A racially charged teen rumble in Bay Ridge’s bucolic Owl’s Head Park ended with a hail of bullets on June 2 when one of the scrappers pulled a gun and shot a rival in the chest.
Police said blood was spilled after a set of Hispanic youths and some Middle Eastern teens threw down at around 6:45 pm.
The Hispanic teens were hanging out near the basketball courts on the Colonial Road side of the park near 67th Street when the Middle Eastern teens arrived looking to settle a score — the two crews had clashed a few weeks earlier at 86th Street and Third Avenue, according to police. As a result, one of the Hispanic teens was slashed in the leg and two of the Middle Eastern youths were arrested.
Yet police sources said this powwow wasn’t expected to end peacefully — especially since both groups showed up armed.
“The [Middle Eastern] kids came to the park with bats, but the other group had a gun,” one police source said. “Obviously the gun beat the bats.”
That became apparent when they charged each other in a crazed “Gangs of New York”-style re-enactment. Seconds into the fray, a 16-year-old Hispanic brawler pulled a gun and opened fire, hitting one of the Middle Eastern teens.
“I was leaving the park with my dog when I heard the gunshots,” said Bernadette Hoban, president of the Friends and Neighbors of Owl’s Head Park. “I said to myself ‘Wait a minute … that doesn’t sound like a firecracker!’”
Her suspicions were confirmed within the hour when two crime scenes had been set up — one for the shooting and one for the spot where the shooter and two others were apprehended further down Colonial Road at Senator Street.
The wounded teen was rushed to Lutheran Medical Center, where he was listed in critical but stable condition after surgery.
The shooter and two other suspects, also 16, were charged with attempted murder and assault.
More arrests were expected.
While the groups were ethnically divided, no racial epithets were thrown during the fisticuffs, said police, who say they have increased their patrols in Owl’s Head and other area parks.
“A lot of kids and a lot of families go to these parks,” said Inspector Eric Rodriguez, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct. “To shoot a gun like that in the middle in the park is dangerous. That’s our concern as we continue our enforcement.”
“These kids don’t usually hang out at the park. They just decided to meet there, but still it was scary,” she said. “Three families were having a picnic in the park near the playground that night. That was just steps from where the shooting took place.”