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All fired up - Shootings, arrests rile locals

Overall crime incidents in the 94th Precinct may be stabilizing, but community members expressed concern about several high-profile incidents that happened in Greenpoint this fall.

Over the past few months, there have been shots fired outside a popular Greenpoint Avenue nightclub, a shooting in the vicinity of Cooper Park (located at 40 Debevoise Street), and just last week, employees at a local butcher shop were arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine after a year-long FBI-led investigation.

“In regards to the butcher, there still is not a lot to say,” Captain Dennis Fulton said. “I don’t think the area is widespread with drug activity and I commend the work the NYPD and the FBI did with their joint investigation.”

Community members pressed Captain Fulton for more information about the shots fired outside Club Exit (147 Greenpoint Ave), the second incident following a shooting this past April that has prompted an increased police presence around the nightclub this year. On Friday, Sept. 26, shots were fired above a crowd that formed outside the club. While no one was hurt, area residents remain alarmed by the incident and asked police officials to continue to monitor the business.

“The owner has not been open on Friday nights and he has been one hundred percent hat-in-hand cooperative,” Fulton said. “We did issue violations and we had meetings with the district attorney and members of the community around there. It’s my job to make the community safer and it is the owner’s responsibility to make the community safe.”

Fulton said that officers still do not know what the shooting was about but that the revelers were not Greenpoint residents. The 94th Precinct will continue to deploy officers at night for additional coverage, not only at Club Exit but also at other bars and nightclubs where crowds are expected to swell for the upcoming Halloween weekend festivities.

“Halloween is a big night and we will have extra coverage at the clubs,” Fulton said.

Greenpoint residents took some comfort in the crime statistics this past month, which showed that several areas tracked by the NYPD remain low. There were only nine robberies in the 94th Precinct this month, down from 12, a 25-percent drop, during the same month-long period last year. Burglaries were down 5 percent while felony assaults and grand larcenies remained the same. Grand larcenies continued to increase, up 35 percent, and Captain Fulton described some of the careless incidents that led to the thefts.

“We had a woman who went to McCarren Park and hung her purse on a tree. When she came back, the purse was gone,” said Fulton.

Officers warned that professional criminals have gone into restaurants and parks, looking to take people’s belongings when they are otherwise occupied or break into cars that have electronics and other valuables clearly visible inside.

“We are not on every single corner, but in these days of electronics, everyone has a cell phone. If you see someone breaking into a car or committing a theft, call 911,” said Fulton.

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