Friday, July 25, 2014

Lyons Pool Closed Early After Razor Blades Are Found In Water

Staten Island    

Lyons Pool was forced to close early last night after three razor blades were discovered in the water NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Compounding the problem the pool manager tried to prevent the discovery from being reported according to law enforcement sources.   

"The pool manager was arguing, asking why this had to be called in," said a source. 

"That ridiculous every precaution should be taken. What if someone gets hurt. They tried to cover their asses by not reporting it.

- Geoffrey Croft

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Police Searching For Suspects In Vicious Hyland Park Gang Attack

Police are searching for approximately 10 assailants who violently attacked three park patrons in broad daylight  in Hyland Park on May 17th.  Anyone with information is being asked to contact the 75th Pct Detective Squad -  Det. Sharon Vargas at (718) 827- 3548 or Det. Borough Brooklyn North at (718) 287- 3239   Case # 2014-2224

Police plastered the park with flyers calling the incident a "wilding" attack.

(Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) click on image to enlarge


By Geoffrey Croft

In what police describe as a "wilding" spree,  authorities are asking for the public's help in tracking down a gang responsible for a series of vicious attacks which left two park patrons with gun-shot injuries and a third with a stab wound that required 40 stitches.

The bloody rampage happened in broad daylight on May 18, 5:45 p.m. when a group of men, believed to be in their late teens to early 20's roamed through Highland Park in East New York armed with sticks, canes, knives and at least one gun, police said.

Media reports initially said it was an altercation stemming from a basketball game. Investigators however believe the attacks were random and three separate incidents as the victims did not know each other. 

A 18-year-old man reported being attacked by the gang and slashed four times in the left arm which required 40 stitches to close the wound.   He told the police he didn't know why he was targeted.

A 17-year-old male was playing basketball when he was approached by a Hispanic man who asked, "are you Trinitarios?" (a violent New York-based street gang composed of Hispanics)  The assailant then shot the teen one time in the left hip.  The victim was treated at Jamaica hospital.  

A 20-year-old man says he was walking in the park when he heard shots. He ran and he was struck one time in the right side of the chest by a bullet.
He was taken to Brookdale Hospital where he is expected to survive.

He told cops he never saw the shooter and doesn't know why he was targeted. 

There are no cameras in the park.

Police plastered the park with flyers calling the incident a "wilding" attack, a reference that came to describe the brutal attack and rape on a jogger in Central Park in April 1989.

The posters ask the public to contact the 75 Pct Detective Squad with any information. 

Police said they have no motives for the rampage in the 141 acre park which straddles the Brooklyn/Queens border and they have made no arrests. 

The case is still open and under investigation.

Former Bloomberg Operative Larry Scott Blackmon Lands At Controversial FreshDirect

"And now he's working against community interests including parks in the South Bronx." 
 - South Bronx resident 

Embedded image permalink

Access Denied.  For decades the Mott Haven waterfront in the South Bronx has been inaccessible due to commercial industry.  

In March a woman placed a sun flower on the locked gate leading to the Harlem River Railyard along the water front while protestors sat in front of the gate. Nine South Bronx residents were arrested in the peaceful civil disobedience action when a blocked gate prevented them from entering the public brownfield land, the proposed location of controversial FreshDirect relocation. The charges against those arrested were later dropped.    
(Photo: By Leah Kozak via Twitter)

The DOT NY State-owned land has been leased to the Galesi group for 99 years.


By Geoffrey Croft

FreshDirect has hired Larry Scott Blackmon,  the former "Deputy Commissioner for Community Outreach" at the Parks Department  who reportedly specializes in African-American outreach to head up Community and Government Affairs for the controversial online grocer.

He is being charged with "deepening and expanding the company's community involvement,"   according to a press release. 

Blackmon, a former Michael Bloomberg operative on two consecutive re-election campaigns  landed a high-paying job in the Parks Department with zero park experience after Bloomberg was elected to a third term.  

For the past several years South Bronx Unite,  a coalition of over fifty groups has been fighting the online grocer's planned subsidized re-location and truck facility move along the South Bronx waterfront.  

