Windsor Terrace residents are railing against a crew of skateboarders who they say have shredded their quality of life to bits.
The skater haters claim the teenaged boarders have been keeping them awake, drinking, and using and dealing drugs in Bartel Pritchard Square at the southwest corner of Prospect Park for more than a year.
“My complaint is not about the skateboarders — it’s about my quality of life,” said James Rallis, who says that one of the wood-pushers pulled a razor when he told them to be quiet last month at around 3 am. “I want to be able to go to sleep, but they are there until 5 am.”
Windsor Terrace resident Tom Prendergast added that cops need to ramp up their enforcement if they want to curb the problem at Bartel Pritchard Square — where 17-year-old Sharif Abdallah died last year after a brawl in the park.
“This stuff shouldn’t be going on — there should be no one in the park after dark,” said Prendergast, who complained of nightly “parades” of youths walking into the park to smoke marijuana.
“I see too much negotiation,” said Prendergast at a community meeting last Wednesday night largely dedicated to the issue of skaters in the square. “You can’t compromise with these kids — they are not normal kids.”
And residents claim that police from the 72nd and 78nd precincts — whose coverage areas converge at Bartel Pritchard Square — haven’t been tough enough on the skaters, especially in the wake of a stabbing last week that left one of the thrashers lucky to be alive.
The victim of the June 28 assault fled from the park and collapsed on Prospect Avenue, and cops locked up three suspects within the park.
Deputy Inspector Jesus Pintos of Windsor Terrace’s 72nd Precinct told concerned neighbors that fears of police inaction at the border are unfounded.
“There is not a problem with [the precincts] getting along,” said Pintos, who added that undercover narcotics officers verified that some of the skaters were smoking pot, but found no evidence of any dealing.
For his part, 78th Precinct Deputy Inspector John Argenziano — whose precinct covers Park Slope and all of Prospect Park — claims his officers are on top of the skating situation.
“Overall, I think we’re doing a good job in Prospect Park,” said Argenziano, whose officers have already issued 47 violations to individuals caught inside Prospect Park after the greenspace’s 1 am closing time since January — 17 of them in the Bartel Pritchard Square area.
“We will put more people there, we will look at the situation,” he added.
But the skaters say they aren’t the problem.
“This is our spot. … We skate here all the time and we never mess anything up,” said Dylan Jones, who claims that some of the thrasher bashers have terrorized the skaters by pouring syrup on the often-skated steps of the monument at the square.
According to Jones, that attempt didn’t deter skaters — and only resulted in bee stings for passersby and a dog.
— with Thomas Nocera
©2009 Community News Group
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