up,” and left with the stolen goods.

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Brooklyn Heights Added to Neighborhood Policing Programhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80859 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80859#comments Thu, 04 Aug 2016 04:27:56 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=80859

The Eagle reports that our local 84th Precinct has been added to the NYPD’s neighborhood policing program. According to the Eagle story:

Neighborhood policing — the modern version of the cop on the beat — is meant to build stronger partnerships between police and their local communities. Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) work closely with the community to identify and manage local concerns, the officials said.

The same two officers will be assigned to each sector every day. They will be briefed on local concerns and given appropriate resources.

When we have further details, such as the identity of our NCO, we will report them.

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Meet Cops of 84th Precinct at “National Night Out” This Eveninghttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80838 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80838#comments Tue, 02 Aug 2016 14:13:17 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=80838

This evening from 5:00 to 8:00 at the Picnic Peninsula, near the foot of Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Bridge park, officers of the 84th Precinct, NYPD, will host a free event for the “National Night Out Against Crime”. Precinct officers, mounted police, and elected officials will be present. There will be entertainment by various local artists, and refreshments, including ice cream. You may register bicycles and scooters. Come meet our men and women in blue, let them know your concerns, express your appreciation, and enjoy their hospitality.

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Video of 65 Year Old Man Assaulted on Joralemon Street July 6http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80611 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80611#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:19:14 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=80611 (To see video, click on “Read full story” and follow the link. Also see update for an interview with the victim.) Several news media have obtained a surveillance video of a 65 year old man receiving a “sucker punch” as he walked along Joralemon Street on the evening of July 6. The victim’s eyeglasses were broken and he was treated at a hospital for an eye laceration. See the video here.

Update: Mary Frost’s Eagle story includes an interview with the victim, Joralemon Street resident Richard Carey.

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Two “Black Lives Matter” Banners Stolen From First Unitarian Churchhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80535 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80535#comments Wed, 13 Jul 2016 02:07:18 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=80535

The Eagle reports that two banners bearing the words “Black Lives Matter” (a photo of one of the banners can be seen in the linked Eagle story) have, in separate incidents, been taken from the fence in front of the First Unitarian Church, at Pierrepont Street and Monroe Place. The banners were designed and paid for by members of the church’s congregation. After the first banner was taken (sometime between June 26th and 28th) the second one was secured to the fence in a way that it could only be removed by cutting; it also bore a small sign asking passers by to respect church property. This banner disappeared this past Sunday, July 10. The Eagle quotes The Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons, senior minister of First Unitarian:

In this society fraught with discrimination and violence against people of color, it is necessary for people of faith to proclaim the obvious. The fact that someone would steal our banner and attempt to silence our voice highlights just how necessary it is.

Photo: By Beyond My Ken (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

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Four Recent Robberies in the Heights: 84th Precinct Asks Residents to Take Precautionshttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80395 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80395#comments Fri, 01 Jul 2016 19:43:01 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=80395

This just in from Brooklyn Heights Association alerts:

Be Aware and Remain Safe!

The 84th Precinct notified the BHA today that four crimes have been committed in the Heights since the second week of June. Cell phones were taken in two incidents, a purse stolen in a third, and last night the victim resisted and was slashed. These crimes have occurred on Henry Street between Montague and Clark Streets and on Hicks Street near Love Lane, all between 7:30 PM and 11:15 PM. The police believe the same perpetrator – and in one incident, two persons – is involved and has been using the Clark Street station. The police are asking Heights residents to take reasonable precautions: refrain from using your cell phone at night on the street, be aware of your surroundings, and if possible, walk with others. Extra police details – both uniformed and plain clothed – have been assigned to streets in the north Heights and to the Clark Street station.

Exercise situational awareness!

Be safe everyone; that text can wait, whether you’re walking or driving.

