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Gangs of teens have Ridgites distinctly on edge.
At the June meeting of the 68th Precinct Community Council, which was held at the precinct house, 333 65th Street, residents of 72nd Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues, and 77th Street near Fourth Avenue, complained vociferously about the behavior of the teenagers, who hang out, sit on residents’ stoops and act disruptively.
“Now, they’re attacking property,” one woman who lives on 72nd Street told Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez.
“They’re scratching cars, and they attacked a couple walking up the block,” her neighbor added.
The problem at 77th Street is somewhat different. Dozens of teens congregate on the block, drawn to one young man who lives there, the residents said. But, while a machete has been taken from him, often, they say, he is “up in his house, the innocent party,” when the cops come by to deal with complaints that have been called in. In the meantime, the crowd of teens that has congregated, “scatter like roaches,” ditching any weapons they may have into trash cans, she said. “It’s going to be a long summer,” she contended.
The cops have been on the case, said Rodriguez, who promised the women, “We’ll be there.” The young man in question, he said, has been “locked up twice,” and now is “going through the system.” His family is also planning on moving out of town shortly, Rodriguez said.
“I feel sorry for whatever town he moves to,” the woman replied.
These are not the only two locations that are experiencing the issue. Rather, Susan Pulaski, the chairperson of Community Board 10’s Police and Public Safety Committee, reported at the board’s June meeting that residents have reported problems on various avenues.
In particular, Pulaski told the group gathered in the community room at Shore Hill, 9000 Shore Road, “A big problem is the group of teens that congregate each morning at 83rd Street an Third Avenue outside Sally’s Restaurant. The groups are unruly, loud and disrespectful to residents, mostly to seniors. They take over the entire sidewalk area and leave residents only the middle of the street to walk on.”
Also problematic, Pulaski said, are !3th Avenue in the 70s and 80s, and Fort Hamilton Parkway in the 70s.
In general, Rodriguez said, “We’ve gotten so many calls in the last couple of weeks about kids. They’re causing a lot of fighting. We’ve locked up a lot of kids in the last couple of days. We have been blitzing every location that’s told to us. We are going to write summonses to kids.
“We are going to bring them in, and you are going to have to pick them up,” Rodriguez warned. “Please let your kids know we are doing enforcement.”
But, the youths come back, the residents said, despite the fact that cops have focused attention on them. “It’s getting frustrating,” one woman attested.
It takes time to change the situation for the better, Rodriguez rejoined. Eventually, he stressed, “They’ll know, if they continue to hang out there, they’re going to be locked up.”
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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