The reputed local crime boss, John “Sonny” Franzese was recently released from the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts. The hundred-year-old reputed member of the Colombo crime family had been serving a fifty year sentence for bank robbery that dated back to 1966. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons confirmed that the Greenpoint native had been the oldest prisoner in Federal custody until his release. He had been paroled at least six times since his 1967 conviction, but always violated his parole, ending up repeatedly back in prison.
Franseze lived for many years locally on Engert Avenue. Mob aficionados credit Franseze with introducing the kiss into mafia family culture. It all started when “Sonny” Franzese and Joey Brancato, both alleged members of the Colombo crime family, bumped into each other on the corner of Lorimer Street and Metropolitan Avenue. As a gesture of peace, they kissed each other on the cheeks. The only thing anybody on Metropolitan Avenue knew was that they had never seen it done before. After the men kissed, it quickly became a mafia trademark. Continue reading →
Police are currently looking for two suspects who bought more than ten thousand dollars of luxury goods after stealing a Greenpoint woman’s credit card.
A Williamsburg man has pled guilty to running a heroin ring, and sold the drugs out of his apartment on Driggs Ave. According to Patch, “Twenty-three other people pleaded guilty in the same ring, where they sold heroin under the names, “Knockout,” “Takeover,” “Power Hour,” “Killing Time,” “Pure,” “Gucci,” and “Scorpion.” Continue reading →
Greenpoint’s own 94th Precinct police station (100 Meserole Avenue) was the site today for an organized protest following Captain Peter Rose’s remarks to a DNA Info reporter last week that sparked not only local concern but also social media outrage andnationwideattention. His comments insinuated that the police may prioritize cases of “stranger rape” over cases where the perpetrator was known to the victim.
“It’s not a trend that we’re too worried about because out of 13 [sex attacks], only two were true stranger rapes,” Rose said in the DNA Info article. “If there’s a true stranger rape, a random guy picks up a stranger off the street, those are the troubling ones. That person has, like, no moral standards,” he said.
These comments come on the heels of a string of rape cases in Greenpoint last fall, in addition to reports of women being publicly groped, and police response to those events gave local residents enough concern to form a task force.
Captain Rose released a formal apology yesterday via Twitter stating, “Every rape, whether it is perpetrated by a stranger or someone known to them is fully investigated. We make no distinction in our response. My comments suggested otherwise and for that I apologize.” Despite the apology, the NOW protest planned for this afternoon in front of the precinct moved forward, with about 20-30 protesters in attendance and almost as many police personnel in front of the precinct keeping watch. Continue reading →
Think that North Brooklyn was a safer place back in the good old days? Think again! In the second half of the 19th century, North Brooklyn had many notorious gangs and hard-core hoods. Here are some of the most infamous local gangs of yesteryear.
The Battle Row Gang – This gang, which had an almost two-decade-long life starting in 1870, was in the words of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle “composed of the scum of the Fourteenth Ward (Williamsburg).” known as “fighters and rowdies,” they lurked at “Crow” McGoldrick’s saloon on Union Avenue and North First Street. They became notorious in July of 1871 when gang member Henry Rogers killed Brooklyn Police officer Donoghue and was hanged for the murder. In June of that year, two factions of the gang fought with “pistols, knives, fists and slingshots. The battle raged,” furiously and unrestrained” for thirty minutes. One dying member, Patrick Cash, asked to name his assailants, replied “I’d die with the name of the fellow in my throat, before I’d give him away.” You can read more about these scumbags in the Daily Eagle archives here and here. Continue reading →
Thought you found a good deal on an apartment? According to this piece from Curbed, a new batch of apartments at 5 Blue Slip (part of the Greenpoint Landing project) will have options as low as $393 a month for low-income renters.
According to this story from DNAinfo, four shelter residents have had bad reactions to heroin they purchased near the intersection of Manhattan Avenue and Clay Street. According to one shelter manager, easy access to the drug on the northern end of Manhattan Avenue is causing serious problems in the area. Continue reading →
Several weeks ago, disturbing news of a sexual assault that allegedly occurred on Sutton St. near McGolrick Park broke on social media and rattled the Greenpoint Community.
The assault allegedly occurred around 2am on September 13, two blocks east of McGolrick Park. According to a post that was shared extensively on Facebook, a 34 year-old woman was walking to a deli on Sutton between Driggs and Nassau when she was attacked and raped by a group of teenagers, suffering serious injuries including a knife wound to the neck.
The social media reports of the incident shook the traditionally peaceful area of Greenpoint surrounding McGolrick Park and prompted local activist Emily Gallagher and Park Church Pastor Amy Kienzle to organize the Greenpoint Task Force, a coalition with regular meetings for concerned community members.
The first of these meetings occurred Thursday, September 22 in the basement of the Park Church Co-op. It was attended by nearly 100 members of the community, as well as several representatives of the 94th Precinct, including Captain Stefan Komar, Community Affairs Specialist Norberto Rivera, and Special Operations Lieutenant Matthew Delaney.
During the course of the meeting, citizens asked questions of the police regarding the alleged sexual assault. What they were told was frustrating, as Captain Komar recounted several inconsistencies and roadblocks in what had been reported to police. Continue reading →
Greenpoint has recently had a wave of robberies and a burglary that have disturbed neighborhood residents. Early in the morning on Sunday, Sept. 25, four separate robberies occurred within 90 minutes of each other.
The first robbery took place around 3:15am at the corner of Jackson Street and Meeker Avenue when four men approached a 26 year-old victim, attacked him, and took his backpack, iPhone, camera, and books.
The second incident took place around 4am at Jewel Street and Meserole Avenue when a 34-year old man was attacked by three men and robbed of his iPhone, $300 in cash, and wallet. The victim was struck in the face during the robbery and required stitches to close a laceration he received.
The third incident occurred shortly after at 4:30am at Leonard Street and Driggs Avenue when two men robbed a 33-year old man at knifepoint of his iPhone and credit cards. This victim was unharmed.
The final robbery took place at Meserole Avenue and Diamond Street and involved two men attacking a 32-year old man and stealing his phone and wallet.
Police have strong video and photo evidence in the robberies and are looking for a group of four men in connection with all of the incidents.
After a string of recent robberies in Greenpoint, police are looking for four men. Images have been released of two of these men. Stay vigilant and be careful if walking late at night.
Ever wonder where McGuinness Boulevard got its name? It’s because of a man named Peter J. McGuinness, an influential character in the neighborhood’s history who, despite having never graduated high school, helped get such projects as the Meeker Avenue Bridge and McCarren Park Pool completed. Local historian and frequent Greenpointers writer Geoff Cobb has a new book coming out about him called King of Greenpoint, which is getting some attention!
After being forced out of their apartment of 23 years by nefarious landlords and forced to live in shelters and temporary housing for three years, a Greenpoint family has finally returned to their longtime home at 300 Nassau Avenue.
Ever wonder what an Airbnb nightmare looks like? Check out this story, on a Williamsburg family who rented out their duplex only to have $7k in damage occur.
Tired of feeling like your paycheck disappears faster than free pizza at Paulie Gee’s? Well, you may be on to something, according to this study from a real estate data company, which calls Brooklyn the most “unaffordable place to live in America”.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that North Brooklyn Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol originally introduced providing tax credits for brewers in New York City. Greenpoint Beer and Ale, Keg & Lantern, and Brooklyn Brewery all got shout outs from Lentol in the press release!