Sunday, August 30, 2015

Man Threatens Park Goers With Guns In Brooklyn Park

The suspect tossing around a football in lower Highland Park this afternoon. (Photos: NYC Park Advocates)


By Geoffrey Croft

Police are looking for a gun-toting man who threatened park goers in a Brooklyn park this afternoon.

Park patrons were stunned to see  several firearms from a man playing football on the soccer field in Highland Park near Jamaica Avenue and Elton Street around noon today.

When the football he was throwing came too close to a woman, her companion asked the man to be careful with the ball. The man responded by lifting up his arms,  which exposed a gun in his front belt. He turned around to show another firearm which he was carrying in the back.

A father with his fifteen-year-old son flagged down park enforcement patrol officers who searched the park. They were joined by multiple NYPD patrol cars who canvased the park with negative results.

"It was scary," said a witness.

"We come here with our families and our kids, he should not be carrying weapons. We were very lucky, you never know what could have happened."

The suspect is described as a black male, six feet, approximately 250 pounds.

The suspect, dressed in jeans and black t-shirt,  running out of the soccer field.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

De Blasio Declines To Join Willets Point West Appeal - Not Due To Preserving Parkland Or Legal Grounds However

The De Blasio administration has elected not to join an appeal by developers over the Willets Point West lawsuit they lost last month. The administration is doing this not in an effort to protect public park land but instead in the hopes of renegotiating better affordable housing terms than the deal struck under Bloomberg the De Blasio administration.  

Related Companies and Sterling Equities are looking to build a 1.4 million square foot mall on 48 acres of mapped parkland in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, west of Citi-Field stadium.  This represents the largest public parkland giveaway in recent history. The proposed Willets Point West Mall project would allow the seizing of the public parkland to be used exclusively for non-park purposes without first getting State Alienation approval as is required under the law.  The construction of such a mall on public parkland would be unprecedented. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates)


By Geoffrey Croft

In yet another example of its lack of interest in protecting public parkland the De Blasio administration has declined to support plaintiff's efforts to preserve 48 acres in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.      

In an effort to renegotiate better terms of a terrible Willets Point affordable housing deal struck under Bloomberg the De Blasio administration has chosen not to join an appeal filed by developers over the Willets Point West lawsuit they lost last month, according to Crain's New York Business.

The New York State Appellate Division ruled in favor of plaintiffs, including NYC Park Advocates, who sued to block the city and the Queens Development Group from seizing nearly 48 acres of public parkland in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. 

The court ruled that the project violated the Public Trust Doctrine and prevents any construction on parkland from going forward. 

The Queens Development Group - a joint venture between The Related Companies and Sterling Equities, whose owners are New York Met's principle owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz,  are attempting to build a 1.4 million square foot mall as part of a 48 acre project in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. 

The proposed mall on parkland however was never part of the original Willets Point development that was approved in 2008. The public land was thrown in to sweeten the deal for developers and was never approved.  

According to the article in Crains, it appears the de Blasio administration is looking to renegotiate the timetable for delivery of affordable housing units in the project, among other things. The Willets Point project, located on the other side of Citi-Field involves clearing 24 acres of auto shops and junkyards, installing infrastructure.

Area residents, open space advocates,  and business owners have long criticized the deal as a giveaway to private developers. 

City Council member, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland,  who helped deliver the project for the developers and the Bloomberg administration,  has indicated she is open to renegotiating to see if the city can get a better deal. 

"We really wanted to see significant improvements that would mean that the public would also see a healthy mix of affordable and market-rate housing, delivered on a real time frame," Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen said in a statement to the publication.

"We know a lot has gone into this project, and we hope that this team will continue to work towards that goal with us."

Protecting parkland however is not part of the goal. 

The Related Companies and Sterling Equities just got approval to build this mall on the western parking lot of Citi Field.
Proposed Nightmare - Willets Point West.  

Read More:

De Blasio in stunning about-face on De Blasio Willets Point project
The mayor's decision not to appeal a court ruling threatening the project reveals his attempt to renegotiate terms of the $3 billion redevelopment.
Crain's New York Business - August 19, 2015 -  By Joe Anuta

Court Rejects Parkland Shopping Mall Deal In Flushing Meadows Corona Park
A Walk In The Park - By Geoffrey Croft 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Teens Shot In Riverside Park


Two teenagers are recovering at the hospital after they were shot overnight in Riverside Park in Manhattan.  

