Yesterday morning I received an email with the words WATCH OUT in big bold letters. Sitting in my inbox, like a sack of rotting onions, was a link to a New York Post article with this headline: Sex Offenders’ relocation to Greenpoint Infuriates Residents.
I blinked a couple times and continued reading as my shock and horror mounted with each sentence.
“More than a dozen sex offenders were living in a Manhattan shelter prompted city officials to react—but all they did was move most of them to residential Greenpoint, sources said on Wednesday…The rapists, pedophiles, and other convicted sex criminals had been bunked up near schools and playgrounds at the Bellevue Men’s Shelter on East 30th Street in Kips Bay. They included serial sex offender, Rodney Stove, who was busted for a Manhattan bar rape…”
OH. MY. F-ING. GOD. I literally choked on my poppy seed bagel. Was what I was reading–an unwanted side effect from binge-watching season 3 of The Wire last night? This article could not possibly be true, could it?
Following up in a harshly written letter, our State Assemblyman Joe Lentol blasted the Department of Homeless Services for doubling the BRC shelter’s registered sex offenders under the cloak of night.
“As of this morning, the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services website has nearly 20 registered sex offenders listed as residing in the BRC shelter. If the figures cited by the Mayor’s office in the New York Post article are correct (16 sex offenders) this shelter has nearly 40 forty sex offenders…While many residents of the Bowery Residence Center (BRC) are law-abiding citizens in need of assistance, the fact the that the number of sex offenders at this shelter has doubled overnight is outrageous.”
Instantly, I took to my keyboard and began hammering out a massive warning because naturally this is sort of thing every Greenpointer should know about. From my megaphone I wanted to scream from my rooftop, “Listen up Greenpoint! Lock up your kids. Stick that mace can in your purse ladies. And goddammit, make bloody sure that black belt you picked up for your Mr. Miyagi costume is tucked on the OUTSIDE of your shirt when you’re walking home tonight!”
But in a moment of clarity, I thought to myself, “This is far too insane of a story. This is the New York Post we’re talking about–not exactly the most reliable of news sources as of late. Perhaps I should do some fact-checking before I fire off a warning that would scare a neighborhood which already has a lot of scary things on its plate.”
So I grabbed the horn and got nowhere at the BRC and the run around from the Department of Housing Services. Then I put in a call to our City Councilman, Steve Levin. As the Chair of the Committee of General Welfare, surely he’d know what was happening in his district. Thankfully, he picked up.
He told me the New York Post story was bogus, and that as the Chair of the Committee of General Welfare, he received a call that morning from the Department of Homeless Services regarding the inaccurate article.
“The DHS told me the Post story is not true. The sex offenders were relocated, but not to the BRC at 400 McGuiness and not in Greenpoint,” said Councilman Levin.
When I asked where the foul cysts of society had been relocated, I was informed the Department of Homeless Services doesn’t give out that information due to confidentiality rules. He suggested checking with the NYC Registry of Sex Offenders in a few weeks to track which shelter addresses the men ended up registering.
After breathing a sigh of relief that I no longer needed to carry around a cattle prod every time I left my house, I reached out to one of the reporters of the New York Post article to get some facts straight.
As of writing this, I am still waiting for a reply from the New York Post and have yet to see another city newspaper pick up the story. If there are any new developments, you will be the first to hear about it.
Stay safe and sleep tight Greenpoint.
There’s NO McGuinness Avenue in Greenpoint!!
Sorry about the typo. I made the fix. It was an honest mistake. NO need to scream OR sling insults on fb. Get a grip.
How apropos that Manhattan would rather move their homeless right next to a wastewater treatment plant than face the reality of poverty head on
Actually, Greenpoint is a wonderful community. Rents are sky high and I would give my left leg to live there. Pedophiles, rapists, and sex offenders aside, is what you are saying that Greenpoint is not apropos for the homeless now? Perhaps the upper East side would be more fitting. If so, they are welcome to move on up. As they say in Brooklyn, give me a friggen break.
Your article is offensive, and relies on misinformation to perpetuate fear and hype that are unsupported by facts. Federal studies regarding sex offender recidivism found that 95% of [reported] sex crimes are committed by individuals with no known history of committing sexual offenses. While some may say “but sex crimes are undereported,” this is less so with respect to offenses by strangers. Similarly, identification of offenders is much easier in this day and age of DNA databases, etc. This means that, despite the conventional wisdom (which also tends to be good for such rallying cries as “all muslims are militants”), sex offenders are unlikely to recidivate. While this was not the case for the rapist from the Bellevue shelter who reoffended earlier this month, it also is not the case that record cold temperatures this past winter demonstrates that global warming is a myth.
