Friday, August 26, 2016

Police Seek Bike Riding Muggers Wanted In Riverside Park Robbing Spree

Police say a group of teens on bikes have been responsible for seven robberies in Riverside Park over several weeks. Police in the 20, 26 and 28 precincts have stepped up uniformed patrols round the clock as a result. A patrol car makes the rounds his evening near the skate park on 108th Street in the park. Violent crime in Riverside Park has risen 30% over the last nine months.  In 2015 the park reported third highest number of crimes of any city park.    (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge. 


By Geoffrey Croft

Police are searching for a group of teens on bikes wanted in a series of robberies in Riverside Park, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The group of between two and four teens, a mix of male blacks and male hispanics on bikes have struck seven times between the end of July and August 15th. 

The robbery pattern have taken place during the day and night.

The muggers used the threat of physical force or physical force.

The thieves have taken cell phones, money and in one case, the attempted robbery of a bike.

Police in the 20, 26 and 28 precincts have stepped up uniformed patrols round the clock as a result.

The latest incident occurred on August 15th when a 65-year-old man was riding a bike along the Greenway just south of 125th Street when he was approached by 4 teens on bikes who stopped him.

One of the assailants blocked his path while another pulled a knife and demanded his bike. 

The man refused and was assaulted by three others who punched him in the face repeatedly.

Several other riders came to his aid and the assailants fled without the bike. 

Violent crime in the park continues to rise.

On August 5, a woman was sexually assaulted while walking her dog in Riverside park.  The man demanded oral sex and grabbed her. The victim bit the attacker and was able to escape.

A reward poster in connection to the August 5th sexual attack of a woman in Riverside Park.   (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge. 

Violent crime in Riverside Park has risen 30% over the last nine months according to the latest crime data reporting period ending on April 30th.  The park reported 13 incidents compared to 10.

City-wide 417 people reported being the victims of violent crime over the last nine months, an increase of 23%. 

The de Blasio administration in turn has responded by saying that crimes in parks remain "rare,” that parks are "by far the safest place in the entire universe."

Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver called the 23% rise, a “small uptick.”   

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Central Park: Bicyclist In Critical Condition After Fall

A 67-year-old man was seriously injured after falling off his bike trying to avoid a jogger this evening in Central Park.  (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.


By Geoffrey Croft

A 67-year-old Manhattan resident riding a bike is in critical condition after he flipped over the handlebars while trying to avoid a jogger in Central Park this evening, NYC Park Advocates has learned.  

The man was pedaling north in the bike lane on the East Drive at 102nd Street when he swerved to avoid a jogger according to police and lost control.

He landed on his face according to witnesses at the scene. 

The bike is examined by a police officer in the highway division.

Witnesses said several doctors who were nearby began helping him almost immediately after the accident before EMS arrived. 

The incident occurred at 6:30 p.m. police said.  

The man was taken to St Luke’s  Hospital in critical condition according to police but not likely to die.

In June a cyclist was seriously injured when he fell under a truck in Central Park after striking another rider along the East Drive near 71st Street.  

A witness explains what he saw to the police.

The police cordoned off the area on the East Drive near 102nd Street. 

 The incident occurred at a busy time of the day for park users.

Blood of the victim on the asphalt.

Police compare notes at the scene.

(Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Woman Stabbed In Queens Playground In Botched Robbery


By Geoffrey Croft

A woman was stabbed in a Queens playground after thieves demanded a cell phone she didn't have.
The 31-year-old woman was sitting on park bench on Sunday evening inside Grover Cleveland Playground when three males, 18, approached and demanded her phone.

The victim said she had no phone and tried to run away.

The assailants chased her. One stabbed the victim in the upper right shoulder.
A good Samaritan came to her aid and yelled scaring off her attackers.
The woman was Victim taken to Wyckoff Hospital.

The incident occurred in the park near at Fairview Avenue and Stanhope Street.

Two people were murdered in city parks over the weekend.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Man Shot 14 Times In Brooklyn Park Celebrating Son’s 3rd Birthday


By Geoffrey Croft

A man was shot 14 times in a Brooklyn park early Sunday morning while celebrating his son’s 3rd birthday.  

Violence erupted just after 1:30 am in Scarangella Park  at West 13th Street between Avenues U and V when a gunman opened fire on Daquan Spencer, 30 who lived a few blocks away. 

The victim was attending a birthday party for his son when someone opened fire, hitting him 14 times, twice in the neck, one time in the left temple, chest left shoulder, three times in the abdomen and three times in the right thigh as well as buttocks back and hip.
Eighteen spent shell casings found inside the park according to police.

Spencer was rushed to Coney Island Hospital where he later died.

Eye-witnesses were able to identify the shooter to police.  

A few hours earlier a 62 year old woman was shot and killed while playing playing dominoes in a Harlem park.

Woman, 62, Killed Playing Dominoes In Harlem Park


By Geoffrey Croft

A 62-year-old woman was killed when two stray bullets struck her on Saturday night in a Harlem Park.

Police were clearing Colonel Young Park of hundreds of people inside the park after hours, when they heard shots fired.
Cops transmitted the call and found the victim Odessa Simms lying on the sidewalk unconscious, with one shot to the base of the head, and one to the left shoulder.

The incident occured on Saturday, at 11:44 p.m,  near the northeast corner of West 144th Street and Lenox Avenue, inside Colonel Young Park.

She was taken to Harlem hospital and pronounced dead at 12:27am.

She lived two blocks away from the horrific scene.

Simms was standing, holding on to a park bench, where she had been playing dominoes with her back turned to Lenox Avenue, close to the basketball courts when the shots rang out according to police.

Eyewitness told police a male in this 30's was running with a silver firearm wearing all back chasing a light skinned male, early 30's in a white tank top southbound along Lenox Avenue between 145 st Street towards 144th Street when he fired at the man he was chasing.
He missed the intended target and shot the woman.
Two hours later a man was shot 14 times and killed in a Brooklyn park while celebrating his son's 3rd birthday.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Deliveryman Robbed At Upper Manhattan Park


A deliveryman was robbed by a group at an upper Manhattan park. 

The 32-year-old deliveryman was at Fort Washington Park and West 158th Street on Friday night at 11:45pm when he was approached by a group of teens. They punched and kicked him and demanded his bike and cell phone.

He was struck with a wooden stick.

The assailants fled on the victim's bike with his cell phone.

EMS transported the victim to a local hospital

-  By Geoffrey Croft

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Machete & Knife Attack In Queens Park - Victim In Critical Condition


By Geoffrey Croft

A man was slashed by a machete and stabbed several times last night in a Jackson Heights park,  NYC Park Advocates has learned, the same park where a teen was brutally attacked in May.

The 21-year-old victim said he was walking through Travers Park when he was approached by three strange men and got into an argument.

One of the men pulled out a machete and slashed the victim in the head, and twice on the left arm and once in the right.

The victim was also stabbed four times in the lower back.

The incident occurred at 8:35 p.m. in the park near 77th Street and Northern Blvd.  within the confines of the 115pct.

Police said the victim is in critical but stable condition.

The victim is not cooperating with police at this point and no arrests have been made.

Travers Park is the location of a vicious attack in May where an 18-year-old Hispanic male playing basketball was attacked by 10 men in what police believed to be a gang related.

The victim was stabbed in the back and suffered a collapsed lung, multiple stab wounds, and swelling and bruising to the face.  He was also hit with a chain and slashed with a broken bottle above his right eye.

Read More:

18-Year Old Stabbed In Back Playing Basketball By Gang 
A Walk In The Park - May 12, 2016 - By Geoffrey Croft