Police responded to a 911 call of a shooting around 12:27 a.m. Sunday and found a 19-year-old man shot in the leg and a 17-year-old girl shot in the buttocks around 158th Street and the West Side Highway. 

 The shooting followed a dispute, police said.

 They are searching for a group of men who were seen leaving the location. 

 The victims were taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition.

Read More:

Teens shot in Riverside Park overnight after dispute
WPIX - August 9, 2015 - By Julia Jacobo     

WABC - August 9, 2015

Friday, August 7, 2015

Teen Sexually Assaulted On Brooklyn Beach


A Brooklyn man was arrested for touching an underage teen in the water at Manhattan Beach last weekend,  NYC Park Advocates has learned.

A 15-year-old girl told police she was sexually assaulted by a man who grabbed her private parts underneath her bathing suit while in the water. 

The teen was transported to Coney Island Hospital.

The incident occured on Saturday at approximately 4:40 P.M. in Manhattan Beach Park.  

Azamat Mahmudov, 37, of Ocean Avenue was arrested by the NYPD and charged with Forceable Touching, Endangering  the Welfair Of A Child,  Sexual Abuse, and Harrassment, according to the Brooklyn DA's office.     

Bail was set at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond according to the Brooklyn DA's office.  

- Geoffrey Croft

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mugging Victim Beaten Unconscious With Baseball Bat In Flushing Meadows Park


By Geoffrey Croft

A man was viciously attacked by group in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Jorge Huerta, 21, was repeatedly hit in the head, stomach and leg with a baseball bat.

While he was passed out the group stole his cell phone his family said.

The man was walking home in the park at 9:30 on Sunday night after playing soccer when he was jumped by a group as he was checking his phone.

He was brought to Elmhurst Hospital where he received 20 stitches in his head. He has severe bruising throughout his body.

The family is originally from Equator and said Jorge did not know the group that attacked him.

Sunday's attack is the latest in a series of violent incidents that have occured in parks. 

Two Shot In Brooklyn Park


Violence in parks continues as two people were shot in a Crown Heights park last night. 

Two males, one 23 and the other 24, were shot in Brower Park.

The 23-year was shot in the left ankle, while 24-year-old was shot in the right knee while playing basketball.

The incident happened last night at approx. 9:45pm. within the confines of the 77 Pct.

The park has had gang issues in prior years. 

- Geoffrey Croft

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Central Park: Police Release Sketch Of Suspect Wanted In Atempted Knife-Point Robbery

The police released a sketch of the suspect wanted in Saturday's attempted robbery of a  
31-year-old male on East Drive and East 109 Street at 3:50pm. in Central Park.

The victim said that while sitting on a tree log counting his money the suspect approached him, brandished a knife and demanded money, stating "Let me get that!"  The suspect is described as a male black, approximately 30 years old, 6' 00" tall, weighing 180 lbs., wearing a baseball hat, black shorts, a white shirt and white sneakers.


The New York City Police Department is asking the public's assistance identifying the suspect wanted for an attempted robbery within the confines of the Central Park Precinct. Details are as follows:

On Saturday, August 1, 2015 at 1550 hours, police responded to a report of an attempted robbery at East Drive and East 109 Street, with the confines of the Central Park Precinct.  Upon arrival, officers were met by the 31 year-old male victim who stated that while sitting on a tree log at the location, counting his money, the suspect approached him, brandished a knife and demanded money, stating "Let me get that!" The victim shouted at the suspect and fled the location. The suspect left the location empty handed. There were no injuries sustained as a result of the incident.

The suspect is described as a male black, approximately 30 years old, 6' 00" tall, weighing 180 lbs., wearing a baseball hat, black shorts, a white shirt and white sneakers.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Read More:

‘Let me get that!’: Attempted-robbery suspect to man counting money
New York Post - August 5, 2015 - By Dana Sauchelli

WCBS -  August 5, 2015