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Sea Rise demands more security - Many feel unsafe after man is lured into building and shot dead

The recent killing of a man lured to the Sea Rise apartments in Coney Island has residents of the complex demanding more security guards.

During a recent meeting with elected officials, tenants of the 666-unit apartment complex located near the corner of West 33rd Street and Neptune Avenue said the fact that a complete stranger could come into the apartment and then get killed in a building hallway is a poor commentary on the building’s lackluster security procedures.

“All we’re asking for adequate appropriate security,” said Tenant Association President Alfie Davis. “If we had more security guards in the building, this killing could have either been prevented or at least been there to react to the crime.”

Daniel Brandt, 24, a resident of Williamsburg, was shot in the head in the Sea Rise apartments after he was coaxed to the area by a woman that he met on the website www.Craigslist.org.

Police said that the cautious Brandt asked a friend to accompany him into the apartment complex on the night of August 24, but he and his pal found themselves confronted by a pair of gun toting muggers when they reached the fourth floor.

Brandt was shot during the confrontation and died at a local hospital. His friend was robbed, but not harmed, officials said.

Investigators were still looking for the shooters.

Police said that a robbery and murder like this was quite rare for the Sea Rise apartments.

Residents agreed, saying that while they have been the victims of a few minor crimes over the years, nothing of this caliber has occurred.

Yet tenants said that the four security guards assigned to the apartment complex need more support.

“We have cameras, but we need more people,” said Davis, who encouraged her local elected officials to take action during Wednesday’s meeting.

City Councilmember Domenic Recchia said that he and the other elected officials that represent residents in the Sea Rise apartments will be requesting that Grenadier Management, who runs the apartment complex, to increase their security force.

“We’ve consulted with law enforcement and other people in the building’s current security force and has found that four security guards are not enough,” said Recchia Thursday, adding that he and his colleagues in government were drafting a letter to Grenadier Management about increasing their security force. “If they want to provide adequate security to the tenants of these buildings, then they have to get more people.”

Brian Gotlieb, former chair of Community Board 13 in Coney Island said that the Sea Rise apartments have more entrances and exits than security guards – who are currently not armed.

“There was a lot of debate going on between unarmed guards and armed guards,” said Gotlieb. “If they’re armed, then there’s a chance that something wrong will happen. We don’t want any accidents or incidents or run into problems. But a lot of my concerns have to do with their training.”

“We don’t want to make any accusations, but we want to make sure that the [guards] are properly trained,” he added. “We don’t want just anybody walking down the halls.”

While Gotlieb agrees that more guards are needed, he also wants to make sure that the new guards didn’t make the tenants feel like “they were in a prison.”

Sea Rise I and II is a Mitchell Lama development built in 1974 to provide apartments for low to middle-income residents.

The building is currently owned by the Starrett Corporation.

Over the last few years, residents have been complaining of roach and rodent infestations, as well as elevator and other infrastructure problems.

In an interview last year, Starrett Corporation said that they were in the process of getting the bonds needed to pay for the $17 million in improvements.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Grenadier Management said that she would take the requests for more security guards to her superiors.

Calls to Grenadier for comment were not returned as this paper went to press.

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