Heat wave leads to crime wave in Greenpoint’s McCarren Park

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The mercury is rising in McCarren Park — and so is the crime.

There have been 15 incidents within a two-block radius of the Greenpoint park over the past three months, including a rape and a shooting that occurred within the past two weeks.

Last Saturday night, at approximately 8:30 pm, a woman was raped in the McCarren Park bathrooms after she met a man on the corner of Bedford Avenue and N. 12th Street earlier that night.

And on June 18, just after 1 am, a gunman fired at random inside the park and two bullets pierced a man in his legs.

Neither the rapist nor the shooter has been caught.

Other crimes near the park include four robberies, four assaults, three burglaries, and two grand larcenies, as perps have snatched victims’ phones away, broken into their cars, or straight-up robbed them point blank on the street.

The violence is part of a larger crime trend in the 94th Precinct, which covers Greenpoint and the Northside. There has been a 10.34-percent increase in criminal complaints over the past month, as auto thefts are up 17 percent, robberies have increased by 8.2 percent, and grand larcenies are up 5.1 percent, NYPD statistics show.

A Parks Department official dismissed the crime wave as “isolated incidents,” and noted that police were stepping up patrols.

“Also, we’re hiring a park enforcement police officer starting this month,” added the official, North Brooklyn Parks Administrator Stephanie Thayer.

One of McCarren Park’s most prominent users, Kevin Dailey, commissioner of the Brooklyn Kickball League, has not seen increased police activity in the park during the league’s Sunday schedule, but has noticed an increase of police patrols on Tuesday nights. Dailey believes the key to reducing crime is to permit more activities in the park at all hours.

“I feel that good solid activity in the park keeps crime down,” said Dailey. “The fields should be permitted every night of the week and it is not. It’s a tough thing to do, but it can be done.”

But local business owners, including Meredith Chesney, who owns a nearby hair salon, have a different take. Chesney wants more safety measures inside the park, such as improved lighting to brighten dark stretches of the street. She said she fought for a year and a half to get a light on N. 11th Street and Roebling repaired, but it has burned out again.

“I’m shocked by the number of the path-lights that are either not working or not turned on,” said Chesney. “I feel the darkness is a major contributor to opportunistic crimes being committed.”

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Reader Feedback

WB from Williamsburg says:
Funny how McCarren Park is described as Williamsburg when the news story is about a concert or festival, but when it is a report about a crime, the papers switch the neighborhood to Greenpoint.
July 2, 2010, 3:11 am
MB from Greenpoint says:
WB from Williamsburg: that's super funny, I was thinking exactly the same thing while reading the article!

That sort of bias has plagued news reporting about wbg/gpt for as long as I can remember, although it seems to have diminished in recent years. I've attributed that change to increasing gpt cache. But judging by this article, it apparently still lives on...
July 2, 2010, 3:55 pm
Clarkie14 from Williamsburg says:
I am happy to report that on Friday 7/2 around 7:30pm, I saw a officer on foot patrolling my street (10th street between Bedford and Berry). I have also seen a few marked and unmarked police cars in the area as well.

Unfortunately, it can be very dark on Driggs at night and so I agree that we should have more working lights in the neighborhood.
July 3, 2010, 12:11 pm
Loisaida from LES says:
I hope the crime is happening to these little cliché, annoying, out-of-place Ohio ——s instead of true residents.
July 3, 2010, 2:16 pm
Katherine from Williamsburg says:
I doubt anyone desperate enough to commit a violent crime is going to stop and ask whether or not their potential victim is local before they attack. Also, I'm sure out of place "Ohio..." are not walking around McCarren part post- 1 AM. Damn those tourists and their rampant solicitation of random gunfire, right? You're an idiot.
July 3, 2010, 4:05 pm
G from Greenpoint says:
Its disgusting. I grew up in Astoria and northern Queens and besides petty theft and small infractions the neighborhood was safe. Why?

Because the neighbors know the neighborhood.

Criminals lurk to wburg (gnpt) because they see money and ignorance. The common stereotype about trust fund kids and others taking the neighborhood for granted is true, I cant tell you how many kids I see walking with their heads down and ipod in. Might as well save your face from a punch and leave your wallet on the sidewalk.

Also, these rapes unacceptable. A few months ago, a "feminist anarchist" group walked down N6th and destroyed the street. They were denounced in blogs as "anti capitalist crazy ——es", what they didn't mention is they were protesting the fact that a rape took place on that street(a street with many windows) and it was tossed to the side in the news and by police.

I wish our community would come together and watch for each other, but it seems to be every ignorant idiot for themselves.
July 3, 2010, 9:14 pm
D from Greenpoint says:
G has a point. A large part of Greenpoint / Williamsburg are kids here to have their big city artsy adventures. They will be on their way eventually. The other group, the old Timers and the people actually settling down and opening businesses are the true community. I think there is room for both. However, the newbies have to wake up a bit. I constantly see wandering, texting cyclists. Also, drunken girls walking home alone is just not smart anywhere!
July 5, 2010, 12:12 pm
Caroline from Greenpoint says:
We were there at the time of the shooting and the papers keep reporting it as 1AM. Really, it was only 10PM and there were hundreds of people walking/biking around. Interesting that the papers keep reporting it this way.
July 8, 2010, 8:22 am
Mike Hofmann from Greenpoint says:
I attend alot of the 94th Pecinct meetings. Alot of the crimes in Greenpoint are not listed and are not reported at these meetings. Some of these victims should come to these meetings and make sure they are brought up at these meetings. As we all know the crime rate is listed as declining in Greenpoint and it is not true. Please make sure to attend these meetings and bring them up so other Greenpointers are aware of them.
July 15, 2010, 7:13 pm
Jennie from Willpoint says:
It could mean either neighborhood, but the park is still unsafe. Plus, it spreads to recent problems in my building, which is near the park.
July 19, 2010, 11:47 am
Kim from Greenpoint says:
Whether or not a woman is walking around with her headphones on, does not make her responsible for her own rape. There have always been new transplants to the city. Before the Hipsters, there was No Wave, before them Punks, before them Hippies, before them The Beats. This wave of hipsters is just the new iteration of the cycle of counter-culture wannabes. And they are no more deserving of violence than anyone else.
July 20, 2010, 2:43 pm

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