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:


If you think those links are the bearer of bad news, check what is floating around on the street level since the start of the summer. Reader’s tips and curbside chats paint an alarming picture of the unreported crime happening in North Greenpoint:

  • Man follows and exposes himself to two young girls followed on Dupont Street
  • Drug deals operating out of the bathroom of Houz of Suds
  • Man caught masturbating outside Houz of Suds while leering at a female employee
  • A male reader wrote his three year old son was flashed in the Greenpoint Playground.
  • Ditto for another resident: A pedophile flasher exposed himself to two young children in the park
  • A woman was followed home by catcallers in three separate incidents while crossing the Pulaski Bridge during normal hours
  • Drunk grabs female on the stairwell of the Pulaski Bridge
  • Sketchy man caught searching for open doors along Box Street
  • A man outside of God Bless Deli 2 on Clay St uses lamppost as punching bag while verbally harassing pedestrians
  • 1133 Manhattan—rumor that building management changed their main entryway from Clay Street to Box St to avoid shelter residents.
  • Heroin junkies doing the zombie walk on Commercial Street down to the Greenpoint Park
  • Abandoned shell of ATM machine discarded on Clay Street

If all of this is enough to make you want to put another lock on your door, there is more…

A press release from the 94th precinct indicates 4 new sex offenders have entered our zip code this month.

But perhaps the most alarming rumor of them all involves an insider tip that the city is lobbying hard to purchase a building at Manhattan Ave and Ash Street to install ANOTHER homeless shelter—making it the THIRD shelter within a five block radius!

Although not confirmed, this rumor is very important given the proposed shelter location. The existing shelters on Clay St and McGuiness Blvd are situated far from schools. By law, convicted sex offenders cannot reside within 1,000 feet of a school. Given the rumored shelter location coupled with a Williamsburg shelter’s recent refusal to house sex offenders and NYC’s increasing homeless problem, it is no surprise there might be hungry eyes setting sights on our school-less neck of northern Greenpoint.

So listen up: If you don’t want Greenpoint to officially become Hamsterdam, then you’ll want to speak up at Wednesday’s meeting. Crime is affecting our community and our quality of life. Show Greenpoint some love and let’s do something about it. Spread the word.

Townhall Meeting on Crime

Wednesday, September 16th 6pm.

Polish Slavic Center 176 Java Street

Join the Conversation


  1. Does this have anything to do with the recently new group that has taken over the bus shelter on Greenpoint and Manhattan (Also the benches along Leonard at Calyer). They buy liquor bottles across the street at 9am. I’ve seen them harass residents. Last week, two of them barricaded themselves in the Starbucks bathroom. The manager called the police. Four showed up very fast but didn’t do anything (that I could tell). I’ve seen them passed out on the sidewalk behind the Greenpoint G entrance during daylight, 7 pm. Why have they suddenly taken over this section of Greenpoint?

    1. Hi Greenpoint,

      I didn’t realize a separate group has taken over the bus stop. Not sure if they’re connected to the Clay St shelter, but nevertheless, it should be brought up at the meeting. The bulk of the crime I’m hearing from folks seems to be concentrated up north but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a trickle down effect. Hope to see you at the meeting.

    2. The Greenpoint/Manhattan corners are sketchy at all hours of the day. I avoid walking near McDonald’s and Starbucks because of the people at the bus stop and subway entrance. I’ve also seen people passed out in the side entrance of Duane Reade on Greenpoint Ave. and the empty building next door. I’ve gotten people asking me for money and drunkenly bumping into me on all four corners there.

    1. Are you suggesting that building luxury buildings brings crime?

      It is an interesting juxtaposition I guess, but if anything more wealthy people in the neighborhood makes it less likely they will try to foist more kiddie rapists on us. The sad reality is that money has always had a louder voice in this city.

  2. To the comment above mine: These are not shelter people hanging around near the McDonalds. They are local addicts who refuse any sort of help. Many of them have family in the neighborhood but are not allowed to stay with them while they are abuse drugs and alcohol so they sleep and live outdoors.

    It’s sad to see them so far gone that they are passed out on the sidewalk until someone calls 911. An ambulance will take them away and sometimes they end up in rehab. But as soon as they are dropped off back on the same corner they resume abusing. They are nowhere near as bad as the guys that live in the shelters.

    Those guys will wander up and down Manhattan Ave and panhandle and look for people to pickpocket or anything else they can get there hands on to earn any amount of cash for drugs. Ofcourse the drug dealers know where thier clientele are and gravitate towards north Greenpoint to be as close as possible to the consumers.

    There needs to be a stronger police presence on Manhattan Ave and Clay and the surround area including the playground near Noble and West. Parking a cruiser across from the shelter does nothing as they just leave in the m0rnign and spread out across the neighborhood.

