Oct. 30, 2010 By Christian Murray
Captain Donald Powers, the head of the 108th Police Precinct, reported at Tuesday night’s precinct meeting that the number of reported crimes dropped 22.5 percent for the 28 days ending Oct. 24, compared to the same 28-day period in 2009.
Powers said that crime was up 1.7% for the year so far—compared to the same period in 2009. One month ago, before this recent decline, crime was on track to be up more than 5% this year.
“We had a rough summer and it has really come down,” Powers, who joined the precinct in June, said. “This month we have had great success; we are targeting the right people. At the [Police Precinct] 108, the police know who all the bad guys are out there.”
While the 108th precinct covers Woodside, Sunnyside and Long Island City, the police and attendees addressed several incidents pertaining to the greater Sunnyside area, such as two men who were arrested for stealing coins out of parking meters, problematic fast-food deliverymen—to an attempted abduction of a 20-year-old female on Oct. 26 on 40th Street and 50th Ave.
The police arrested two men on Greenpoint Ave and 43rd Street for stealing coins out of a number of parking meters. The men had a copy of a master key and were combing the streets emptying out quarters meter to meter. This had been an ongoing problem throughout the neighborhood and the police are hopeful that these arrests will put it to an end.
The police went into detail about the 20-year woman who was almost abducted while walking to the subway last Tuesday. A Hispanic man pulled up in a white pickup and tried to pull her into his vehicle at about 7:30 am on 40th Street and 50th Ave; however, she was saved by an older man who heard her screams. The police said the man was a stranger to the woman, and said they would try and put out a sketch of the perpetrator. The sketch had not been released by Thursday afternoon.
There were several attendees who voiced their displeasure about cyclist in the neighbourhood. They claimed that most do not obey road rules (claiming that they ride on sidewalks, or run red traffic lights) and that the problem is getting worse. Today, some said, take-out delivery people ride on scooters and other motorised bikes on the sidewalks —or against the traffic on one-way streets.
The police reported the following crime numbers for the entire precinct for the 28 day period ending Oct. 24: there were no murders (compared to 1 for the same 28-day period ending Oct. 24, 2009); 1 rape (up from zero for the same 28-day period last year); 9 robberies (down from 14 for the same period last year); 7 felony assaults (down from 14 last year); 13 burglaries (down from 19 last year); 40 grand larcenies (down from 42), and 13 grand larceny autos (down from 17).
I live in one of the buildings in the area noted above. Someone has been ringing my door bell in the early morning hours (around 3 a.m.) this week. No one I know. Has this ever happened to anyone who lives in this area?
What happened on October 7? A pedestrian crossing the south side of Queens Blvd. against the light, relatively early in the morning (around 7am?), was hit full-on by a car. The windshield shattered and the man went flying up in the air. I witnessed the accident and called 911. I would like to know what happened and if the man survived. The police haven’t given me information, but I would really like to know for peace of mind.
Thank you! The driver running off explains the low flying helicopter and all the police activity that morning.
At 4:00 am Tuesday morning (Oct. 26), a man who was driving a Lamborghini crashed it into a street light on Queens Blvd and 39th going East.
Police said that the driver fled on foot. It was a rental vehicle and the man has not been tracked down.
Police believe he would have been hurt given the amount of damage done to the vehicle.
It’s true that drivers, scooter guys, bicyclists and pedestrians all disregard the rules of the road. But it is one thing to put yourself in danger (pedestrians) and another thing to put others in danger (drivers, scooter riders, and bicyclists).
I don’t have a major problem with a bike or scooter rider who is cautiouly riding in the street in th edirection of traffic flow. I object to the sidewalk riding and especially the motorized delivery scooters on the sidewalk. Reasonable or not, cyclists will always be second class citizens on American streets unlike places like Amsterdam, etc. but wether in a car or on a bike common sense and saety needs to be used.
While I would argue that ALL street users, including pedestrians and motorists, have their share of people who don’t seem to pay much attention to the rules (I’ve been nearly killed on my bike by pedestrians, motorists and cyclists alike, in more or less equal part, though cars obviously have the highest potential of actually killing me), I understand that cyclists are far from immune from that. The worst perpetrators, unfortunately, tend to be delivery people, who are often immigrants and very likely don’t know the rules. They also get paid to deliver food as quickly as possible (let’s face it, many of the people complaining about lawbreaking cyclists are the same ones who complain when their dinner isn’t delivered in 20 minutes). So, my point is still not that people aren’t breaking rules, but that the best solution is trying to educate everyone to the cliche-but-true rules of the road, rather than complaining to the police with some sort of vague “We need to do something about all these scofflaw cyclists!” complaint, which leads to respectful, law-abiding cyclists like me getting ticketed for not having the right reflectors on my bike. I’d be curious to know what people think the ideal solution is, honestly.
I would also encourage anyone to take a ride over the Greenpoint Ave. bridge during rush hour sometime to see what things look like from our perspective. And as one final point, s_s, I’m more than willing to be bound by the same rules as drivers. I would kindly ask that drivers in return stop honking at me and swerving into oncoming traffic to get around me when I have to take the lane to make a left turn from Roosevelt Ave. onto 51st St. to get home every day.
Justin, I agree about avoiding the emotional hysteria. I think that people simply want bicycists, and even more so, scooter operators, to be bound to the same rules of the road that drivers are. For some reason, there appears to be a feeling that if you are on a bike you can run red lights, go the wrong way, etc.
Anyone driving, walking or riding our streets can’t deny that many cyclists are blatantly flouting the laws. that gives all bicyclists a bad name.
While I agree that this neighborhood’s odd concentration of delivery guys on motorized bicycles and scooters causes a good amount of problems, I hope this doesn’t turn into generalized anti-cyclist hysteria. I bike to school in Brooklyn early most mornings (around 7), and there are a lot of other people commuting by bike. Most of them aren’t exactly Transportation Alternatives members, either, but look like restaurant and construction workers. The truck traffic on Skillman Ave., and especially on Greenpoint Ave. west of 36th St. heading toward the bridge, is absolutely terrifying. Bike commuters need a bit of help in Northern Queens, and I hope the misbehavior of some delivery people (a lot of whom aren’t even riding traditional bicycles) doesn’t lead to generalized animus toward everyone on a bike. Education and enforcement for all parties (cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists) is the best solution, but these issues always turn into shouting matches about which mode of transportation is the least law-abiding. I hope we can be better than that.
also, any info on the woman who was hit by a car at 44th and greenpoint last wednesday, or the perp search that took place later that night near the post office? thanks!
Thanks for your comment. Will follow up on these two items.
Any mention of the brawl in front of the restaurant or the Ferrari that knocked down a street light and a street sign during the early morning hours of Oct. 29th? Why is it that such news from Sunnyside is so difficult to find?
glad to hear the issue w. cyclists is getting attention. I was nearly run down the other day in front of my building by a chinese delivery guy on a motorized scooter. These guys are out of control and its a matter of time before someone going through a red light will really hurt a pedestrian who has the light.
The law states that delivery guys MUST wear a shirt identifying what restaurant they work for – maybe this is one way to push enforcement.