Police brass blames Sunset Park for violent Bay Ridge crimes

Police brass blames Sunset Park for violent Bay Ridge crimes
Twitter / NYPD

Southern Brooklyn’s top detective is blaming Sunset Park for two brutal crimes that happened in Bay Ridge.

Deputy Inspector Raymond Festino, who heads the Brooklyn South detective squad, told a crowd at the 68th Precinct Community Council meeting on Wednesday that the shooting of four men in a 73nd Street deli two weeks ago and the homicide of a Bay Ridge woman in Owl’s Head Park last month may have technically happened in Bay Ridge’s 68th Precinct, but they’re really Sunset Park and the 72nd Precinct’s problem.

“That homicide — even though it took place here in the 68 — was actually, really, a 72 homicide. It was circumstances that it took place here — it was really probably going to happen in the 72,” Festino said of Jennifer Cohen, and 85th Street resident who was found beaten to death in Owl’s Head Park on Sept. 30, just blocks from the 68th Precinct station house where Festino was commanding officer for two years until last spring. “It seems that the perpetrator met our victim in the 72 and walked many blocks into the 68. Just be assured that this was not something that happened in Bay Ridge. It was something that took place outside of Bay Ridge and came inside.”

Officials are still looking for an unidentified man that she was last seen with in Sunset Park.

And two weeks ago, three men followed a guy from outside a bar on Third Avenue and 73rd Street into a neighboring deli and shot four people. Festino said that too was not related to Bay Ridge — despite occuring within it — because all the victims were from Sunset Park.

“That again seems likes it was something out of Sunset Park,” he said. “All the victims, all Sunset Park residents. So it’s not something that you would say is Bay Ridge-related.”

Official police department data nonetheless lists both crimes as 68th Precinct crimes.

Some at the meeting told this paper they found Festino’s claims absurd, and one challenged him publicly.

“Even if people are from Sunset Park or wherever — they’re still happening here,” Camille Regan shot back during the meeting. “And this girl that got killed — that’s Bay Ridge. She was killed, beaten in Bay Ridge, very close to all of our homes.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.