 

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Brooklyn Heights Resident Charged with Securities Fraud is Apparent Suicidehttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80243 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80243#comments Tue, 21 Jun 2016 18:53:48 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=80243 The Daily News reports that Sanjay Valvani, 44, a hedge fund manager who faced charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy arising from alleged insider trading, was found dead in his Sidney Place townhouse yesterday evening, an apparent suicide. Valvani is said to have made about $25 million from trades based on non-public information concerning pending Food and Drug Administration approvals of generic drugs, and was free on a $5 million bond secured by what the News describes as “his posh Brooklyn Heights home”. The News story quotes Valvani’s lawyer as saying the U.S. Attorney “stretch[ed] the facts and law to try to transform entirely innocent trading decisions into a crime.” It also quotes Jacob Gottlieb, founder of Visium Assets Management, Valvani’s employer, as saying “We mourn the tragic loss of Sanjay, a devoted father, husband, and friend”. Visium had placed Valvani on “extended leave” pending the outcome of the investigation.

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Enrique Rios, Brooklyn Resident and St. Francis Alum, Among Orlando Victimshttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80069 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/80069#comments Tue, 14 Jun 2016 02:10:39 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=80069 Gothamist reports that Brooklynite Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25, who, according to his Facebook page, studied social work at St. Francis College and was employed as a Coordinator at True Care Home Health Care Agency, was among the 49 fatal victims of Saturday night’s terror attack at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

We at BHB extend our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Rios’s family and friends.

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Suspected Murder On Joralemon Streethttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/79905 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/79905#comments Tue, 07 Jun 2016 09:46:18 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=79905 Multiple news outlets are reporting that at around 9:30 Monday night, police responded to a call on Joralemon Street near Brooklyn Bridge Park, where they found a 23-year-old woman unconscious. She was pronounced dead at the scene of a gunshot to the head.

From NBC4:

Police said they’re not sure if a robbery led up to the shooting or if it was random, but they do believe it’s a murder.

More info will be posted as it becomes available.

UPDATED: According to the NY Post, the crime last night seems to be an episode of domestic violence.

The victim’s mother, Pauline Marks, said her daughter was on her way home from her job at a restaurant located inside the park called Fornino when her daughter was killed.

She said she believe’s [sic] the gunman to be an ex-boyfriend who had been menacing her for the past few weeks and whom she had filed an order of protection against, but police weren’t immediately able to confirm that.

UPDATED: PIX 11 is reporting that Lamont Wright, 53, described as a multiple previous offender and a registered sex offender, as well as being the victim’s ex-boyfriend, is in police custody and is being questioned.

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Cops Turn Away Parkgoers At Pier 2 Basketball Courtshttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/79797 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/79797#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 00:20:47 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=79797

According to today’s Gothamist report, parkgoers were shut out of the Pier 2 basketball courts starting at 3:30 p.m. yesterday. People who were already there were allowed to stay, but no one else was allowed in. NYPD confirmed that there was no particular incident, but that the shut-out was implemented to control the crowds. There was no head count given at the time, but an NYPD spokesperson said “it got very crowded.” The official capacity under the Pier 2 roof, encompassing the basketball courts, handball courts, and the roller rink, is 800 people.

Gothamist quoted an unnamed Brooklyn Heights resident as saying she and many neighbors were happy with the increased police action at Pier 2. “Brooklyn Bridge Park has really engaged with all the stakeholders. Everyone is very happy about that,” she said. A Brooklyn High School of the Arts student, Kahliyah Brown, didn’t agree. “It’s bad that people fight, but we all get to hang out and meet new people. The amount of cops that come here, they pressure us and make us feel a little unsafe rather than protected.”