Before jumping on the bandwagon to further marginilize an entire group of people whose circumstances you couldn’t begin to understand, in the apparent pursuit of circumstances that would only further endanger the public, not to mention shred our constitution (The Post recommended just sending all of these guys back to jail), put down the bull horn and look up the facts. You may decide on a different course of action, that is if you actually do care about making positive changed as opposed to simply reacting.
With regards to your statement that I am relying on “misinformation to perpetuate fear and hype that are unsupported by facts”–did you actually read this post? The whole basis of my article was to DISPROVE the Post’s misinformed and shoddy reporting–which does in fact rely on sensationalism to perpetuate fear as you accuse me of committing.
And with regards to sex offender recidivism–the men that I was referring to are Level 3 sex offenders which according to the NYS Division Criminal Services are considered “high risk of repeat offense and a threat to public safety”. I don’t think it gets any clearer than that. If you don’t believe me than I suggest you review the facts.
The next time you want to get all keyboard gangster and call me a fear-monger, perhaps you should read the whole story, b/c if you had, you’d actually see I am on your side.
Dear Kim M. Thanks for replying. I did read your article, and I reread it after seeing the replies. I stand by my characterization of it. In fact, I think you actually mentioned a megaphone! The misinformation I was referring to wasn’t the Post report about the number of offenders being relocated. The misinformation being spread is the message that once a person is a sex offender, then he’s always a sex offender, just lying in wait for his next prey.
I very much stand by my criticism of your post. You are not educated about these issues and you are perpetuating prejudices that are impediments not just to reentry of offenders into society, but also to a safer society. I know what a level 3 offender is. (Would it shock you to learn that one need not ever have committed a sex crime to be a registered sex offender? Kidnapping of a child counts regardless of whether there was any sexual intentions)
The fact of the matter is that society’s response to sex crimes has resulted in reactionary policies that respond to emotions rather than fact. The result of that is an overly wide net in classifying sex offenders as the “most dangerous.” Then you have a situation where law enforcement is spread too thin to supervise groups of offenders that actually fail to distinguish the most dangerous. The elderly frail rapist who needs a wheelchair and no longer has a libido gets the same level of supervision as someone like the recently sheltered rapist that reoffended in Chelsea.
There are also published studies how the State’s sex offender classification system (level 1, 2, 3) is based on risk assessment instruments that are fundamentally flawed because they rely on emotional responses to certain things rather than the characteristics that are actually linked to sex offender recidivism. Ignoring facts isn’t harm prevention, it’s harm creation.
My job is to report what is happening on Greenpoint streets. If Greenpoint was to be home to 16 more sex offenders, you’d be damn sure I’d shout it from every roof top until everyone was aware. Like Lauren, I reserve sympathy for every man, woman, and child who bear the scars of sexual assault, certainly not for the creep who decided to force themselves upon someone, whether they are repeat offenders or not.
If you are offended by this, that is your problem not mine.
Wow, you’re obviously not a woman, because if you were you’d maybe take a bit more time to sympathize with those of us who live our lives with the constant fear and threat of sexual assault rather than attacking a writer for not being PC enough when talking about CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS. You’d also maybe not accuse a woman of being reactive (read: hysterical) and expect for us to all rely on statistics of recidivism when deciding whether we’re justified in being fucking terrified at the thought of living among rapists and child molestors. Sorry, I don’t need to “begin to understand” the circumstances these sickos have dealt with, I’d much rather expend my empathy toward non-rapists, thanks.
LOL. I’m a woman and I walk the Pulaski Bridge twice a day, every day.
Do you have an idea how creepy “The elderly frail rapist who needs a wheelchair and no longer has a libido” sounds? Obviously, you don’t -same as with most of the rest of what you say. For example, being old is not a synonym of no longer having a libido. In other words, having an erectal dysfunction does not equal having lack of desire. If that was the case, Viagra wouldn’t exist.
You seem to be in some sort of personal crusade here, so there’s no point in refuting that which you likely call your argument. But it seems to me that the more you argue in favor of your ideas, the less sympathy they elicit. You’d be better off just dropping the subject.
Their is a greater entity at work not being in agreement with there actions, however they should be closely monitored and weened back into society they are fighting an addiction that’s all around harmful. For the sake of law abiding citizens, everyone should be made aware of their location.
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