On a recent afternoon in June, Jane was walking home from the G train when an arm reached out and grabbed her breast in front of Mr. Berry on Manhattan Avenue. It belonged to one of several loud men in their 20s who were standing in a group on the sidewalk.
Enraged, Jane called 911 and started following and filming them as one of the men mooned her. While she waited for police to arrive, the men jeered at her from inside the Triangolo Pizza. Maddeningly, their smugness was validated when police arrived to take a report. They took Jane’s ID but none of theirs—she couldn’t confidently identify who had touched her, so the police told her they technically couldn’t do anything.
“I’m glad they responded quickly but I’m so frustrated nothing else could be done,” she said in an email to Greenpointers following the incident. “I’ve lived in Greenpoint for 8 years and I’ve never felt unsafe and never had any problems like this before. It makes me a little sad that I can’t say that anymore because of a group of idiots.”
Jane had reached out to us in a last-ditch effort because she felt as though she had no other recourse. Of course, that’s not exactly news—sexual assault is notoriously difficult to adequately punish, especially when the victim can’t say for a fact who it was.
Mark your calendars, Greenpointers. On Wednesday, September 16th at 6 pm (Polish Slavic Center 176 Java Street) there will be a Town Hall meeting about the crime-related issues plaguing our neighborhood.
All the major players will be there, including Councilman Steve Levin, State Assemblyman Joe Lentol, Senator Martin Dilan, and three new VIP’s to the crew: The 94th precinct’s new Police Captain, Clay Street Homeless Shelter Operator & the new interim Parks administrator.
Sadly many of us know crime has been a major theme in Greenpoint over the past several months. The situation in North Greenpoint, particularly on Clay Street and the surrounding areas, have become downright dangerous. In the span of less than six months, there have been muggings, assaults, sexual harassment, blatant drug-dealing and worse.
For a refresher on the reported crimes just take a peek at these headlines since July:
A few weeks ago, painter Bryan Osburn was brutally attacked near his Greenpoint studio by a group of thugs who shattered his jaw and took his cell phone. Bryan has undergone extensive surgery to put his jaw back together and will need financial assistance as his body and mind heal.
106 Green has set up a fundraiser and the local artist community has rallied by donating artwork to help out one of their own. Donate, buy a raffle ticket, attend this Sunday’s event and show love the Greenpoint way! Here’s how you can help: Continue reading →
Boy oh boy, are things are getting rough on this northern tip of Greenpoint. If it wasn’t bad enough neighbors are having to deal with insane rent increases, head-splitting piling driving , sex-offender rumors, and Superfund sites, now folks need to watch their backs each time they go the to deli. Just ask Bryan Osburn, a 40 year old artist who was brutally assaulted by a gang of 4 thugs all for a cellphone, in front of God Bless Deli 2 on the corner of Clay Street and Manhattan Avenue. Continue reading →
On 2/21, a 25-year-old wild woman jumped the entrance at the Metropolitan Avenue G station. When she was finally caught by a cop, she punched, kicked, and BIT him (and was ultimately charged with a felony assault). GOOD JOB!
In other weird crime news, a pair of ski-mask-wearing bandits robbed a man as he was walking home from the train on Metropolitan and Graham. They took one look at his bag and returned it to him. No one was injured.
ALSO a bank robber took off with nearly $2,000 after threatening to shoot the teller at a “financial institution” (not specified) on Manhattan and Greenpoint. The robber reportedly handed the bank teller a note (at 1:40pm) that said “10 seconds to give me $2,000 or I shoot her…Test me.”
We are the best neighborhood but sometimes shit happens. Here is the worst of Greenpoint 2013 in no particular order. We are saving the best for last of course so don’t get all down in the dumps because 2013 did rule.
New website, Walkscore, gives Greenpoint a 94/100 rating for walkability in NYC, but also ranks it as the 58th most walkable neighborhood in NYC. This site says that Washington Heights, Harlem & Crown Heights are all more walkable, but don’t you think they should factor in the increased chance that you’re going to get jacked for your iPhone as a walking factor? Or what about street harassment? I’m not sure the ranking system is cohesive enough.
Joe Lentol is getting the MTA to bring us more G & L trains next Summer. Thanks, Joe, now let’s see if we notice a difference.
The Atlantic did a piece about New Yorkers moving to Jersey City that described moving there as much more welcoming than when you move to NYC neighborhoods that are gentrifying so quickly that there’s an inherent rivalry between new transplants and longtime residents. Greenpoint was described as “totally bipolar” because of this dynamic.
According to a recent survey conducted by NYC’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Greenpointers have less sex partners than most New Yorkers. It also probably means that there are more non-cheating couples in our neighborhood than most of Queens and downtown Manhattan.
And finally, North Brooklyn’s freshest butcher, the Meat Hook, will open a sandwich shop at 495 Lorimer next to Gimme Coffee in January. According to their email blast, expect “cold beer” and “sandwiches like momma used to make, if momma was drunk.” Yum. (Grub Street)
Update 9pm: According to NBC News, the shooter has been identified as 29-year-old Ali Akbar Mohammed Rafie, who had been kicked out of another band, The Free Keys, last year. The weapon used was specifically a .308-caliber assault rifle. The two bandmates who were killed were brothers (Arash Farazmand and Soroush Farazmand). They were 27 and 28 years old, respectively.
Update 1:30 p.m.: Here is information from the Yellow Dogs’ manager, provided by Pitchork
The shooter was not a former member of the band The Yellow Dogs, he was in another band from Iran and the two groups were acquaintances in the past. A personal conflict between the guys resulted in the dissolution of their relationship in 2012. The shooting resulted in the death of two of the members of the Yellow Dogs, Sourosh Farazmand (guitarist) and Arash Farazmand (drummer), along with a friend of theirs, fellow musician and author Ali Eskandarian. The shooter died from a self inflicted bullet wound on site.
It’s rare that we have to report on crime in the neighborhood– especially at this scale. Last night, just past 12am, a man whose identity is being protected at this time, shot and killed 3 of his bandmates in their East Williamsburg apartment, before ending his own life. A fifth man, 22-year-old Sasan Sadeghpourosko, was shot in the arm and is currently in stabile condition, according to ABC Local.
Two of the victims were members of the post-punk band, The Yellow Dogs, and were originally from Iran. The shooter was allegedly kicked out of the band for stealing equipment, but it’s not certain if that motivated the shooting.
According to news reports, police were called to the scene at 318 Maujer Street, where they found a 27-year-old an with a gunshot wound (Soroush Farazmand) on the 2nd floor; 2 more men (Ali Eskandarian, 35, and Arash Farazmand, 28) were found shot in the head on the floor above and the gunman’s body was found on the roof next to the assault rifle he used. Eskansarian was a friend of the bandmates, but not in the band himself.
The Block Watch Program is being relaunched in Greenpoint, and if you would like to join the program here’s how:
Contact Police Officer Steve Truglio of the 94th Precinct at (718) 383 – 5298 and tell him that you would like to join the Block Watch Program.
The program covers a training course and assigns the volunteer a Block Watch ID number.
This is not a block watch in the literal sense, where you are obligated to walk around your block looking over your shoulder for a straight number of hours. Should you happen to see anything suspicious happening at the very moment you are leaving your house for work, or going on about your daily business, etc., there will be a number for you to call.
All your information is confidential should you wish to join, and the training will teach you how to properly handle a situation should you be there to witness it. It is encouraged to spread the word for home owners, business owners, renters, anyone who is worried about safety in Greenpoint, to get involved because as a community we can make Greenpoint safer.