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.
The incident happened last Friday night as Osburn left his studio around 11:30 pm. According to the Observer, “the artist suffered multiple lacerations and a shattered jaw in the attack.” All four perpetrators, described by a police spokesperson, are believed to be African-American and are still at large. Social media reports from Osburn’s family say the artist doesn’t remember anything before or after the event. He was taken to nearby Beth Israel to get his jaw reconstructed.
For anyone familiar with the area, this awful incident doesn’t come as a shock. Clay Street and the streets surrounding it has long had a history of violence.
Last year a young man was stabbed and subsequently died after protecting a teenage girl from two belligerent men on Dupont Street. The long-standing SRO on Manhattan Avenue and Clay Street has long sheltered convicted criminals and sex offenders while their slumlord allowed the building fall into severe neglect. Clay St is also home to not one but two homeless shelters: The BRIC 200 all-male homeless detention center on Clay and McGuinness Blvd, and the newest kid on the block, a smaller ‘family’ shelter who opened up under the cloak of darkness, which sources say has been a hotspot for domestic violence disputes in recent months. And around the corner on Commercial Street three people were robbed at gunpoint last year.
“It’s surprising how there are more people in the neighborhood and you’d think it would be safer, but there is more crime now than 10 years ago when it was desolated up here,”says Teo Gonzalez, a local artist who lives close by. “I’ve been living here for 15 years and I’ve never seen so much crime in such a small space of time and in such a reduced area.”
It’s safe to say crime on Clay Street just keeps increasing year after year with no end in sight.
To raise money for the Mr. Osburn’s exhaustive hospital bills, 106 Green, a local Greenpoint gallery will host a fundraising raffle on Sunday, August 9th from 4-7 pm. Raffle tickets are $100 each and the proceeds will go towards off-setting the artist’s medical expenses. 106 Green are excepting small to medium-sized donated works from artists and raffle winners will get to take home some great artwork
If you’d like to participate in the donating art work for a fellow artist, please contact 106 Green Gallery for more details.