    These guys look for easy targets. Make sure you lock your apartment when you leave your house no matter for how short of a time you leave. There might be someone on the other corner sitting on a stoop watching who leaves and when.

    Don’t walk with your headphones in late at night especially around the deserted streets like Box and Clay.
    Don’t flash your phone or jewelry.
    Do not walk over the bridge late at night if you’re alone.

    Once the towers are complete on West at least it will add more people who will be walking around in that area so it will be less likely to be caught by yourself without anyone around for a block or two.

  3. My car was stolen last week off Milton Street and just turned up trashed on Commercial. The 94th needs to keep an eye on the American Playground area, especially in early morning hours. I personally watched a group of guys smash out another car window on Milton days after my car disappeared.

  4. What were the results/outcome of the Weds. 9/16/2015 meeting on Java Street? The Guardian Angels should be called in to assist the cops! What is the address of the new proposed additional shelter? JB.

    1. Hi everyone,

      I just want to say thanks to the 90+ people that showed up last night. Tempers flared and many people blamed the 66 Clay St shelter as ground zero for the recent crime wave. The rumor about the placement of another shelter was laid to rest–as of now there are NO future plans to build a 3rd shelter. Whew, that’s a relief!

      Our new 94th Police Captain pulled a no-show, 66 Clay St Shelter Director was dismissive and lacking in accountability, and the 2 police officers in attendance were eager to hear from folks on the ground level. Over 30+ ppl spoke out with awful stories of attacks (verbal, physical/sexual), being spit on, drug deals happening outside their homes and more. People’s testimonies were actually much worse than what I had received from reader’s tips, if that’s even possible. The Dept of Homeless Services intends to put more non-armed security officers in the area (from 4pm -6am) by the end of this week, the NYPD are assessing the situation and at the moment have a squad car parked in the vicinity. I believe an undercover cop is also making rounds although I’m not 100% sure on this.

      People clamored for more police ground presence along Clay St and the surrounding blocks of Dupont, Box, Commercial, the Pulaski Bridge stairwell, and at Greenpoint Park. The police say they want more men on the ground. Whether the budget will allow this is another story. Steve Levin is asking the Dep’t of Homeless Services and the 94th to coordinate efforts and come up with a battle plan by mid-Oct.

      Highlights Include:
      A resident on Clay St said he has video-taped men dealing drugs outside his place and the police won’t take it b/c they need to see the action firsthand
      A soon to-be-developed empty lot on Clay St between McGuiness and Manhattan is a drug-user playground
      Police and Dept’t of Homeless Services suggest people take selfie pics of suspicious thugs so authorities/shelter staff can i.d. trouble clients
      Clay St shelter passed around a family photo album of shelter residents cleaning trash on Clay St
      BRIC has a strict curfew of 10pm
      Clay St also has a 10 pm curfew, 9:30 for children/families. Smoke breaks beyond curfew are taken outside for however long they want
      One resident suggested a plan to install video cams at key locations and sync them to both the NYPD and the Clay St Shelter security
      Clay St director says cameras are already installed and they haven’t captured any illegal activities
      Electrical outlet inside the men’s bathroom at the Greenpoint Park has been removed

      John–Guardian Angels were brought up but not formally addressed at the meeting. I think Guardian Angels might be a good idea. If the 94th doesn’t have enough man power, those red berets could be a welcome site.

      That’s what I’ve got for now. Stay tuned for developments…

      1. THANK YOU very much for the update on the townhall meeting. I wish I had known about it sooner so I could have attended. The amount of drug deals on India St btwn Manhattan & McGuinness have reach ridiculous proportions; the junkies are sitting between parked cars and shooting up immediately after scoring. – and thats just skimming the surface. Prostitutes are now showing up in the neighborhood hanging with the men that are part of the shelters. Its disgusting whats happening in the neighborhood.

        1. Hey Giraffe,

          I’m on India and am always out at all hours of the night for a cigarette break (along with several elderly long-time residents). I have never seen any drug deals on our street. Perhaps the occasional junkie walks by and picks trash here and there, but nothing consistent.

          The only 2 suspicious incidents this year on India Street were a 1-time offense of a bunch of teenagers ringing doorbells and asking if the landlord was home. I believe the cops stopped them when they turned the corner to McGuiness; the second suspicious incident is recurring and it has to do with the absolute sketch horror show of an apartment development on McGuiness between India and Java (that grey building with the horrible construction job). There is a “Security” officer outside and people clearly squatting inside the building. I have also seen people traffic in and out of that building – couples and threesomes – and go to the “spa” across the street. I have asked the police to look into this building and the “spa” several times due to suspicious activity. There was never any follow up.

  5. Kim, I am writing in reaction to the author’s long form artical update within the comments of the orginal peice. I find this odd but very refreshing . Perhaps you started a new form of journalistic method, keep up the good work.

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