Long cut off from the waterfront the community is fighting for the land instead to be developed into open space and parks with green job and educational opportunities.

"And now he's working against community interests including parks in the South Bronx," said South Bronx resident Jennifer Rivera.   

Boycott FreshDirect
FreshDirect, if allowed to proceed, would bring 1,500 additional daily truck trips through the South Bronx.  Critics argue that the plan is a Bloomberg-era relic attempting to give the diesel-intensive on-line grocer nearly $130 million in public subsidies to move to this public waterfront land from Queens. 

Read More:
PR newswire - July 22, 2014 

Nine Arrested Protesting FreshDirect Relocation To South Bronx - Waterfront Access Denied

A Walk In The Park -  March 23, 2014 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - January 12, 2010  - By Geoffrey Croft

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Park Workers Arrested For Stealing Crime Victims' Cell Phone



By Geoffrey Croft

It was not a good day for Union Square Park.

Police arrested two heart-less welfare workers employed by the Parks Department who stole a victims' belongings while he was being attacked in Union Square Park last Tuesday night NYC Park Advocates has learned.

While cleaning the park at approximalty 9:30pm Job Training Participant (JTP) workers Lydia Brito, 52 (13 prior arrests) and Arabian Breland, 26 (two prior arrests)  schemed to steal a cell phone and clothes during an incident where the man was punched in the face according to the police.

Police responded and witnesses said the victim put his bag on the ground while being attacked and soon realized his bag was gone.

Witnesses told police the two parks cleaners picked up the victim's bag and placed it inside a trash container and walked away. When cops confronted the pair, they denied knowledge of the missing bag and cell phone. Cops found the phone and the missing bag.   

The seasonal employees were arrested and charged with criminal possession of stolen property.   

The two are due back in court on August 26th, where they will be arraigned.

"They are currently still employed with NYC Parks, pending the resolution of their case or further information regarding the incident," the Parks Department said in statement.

Earlier in the day another career criminal was arrested for stealing a woman's I-Phone in Union Square Park near Evelyn's Playground.

Career Criminal Steals Woman's Cell Phone In Union Sq. Park


By Geoffrey Croft

It was not a good day for Union Square Park.

A career criminal was arrested for stealing a 27-year-old woman's I-Phone in the famed park.

Walter Del Rosario, 49, was nabbed by police after an officer saw the assailant walk up to the woman and remove a Samsung Galaxy cell phone from the fanny pack she was wearing around her waist.

When officers approached the defendant, he dropped the Samsung cellphone.

The incident occurred on July 16, 2014, at about 12:30 PM, in the vicinity of Evelyn's Playground near 16th St. and West Union Square. 

Del Rosario has sixteen prior arrests.   

He was also wanted for a February 26, 2014 theft in Starbucks where he allegedly stole a Sony Vaio laptop, valued at approximately $2,000,  passport, keys, and a boarding pass from a man. 

The victim was sitting inside of Starbucks at 13 Astor Place where he had his backpack on the ground next to him swiped.

Police viewed video surveillance and saw the defendant take the backpack according to the compliant.

Del Rosario was charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree in both incidents and was arraigned on July 17th.  Bail was set at $1, 000 cash or bond. 

He was scheduled to appear in court today. 

Later that evening, two heart-less welfare workers employed by the Parks Department were arrested for stealing a person's cell phone he was while being attacked in Union Square Park. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Man Shot In The Neck At La Marina

La Marina, the controversial Parks Department concession located on Dyckman St. along the Hudson River waterfront in upper Manhattan was the scene of a shooting late Sunday evening.  A 27-year-old security guard was shot in the neck after breaking up a fight inside the club. 

Critics of the concession argue that what was intended to be a public access restaurant, cafe and marina has become in large part a private access nightclub and concert venue running until 1 am.   (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.



By Geoffrey Croft

A 27-year-old was shot once in the neck at the La Marina club in Inwood just before midnight after a dispute broke out NYC Park Advocates has learned.

La Marina security guard Andre Obert was shot braking up a fight inside the club.  

According to the police the victim was removed, via EMS, to St Luke’s Hospital in stable condition, and not likely to die.

