Has a darkness settled over Bay Ridge? The recent discovery of a dead newborn, discarded in a trash bag on the back porch of a Colonial Road home, has once again shined the spotlight on our quiet community, and for a familiar reason — Bay Ridge, Brooklyn is again the scene of a horrific death of a child.
“This kind of thing just doesn’t happen here,” said Yellow Hooker’s neighbor, who has lived in Bay Ridge for 46 years. “It feels like we have been cursed lately. We have gone years without reading about the death of a child, and now the third child in the last two months.
“You can feel the death in the air,” she added.
Residents still haven’t recovered from the Feb. 8 fire that ripped through an apartment building on 74th Street and took the lives of two young girls, ages 2 and 4. It was a tragic accident that scarred many residents, especially in the tightly knit Arab-American community.
“The accident was horrific, but it is far easier to wrap your mind around an accident than it is to understand how a mother could murder her own child,” my neighbor added, an allusion to the allegation that Laura Sergio, 29, murdered her newborn baby and dumped the body at her mom’s Colonial Road house.
That sordid saga began when Sergio’s parents took her to Lutheran Medical Center at 9 pm last Friday after she complained of stomach pains. Doctors soon realized that she had recently given birth, so they asked her where the baby was. When Sergio reacted evasively, the doctors called the cops.
Police found the baby wrapped in a trash bag — left to die on the back porch in the frigid cold. Later, they charged Sergio with killing the child.
News of the murder even reached my hometown of Danville, Pennsylvania, provoking a semi-frantic telephone call from my family, which ended up being just the medicine I needed.
“Are you sure Bay Ridge is the right place for you?” asked my mother in her restrained voice. “Do you sometimes think it would be better if you moved closer to home?”
Closer to home? My instinctual reaction was to leap to the Ridge’s defense and explain how she had it all wrong, and that this kind of thing just doesn’t happen in Bay Ridge — how although we are part of the big city, it is still part of a community.
Most of all, I wanted to tell her that, recent deaths aside, I had never been to a place that had as much life as Bay Ridge. But what actually came through the phone was much more to the point.
“Move closer to home?” I said. “But I could never leave Bay Ridge.”
We love a great April Fools gag, so credit must go to the mysterious “Phantom” who runs the Bay Ridge Blog after posting that Staten Island Ferry service would return to Bay Ridge. The blogger was trying to top his previous year’s April Fool’s Day post that Mike Tyson would be fighting at the Alpine, which received national attention. …
Bensonhurst’s famous New Utrecht Reform Church on 18th Avenue and 84th Street will be holding a thrift sale on Saturday, April 21, 10–3, to raise the $2 million needed to fix the church’s sanctuary. Will there be bargains? “Of course!” said Rose Gianni Lood, a parishioner for more than 70 years. “We’re over 330 years old and will have bargains galore.” …
Last week, we asked, “Which famous talk show host did John Quaglione, spokesman for state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge), once work for?” The choices were Oprah , Ellen or Tim Russert. And the winning answer is Tim Russert of “Meet the Press” (though you could be forgiven for thinking that the smooth-talking “John Q” learned the tricks of his trade from Oprah).