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Centa Promises Increased Police Presence And Vigilance At Park And In Heightshttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/79726 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/79726#comments Thu, 19 May 2016 15:07:19 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=79726

At Tuesday evening’s 84th Precinct Community Council Meeting, as expected, Deputy Inspector Sergio Centa (photo), the Precinct Commanding Officer, faced many questions about security in Brooklyn Bridge Park and on Brooklyn Heights streets, especially Joralemon, used by pedestrians going to and from the Park. He noted that his requests for additional officers to be assigned to the precinct had been successful, with twelve new officers assigned recently and twelve more coming. He attributed this principally to the explosive population growth in Downtown Brooklyn, with many new high rise apartment buildings completed and many more under construction or planned. Crime in the precinct has, he said, remained low. There have been several burglaries lately, in areas outside Brooklyn Heights. In each case the burglar entered through an unlocked door or window, and he urged people to keep these secured. He said the only type of crime that has increased steadily is fraud, principally through identity theft involving bank or credit cards.

D.I. Centa said there is a substantial police presence in Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer. His “summer detail request” was met; as a consequence there will be 24 officers in the Park, with overtime on weekends. On Sundays, when there are often as many as 65,000 visitors in the Park, there will be thirty to forty officers present. The officers will be mobile, with bikes, scooters, and Smart Cars. Deployment will be concentrated on Pier 2.

Regarding Pier 2, D.I. Centa said he had taken the initiative to clear it before it became crowded on two occasions, because of indications that fighting was planned there. Asked how he obtained this intelligence, he said that he “didn’t want to give away trade secrets”, but allowed that one closure was caused by a Facebook posting. He said he is prepared to close the pier again under similar circumstances. He also kept Pier 2 closed for a day following closure because of a fight involving sticks and bottles, saying he was concerned that those involved might return to try to finish things off.

Asked if he was aware of what happens on Joralemon Street after pier closings, D.I. Centa said yes. He said police would regulate traffic at these times, and might divert some of it to Atlantic Avenue. Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Peter Bray said there had been incidents along Joralemon between Court and Furman streets, at times unrelated to pier closings, in which residents had been jostled and sometimes forced off sidewalks. He said the character of the affected blocks had been changed. Heights resident Jeffrey Smith described the situation as a “Heights-wide emergency”; Gothamist quotes him as having said, after the meeting, that he would get in his car, go Upstate, buy a couple of cases of shotguns, and hand them out.

Other issues affecting Brooklyn Heights were raised at the meeting. One resident complained of government tagged vehicles occupying “No Parking” spaces around Clinton and Joralemon streets. Another made an emotional plea to stop allowing people attending Sunday services at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral to park their cars on bike lanes, as this forces bike riders into traffic. D.I. Centa said this is a “courtesy” afforded to religious institutions throughout the city, and that he would not change it. The question of resident parking permits was raised, but it was pointed out that this is a State issue, not an NYPD one.

Those who wish to participate in the NYPD’s Operation ID, in which valuable portable electronic devices are registered and may be engraved with an identification number, were asked to call Officer Diana Torres at 929-371-4503.

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84th Precinct Community Council Meeting Tuesday Evening; BHA on Pier 2 Issuehttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/79637 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/79637#comments Mon, 16 May 2016 01:26:23 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=79637

The 84th Precinct Community Council will meet this Tuesday evening, May 17, at 7:00 p.m., at The Theater @ The Schermerhorn, 160 Schermerhorn Street (between Smith and Hoyt streets). All are invited; refreshments will be served.

The agenda includes presentation of the Cop of the Month Award, a presentation by Precinct Commander Deputy Inspector Sergio Centa on “High Tech Operations For Each Police Officer”, a Transit Police Report, and a Precinct Crime Report, with Actions and Results. After that, there will be opportunity for attendees to ask questions. No doubt there will be some about the recent incidents at Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The Brooklyn Heights Association has been in communication with the 84th Precinct on Pier 2 issues, including pedestrian traffic through Brooklyn Heights on the way to and from Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Precinct has assigned 16 additional police to the Park. BHA representatives will meet this week with representatives of the 84th Precinct and with Brooklyn Bridge Park officials “to discuss needed changes to ensure safe use of the park and protection of our community.”