The suspect is described as a black male wearing black clothes and a gold chain.

DNAinfo notes that La Marina is supposed to close at 11 p.m. from Sunday through Wednesday, according to a 2009 agreement between the club's operators and the Parks Department, which owns the land where the venue is located.  

However, photos and video from inside the club showed patrons still drinking inside after police responded to the 11:45 p.m incident.

The controversial Parks Department concession, located on Dyckman St. along the waterfront in upper Manhattan, has been a source of contention among neighborhood residents.

The concession has operated since July 2012 by the Manhattan River Group LLC and owned by Fernando Mateo, Jerald Tenenbaum,  Joshua Rosen and Alain Chevreux. Chris Villano's ownership has been bought out.  

Mateo, the former head of the state Federation of Taxi Drivers was accused in a 2013 lawsuit that he improperly paid himself $500, 000 during the outdoor lounge’s off-season,  “obliterated employee morale” and created a “hostile environment” at the lounge.

Critics argue that the Parks Department has allowed the concession to operate dramatically differently from what was initially presented to the public and charge that La Marina has consistently operated in violation of its License Agreement. 

Community residents have complained about the parkland use, capacity, operating hours, noise, parking/traffic, and public access to areas of the waterfront.

The stage on the beach area at La Marina hosts live events including concerts and DJ shows that attract thousands of people, a use critics argue was never presented to the public before the concession was approved.   

Security guard the VIP area of La Marina.

The Gang's All Here. Mayor Bloomberg was joined by La Marina partners and numerous elected officials at the ribbon-cutting on July 20, 2012. (from l) Josh Rosen,  Jerald Tennenbaum, Guiermo Linares,  Fernando Mateo, Parks Commissioner Adrain Benepe, and local elected officials Adriano Espaillat and Ydanis Rodriguez.  

Version of photo with caption that has been making the rounds on Inwood FaceBook pages which speaks to the level of frustration some community members feel regarding the lack of interest from thier local politicians in working towards solving the problems caused by La Marina as a nightclub. 

April 17, 2014.  Mayor Bill De blasio and wife Chirlane attend a private function at La Marina with numerous upper Manhattan power brokers. (from l)  Adriano Espaillat, Mayor de Blasio, La Marina partner Jerald Tannebaum, Charlie Rangel, Fernando Mateo (with mic)  Ydanis Rodriguez (with daughter) Chirlane McCray, and La Marina partner Josh Rosen. 

Read More:

New York Post - July 14, 2014 - By Kirstan Conley and Jamie Schram

DNAinfo - July 14,  2014  - By Lindsay Armstrong and Trevor Kapp

New York Daily News - By  Michael J. Feeney - July 14, 2014 

NY Post - December 23, 2013 - By Julia Marsh

Friday, July 11, 2014

McCarren Park Pool Assault As Teen Attacks Park Police


By Geoffrey Croft

An out-of-control teen denied access to McCarren Park Pool was arrested this afternoon after he attacked several Park Enforcement Patrol officers, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Julio Camilo, 17 attempted to gain entry into the pool at approximately 1:00 pm.  according to a  law enforcement source. 

"He was recognized as one of the troublemakers from the day before and told he couldn't get in," said a PEP officer at the scene.

When Parks Department workers tried to stop him at the front gate he ran past them and entered the locker room. A few seconds later he emerged on the pool deck fully clothed and began yelling and cursing.

PEP officers approached the teen. They attempted to calm him down and asked him to leave.  He refused.  As they moved in Camilo resisted and punched one of the officers in the face. 

He refused to be hand cuffed and three officers wound up wrestling with him on the pool deck floor.

The NYPD assisted in crowd control preventing his friends - who were cursing and threatening the officers - from joining in.
One PEP officer sustained a chipped tooth and another a possible broken wrist.  They are currently being evaluated at Bellevue Hospital.

Julio Camilo was brought to the 94 Pct.  

He is being charged with Assault On A Peace Officer, Resisting Arrest and Disorderly Conduct. 

"Every day we have to deal with disorderly people here. Many times they don't get reported because it becomes routine," said an officer.