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Driggs shooting just the latest in a spate of violence

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Last week’s shooting in Williamsburg’s Hasidic Quarter may be part of a larger trend of bloodshed and drug activity.

Three people have been struck by bullets in the Southside, according to the 90th Precinct, which stretches south of Broadway to Flushing Avenue, most recently the shocking shooting of a rabbi’s son, Burech Halberstam, on the corner of Driggs Avenue and S. Ninth Street early last Tuesday.

Community leader Isaac Abraham is convinced the shooting is part of a larger trend of drug trafficking that has swept through South Williamsburg this summer.

“The 90th Precinct has to get more resources and drug enforcement to crack all the drug dens,” said Abraham. “The entire neighborhood knows where, when and by who to get it.”

Three people have been wounded in shootings in South Williamsburg over the past five weeks, though residents say that there have been several more incidents in the neighborhood.

On July 23, an 86-year old woman was shot in her leg inside her apartment near Havemeyer and S. Ninth streets after a neighbor flashed a gun and fired it.

And on July 3, a thug fired multiple rounds from loaded firearm into a crowd near Wythe Place and Taylor Street, grazing one man in his left foot.

Fortunately, neither victim was seriously injured.

Marcos Masri, a resident of a public housing complex, was almost hit by a stray bullet in front of his house.

“I was relaxing with my friends and we saw two youngsters passing by and they shot my neighbor,” said Masri. “We all ran away. We came out later and I called the cops.”

Abraham has witnessed the aftermath of other shootings, which include multiple shell casings on Division Avenue near Berry Street after two drivers shot at each other and alarmed residents.

“It’s a farce,” said Abraham. “There are more drugs being sold in the area than at Walgreens. What do you expect?”

At a press conference held last week, Rabbi David Niederman offered a $5,000 reward for any information that would lead to the apprehension of the suspects in Halberstam’s shooting. He called the suspects, two Latino men, “bad apples” and said that the reward would send a message to people “who try to viciously rob and kill people.”

But Halberstam’s family said that police were not adequately patrolling the neighborhood and said that there should have been more police in the area.

Police from the 90th Precinct, which comprises the Southside and Bushwick, could not be reached for comment, but NYPD statistics do not suggest that the area has gotten lawless.

So far this year, there has been one murder in the entire precinct, down from four by this point last year. Assaults are down, but robberies are up — though neither by statistically significant amounts.

And, historically, crime is a tiny fraction of what it was when Halberstam’s mother was raising her wounded son.

In 1990, there were 24 murders recorded in the precinct.

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Reader Feedback

anywho says:
NEWSFLASH!

There are not enough cops period. The NYPD is down several thousand police officers.

Great job Bloomturd!
Aug. 17, 2010, 7:20 am
Eli from 11211 says:
And when i call the Pct to report that there is a problem in our complex and i need to talk to someone... they gave me a non working fax number to call!!!!
yes this is the situation
Aug. 17, 2010, 8:35 am
Kevin from 11211 says:
I blame Hotel Toshi.
Aug. 17, 2010, 9:04 am
Barry's Bro from Southside says:
I live in this area and watch drugs being sold on daily basis at:
driggs and south 10
107 south 8th Street
Berry between Division avenue and Broadway. We call 90th precinct multiple times to no avail!!!!!
THere has been a huge drug bust @ the schaffer building thanks to huge pressure put on authorities by Isaac Abraham.
We beg the NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg to do what Rudy Giuliany did! Make police stop crime! Take every traffic cop and make them into normal cops. Our tax money goes for nypd to stop crime/not cars!!
Shame on Bloomberg.
THe AG should investigate 90th precinct for manipulating people not to file reports!
Aug. 17, 2010, 11:22 am
Barry himself from Greenpoint/Williamsburg says:
Barry's Bro,
I could not agree more!
The streets are definitely falling back into the hands of the drug kings and mobs. I hope it is not too late!
Aug. 17, 2010, 11:31 am
Jocelyn from Williamsburg says:
Maybe if the cops weren't so busy worrying about those damn bike lanes.....
Aug. 17, 2010, 11:40 am
Danny from Brooklyn says:
Anyone who lived in the Southside in the pre-hippie days knows that the Southside is way quieter now than it used to be.

The only difference is that now you have a lot of hippie quasi-reporters living in Williamsburg, who get excited by publicizing this "new escalating violence" they have discovered. Hey, this violence isn't happening in your native Michigan or Connecticut or wherever you guys are originally from. Williamsburg is not smalltown USA. You may think it was great before you got here, because when it was full of immigrants being preyed upon, noone cared enough to make a big stink about it. In fact, Hasidic Jews (and many other races, creeds, etc.) have always been victimized in Williamsburg. This is no new trend.

As hipsters moved in, it is true that ome of the core criminal element was forced out, jailed, etc. Better policing helped as well. However, the resulting environment made people feel like the neighborhood was their living room. They began walking around without street smarts. Most of the police blotter stories today involve drunk people traveling around alone after hours or leaving their apartments unlocked for burglars. No one deserves to get shot, but I've lived in Williamsburg for 30 years, and even today I would never be caught talking on my smartphone on Driggs Ave in the Southside at midnight. This ain't Oklahoma. It's unrealistic to expect a cop on every corner. Use your brain and don't tempt fate. Start a neighborhood watch if you really care so much.
Aug. 17, 2010, 1:16 pm
Othy 11211 from Williamsburg says:
Hey Danny, what about Berry is it safe to talk on your cell there at mid-night?

You guys moaning and groaning about hipsters need to put a sock in it. Its getting old.
That said, in no city is it safe to walk around drunk, alone, at night.
Aug. 17, 2010, 4:28 pm
Danny Stop it! says:
No one is supposed to put up with crime! We pay taxes to have cops preventing crime. If hipsters have zero tolerance for crime, so be it!
Let the hasids learn to pressure cops to that they also have no tolerance for crime! I know that the hasids have the old european mentality that they get beaten once in a while by tough people but it shouldnt be so.
ANd yes. Brooklyn is nicer than Oklahoma and we hope it will be even safer than Oklahoma with the right effort on part of the cops
Aug. 17, 2010, 5:36 pm

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