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Pier 2 Evacuated…Againhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/79615 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/79615#comments Thu, 12 May 2016 02:19:30 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=79615

Your correspondent went to the Promenade to view an especially glorious sunset when a BHB reader pointed out to him that people were streaming along the path in Brooklyn Bridge Park below, headed to the Joralemon Street exit. Pier 2 had been shut down again. A police boat was nestled next to the pier (photo). We don’t yet know what precipitated this, but when we know more, we’ll give you an update.

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Five Borough Bike Tour, Road Closures This Sundayhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/79429 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/79429#comments Sun, 01 May 2016 05:48:03 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=79429

Thanks to this correspondent’s penchant for late night surfing, The Blog has just learned of this Sunday’s TD 5 Boro Bike Tour.  Now in its 39th year, the ride consists of “32,000 cyclists of all skill levels [who] come from around the world to roll through every borough of New York City on streets totally free of cars.”

DNAinfo and the NYC Department of Transportation website both outline the complete list of street closures scheduled to take place along the event’s 40-mile route and confirms all closures remain in affect between 7:30 am and 5:00 pm.   Here are the details for our neck of the woods.

DUMBO, BROOKLYN HEIGHTS & BQE:

  • Navy Street between Flushing Avenue and York Street
  • York Street between Navy Street and Gold Street
  • Gold Street between York Street and Front Street
  • Front Street between Gold Street and Old Fulton Street
  • Old Fulton between Furman Street and Prospect Street
  • Cadman Plaza West between Prospect Street and Tillary Street
  • Tillary Street between Cadman Plaza West and Adams Street
  • Brooklyn Bridge Promenade between Tillary Street and Centre Street
  • Furman Street between Old Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue
  • Joralemon Street between Furman Street and Atlantic Avenue
  • Atlantic Avenue between Furman Street and Columbia Street
  • Columbia Street between Atlantic Avenue and BQE West Entrance Columbia Street
  • BQE/ Gowanus Expy between BQE West Entrance Columbia Street and Verrazano
  • Verrazano Bridge Lower Level (Southbound from Brooklyn to Staten Island)

Your curious reporter called the 84th Precinct around midnight to inquire about how both Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge traffic would be directed.  The officer had no information but offered that teams were “going out now” to place notices.  But, as of press time, exactly zero “no parking” signs or barricades were visible on Cadman Plaza West.

Moral of the story: If if you have any plans to travel on Sunday-take the train.  And, be sure to refer to Claude’s handy dandy Subway Service Alerts.

 

 

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Woman Foils Would-Be Killer at Borough Hall Stationhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/78853 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/78853#comments Sat, 20 Feb 2016 01:46:36 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=78853

As reported by Gothamist, the recent rash of subway slashings and other acts of random violence continued locally yesterday evening at about 8:00 on the Manhattan bound 4 and 5 platform at Borough Hall as a man tried to shove a 27 year old woman onto the track in the path of a train. The woman was able to save herself by clinging to a pillar, and the man ran away. When the victim reached the 14th Street-Union Square station, she found a police officer and gave a description of the assailant. Police in Brooklyn were notified, and arrested 46 year old David French at Court and Joralemon streets. French is described as “emotionally disturbed” and has a record of arrests, including one for slapping another subway rider in 1994.

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Rabbi Raskin Attacked on Joralemon Streethttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/78717 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/78717#comments Wed, 03 Feb 2016 04:51:13 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=78717

Rabbi Aaron Raskin (photo), of Congregation B’nai Avraham on Remsen Street, was, as reported by the Eagle, attacked by a group of people while walking on Joralemon Street near Hicks Street at 6:18 this past Sunday evening, January 31. He was talking on his cell phone at the time of the attack, and it was knocked from his hand. Evidently he was able to recover it, and a police officer was near at hand, as a 15 year old was arrested and charged with attempted grand larceny.

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Brooklyn D.A. Ken Thompson Headlines Anti-Human Trafficking Event at Plymouth Church Sundayhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/78601 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/78601#comments Wed, 20 Jan 2016 04:24:36 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=78601

Update: Because of the winter storm, this event has been postponed to the following Sunday, January 31.

