Aug. 24, 2012 By Christian Murray
Many residents argue that Greenpoint Avenue – btw. 46th and 48th Street – is a dangerous place to be at night.
This long-held view became apparent in the early hours on Wednesday, when the police arrested a man for disorderly conduct outside of 47-14 Greenpoint Ave.
A police spokesman said the man, Kevin Soto, 22, was arrested at 3:18 am for yelling and making threats on the scene.
One witness, who didn’t want to be identified, said that there were two men in the street with their shirts off who were about to fight. They were yelling at each other in English and Spanish, with one man’s girlfriend also screaming.
Residents say they find it frightening walking these blocks at night, and others say they don’t want to even park their car there.
Most cite Palacio Azateca, located at 47-16 Greenpoint Ave., as well as El Potrero, located at 46-12 Greenpoint Ave., as the primary reasons.
In January, Captain Donald Powers said the police department was trying to shut Palacio Azateca down for good. This came shortly after two men got into an argument inside the eatery that led to a man being shot several times in the arm and thighs.
The department has had several problems with Palacio Azteca. “This establishment was known to us before the shooting,” Powers said, back in January.
The New York health dept. closed the restaurant on August 2, citing multiple violations, such as live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. According to public records, the restaurant scored 70 violation points and has not yet met the requirements to reopen—as of August 24.
However, the door was open and a waitress was taking orders about a week after it was closed August 2. The waitress said in broken English that she didn’t know about a closure.
Meanwhile, El Potrero, the place where the graphic YouTube fight took place, has had its problems. In February 2010, the police said that a man was shot in the leg inside the bar. The police at the time said they knew the perpetrator but would not confirm or deny whether drugs were involved.
The residents did get a reprieve when Manolos Mexican restaurant (located on the corner or Greenpoint Ave and 47th Street) abruptly closed in July 2010 due to cocaine dealing on the premises.