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Gerritsen Beach was turned into a ghoulish war zone on Sunday as teenage mischief-makers upgraded their traditional Halloween arsenal of eggs and shaving cream to potatoes, rocks and jagged chunks of concrete — and police were allegedly no where to be found.
Continuing a neighborhood Halloween tradition known as “bombing,” teens began the afternoon lobbing their make-shift missiles at a city bus that had the misfortune of rolling down Gerritsen Avenue at around 2 pm.
Things quickly took a darker turn as teens began hurling everything from eggs to rocks at passing cars, residents and young mothers with baby strollers, according to an account on Gerritsenbeach.net by blogger Daniel Cavanagh.
“There were about 50-plus kids who were holding their ground near the corner of Florence and Gerritsen avenues,” said Cavanagh, who has covered Halloween in the neighborhood for his website for the past few years. “They knocked out two buses, shattering a window on one of them. They were throwing everything they could and nobody was doing anything. Everyone was afraid.”
Things nearly got violent as teens pelted a red Crown Victoria on Gerritsen Avenue with eggs. When the senior behind the wheel got out to confront them, “he got hit,” Cavanagh recalled.
“They were pelting him with eggs and rocks and chunks of brick,” he told us.
In a few moments, two younger men chased the teens into the weeds abutting Gerritsen Avenue. But the senior wasn’t the only one “bombed” that day. Teens hurled a barrage of items at a Chinese food delivery man on a scooter. They also allegedly chased two Hasidic men found walking along Gerritsen Avenue.
Cavanagh said several people called 911, but the police never showed up. When an NYPD police cruiser did make an appearance sometime later, kids hurled eggs at it.
“I’ve been covering Halloween in the neighborhood for five years and I never saw kids throw eggs at a regular marked patrol car,” he said. “The police car stopped, turned and left and the kids cheered in a ‘Braveheart’-like victory!”
Cops have a different accounting of what happened on Gerritsen Avenue Sunday.
Police Officer Amber Cafaro, a community affairs cop with the 61st Precinct, said a patrol car was assigned to Gerritsen Beach all day.
Officers responded to 911 calls about the Halloween mayhem and took two teenagers into custody. The minors were later released to their parents.
“We respond to the 911 calls,” said Cafaro, who didn’t know just how many 911 calls were made. “But when we got there a lot of these kids ran into the bushes and hid.”
Police sources said that the 61st Precinct had their hands full over the weekend. A day earlier, a woman was gunned down at the Sheepshead/Nostrand Houses. Patrols were increased there to handle any reprisals, the source said, as he chided Gerritsen Beach parents for not corralling their own children.
“All the kids involved were from that neighborhood,” he said. “The parents should have stepped in and gotten a hold of the situation.”
That being said, Cavanagh believes just one cop car would have gone a long way in preventing Sunday’s horror show.
“All [the police] needed was a small presence and this wouldn’t have happened,” he said.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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