As most Brooklyn Heights residents know, Plymouth Church, at Orange and Hicks streets, has a storied history of opposition to slavery, both under Henry Ward Beecher in the years leading to the Civil War, and in recent times. That tradition continues this coming Sunday, January 24, starting at 12:15 p.m., with “We Are the New Abolitionists”, a program focusing on the problem of human trafficking both in Brooklyn and throughout New York City. The opening address will be by Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney Ken Thompson (photo), whose office has a human trafficking section that has prosecuted cases in Brooklyn. Also on hand will be representatives of Sanctuary for Families and Restore, and the theater group Girl Be Heard will perform “Trafficked”.

The event is free and open to the public.

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Capt. Centa Gives Area Crime Stats at Community Council Meeting; Two Cops Honoredhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/77522 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/77522#comments Thu, 19 Nov 2015 04:58:11 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=77522

At last night’s 84th Precinct Community Council meeting, Precinct Commander Capt. Sergio Centa gave an overview of crime statistics and trends year-to-date in the area. Note that these stats are for the entire 84th Precinct area, not just Brooklyn Heights.

There have been no murders in 2015. Rapes, however, are up by fifty percent over the same period in 2014. Capt. Centa noted that the majority of these have not been stranger-on-stranger rapes but rather among people who knew each other before the crime was committed. Some involved sex with those considered too young to give consent. If reassuring from the point of view of someone walking home alone late at night, this is still a very disturbing statistic. Robbery and burglary are each down by twenty percent. Felony assault is up considerably. Capt. Centa said this is almost entirely attributable to the re-population of the Brooklyn House of Detention, and consists of inmate-on-inmate assaults.

The biggest problem areas, Capt. Centa said, have been in the area of non-violent property crimes. Grand Larceny is up considerably. Much of this–31 incidents–is attributable to theft of unattended property–backpacks and the like left on the sidelines while owners play sports–in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Other sources of GL are Citibikes (yes, they get stolen), identity theft, and shoplifting. Capt. Centa noted that there are now more upscale stores in the 84th Precinct area, and this has attracted more thieves. Grand Larceny Auto is also up, with over half of the stolen vehicles being motorcycles. See below for how two brave and lucky cops put an end to the career of one motorcycle thief.

There were many questions from the audience. One concerned the 84th’s response to the gunfire in Pier 2, Brooklyn Bridge Park last summer and the later looting of a deli on Joralemon Street. Capt. Centa said he had responded by asking for additional officers to be assigned; this request was denied, although he was given authority to have extra overtime on weekends. (Neither the shooting nor the looting happened on a weekend, but rather on a weekday afternoon or early evening.) He is trying to do with what he has, including assigning a mini patrol vehicle to an officer in the park so as to allow quick response throughout the Park’s lengthy area.

There were many suggestions about how to avoid theft of packages left outside doors when the recipients aren’t home. Some audience members noted that some big delivery services like UPS now allow delivery to your local store of theirs (UPS is on Montague between Clinton and Henry) or to local shops.

Another question, from the mother of an M.S.8 student, concerned the lack of crossing guards. Capt. Centa said he did not think this was a budgetary problem, but instead one of recruitment. He encouraged everyone to try to get more people to apply for crossing guard jobs.

There was one question about a topic that has come up on BHB, that of the small group of homeless men who have taken up residence at Joralemon and Court streets. Capt. Cento wasn’t aware of this, and said the men would be given appropriate attention.

Saving the best for last, there was the Cop of the Month Award, This time it went to two partners, Officers Alex Guess and Gustavo Jaramillo. In the photo above, Community Council Chair Leslie Lewis is at right, then officer Alex Guess, then officer Gustavo Jaramillo, then Officer Jaramillo’s wife, with Capt. Centa in the background. Officers Guess and Jaramillo were jointly awarded as Cops of the Month for having spotted a stolen motorcycle with the thief riding, then blocking the thief’s way, which caused him to dismount and run down Gold Street directly toward the precinct house. A quick radio call from our heroes in hot pursuit summoned a phalanx of cops to block his way and arrest him. In custody, he confessed to four other motorcycle thefts, and received a scolding phone call from his mother.

On a sad note, Capt. Cento noted that there will be an unveiling ceremony for plaques memorializing slain officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos will be held on December 21, the anniversary of their deaths. A plaque memorializing Officer Alain Schaberger will be unveiled on March 13, 2016, the fifth anniversary of his death.

There will be no 84th Precinct Community Council meeting in December; the next will be on the third Tuesday in January, which is January 19, 2016. Mark your calendars.

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84th Precinct Community Council Meeting Tuesday Eveninghttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/77507 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/77507#comments Tue, 17 Nov 2015 02:53:12 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=77507

As this poster, taped to a lamppost at Hicks and Montague proclaims, there will be a meeting of the 84th Precinct Community Council tomorrow (Tuesday, November 17) evening, starting at 7:00, at Congregation Mt. Sinai, 250 Cadman Plaza West (just south of Clark Street). Precinct Co-Captain Sergio Centa will present the 84th Precinct 2015 Year in Review, there will be a Transit Police Report and a Cop of the Month Award. As the poster says: “Bring your friends and neighbors. Refreshments will be served.” This is a very important community event; try to attend if you can. I will.

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Shots Fired On Old Fulton Street; DUMBO Party Blamedhttp://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/77162 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/77162#comments Tue, 20 Oct 2015 21:39:24 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=77162

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that an automatic rifle was discharged early Sunday morning following a DUMBO party, with bullets spraying into nearby residences.

According to the NYPD, a 21-year-old man was shot one time in the arm at roughly 1:30 a.m. at the corner of Water Street and Old Fulton Street. He took private transportation to Brookdale Hospital, where he is in stable condition, police said. Police sources did not release names as the incident is still under investigation.

Witnesses said they heard as many as 12 shots, and at least six bullet holes were found in Fulton Ferry Landing and Brooklyn Heights buildings. (Fulton Ferry Landing is wedged between DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights.)

While a local resident expressed concern about what she termed “gang stuff” in the neighborhood, the manager of the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory was certain that the shooting was linked to the party and dismissed any idea that it was related to visitors to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Mr. Thompson noted that police presence was very visible in Brooklyn Bridge Park. He reported that a police car was parked near Bargemusic, the floating concert hall next to Pier 1.

While some residents assumed that the perpetrators were involved in a sports activity at the park, “It would be a mistake to blame this incident on Brooklyn Bridge Park traffic,” Thompson said.

Read the full story at the Brooklyn Eagle.

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Tell Us, Daily News, When Did Johnson Street Become Part of Brooklyn Heights?http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/77096 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/77096#comments Sun, 11 Oct 2015 05:02:15 +0000 http://brooklynheightsblog.com/?p=77096

Rocco Parascandola and Thomas Tracy in today’s Daily News, report that a 14 year old boy who had earlier been involved in ” a brutal attack on another teen while riding a Brooklyn bus” was, on Monday charged with illegal weapons possession for trying to bring a pistol into school (the chronology of the Daily News story is a bit confusing; it says the bus incident was on September 3 and the pistol incident on “Monday”–presumably October 5 as the story is datelined October 10–but also says the two incidents happened “on the same week”). The story then says the boy “brought the handgun to MS 8 on Johnson St. in Brooklyn Heights.”

Well, is Johnson Street “in Brooklyn Heights”? In the words of James Thurber and, perhaps, Casey Stengel, “You could look it up.” I did (although, having lived in the Heights for 32 years, I was sure of the answer), and the result is on the map you see with this post. Johnson Street does not enter Brooklyn Heights; it is entirely, as the map indicates, in Downtown Brooklyn.

Has the Daily News ascribed to Brooklyn Heights a drang nach Osten?.

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