Sunday, August 31, 2014

Suspects Arrested In Central Park BB Gun Hate Crime Atacks

Edward J. Fall,  20,  being led away from the 10th Precinct by detectives after his arrest. He was charged in connection to two separate pellet-gun shootings in Central Park this month. Fall blamed other friends, including Antwan Ross (below) for firing on other people and a dog over a 10-day period. (Photo: Jeff Bachner for New York Daily News)


By Geoffrey Croft

Edward J. Fall,  20, of Morningside Heights was arrested in connection to two separate pellet-gun shootings in Central Park this month.  

Fall is accused of shooting a female jogger in the back of the head with a BB gun while she was exiting Central Park on August 18th near 60th Street and West Drive around midnight.  

He is also being charged with the shooting of a 34-year-old jogger in the head with a pellet gun near Central Park North and East Drive on August 17th.

Fall was charged with assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon as part of a hate crime, according to police. 

Fall claims a friend named "Hollywood" actually committed the crime and another pal,  Antwan Ross,  21, (below) was responsible for firing on two other people and a dog. 

Antwan Ross, 21 smiles as he leaves Manhattan Criminal Court on Sunday carrying a small child. He was arrested in connection to the shootings. (Photo: Alec Tabak for New York Daily News)

The police released surveillance video footage and a sketch of one of the female suspects wanted in a August 18th attack in Central Park.

Read More:

New York Daily News - August 31,  2014 - By Edgar Sandoval,  Caitlin Nolan

WCBS - August 30,  2014

A Walk In The Park - August 23, 2014 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Central Park: Woman Shot In Head With BB Gun - NYPD Hate Crime Unit Investigating Attack

The police released surveillance video and a sketch of one of the female suspects wanted in a August 18th attack in Central Park. A 36-year-old  jogger was shot in the back of the head with a BB gun in Central Park by five people who shouted anti-white epithets. The incident occurred near 60th Street and West Drive just after midnight.  The suspects - three men and two women - are believed to be between 15 and 20 years old.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.


The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating an assault that happened in Central Park last Monday, according to WCBS News.

According to police, a 36-year-old woman was assaulted while exiting the park near 60th Street and West Drive around midnight.

CBS 2’s Don Champion spoke exclusively with the victim, who didn’t want to show her face.

Detectives say she was shot in the back of the head with a BB gun.

“I immediately put my hand to the back of my head and there was blood everywhere and I turned around and I said, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing? What did you do to me?” she said.

What they said to her next, she says, was a mix of expletives, and “white people should die.”

She said she is still struggling to make sense of what happened to her.

“I didn’t make extreme eye contact. There was nothing said,” she said. “I don’t understand, I don’t understand at all.” 

The victim spent the night in the hospital where doctors told her it’s too dangerous to remove the BB that’s now lodged in the soft tissue of her head, Champion reported.

“They physically have marked me, if you will. It’s possible, maybe in the future that they’ll remove it,” she said. 

The victim says she’s now afraid of people coming up behind her and loud noises.  “I also have to pray for those people because where did they learn that kind of hatred?” she said.

Police described the suspects as between 15 and 20 years old and all wearing dark-colored clothing.  The attack has shocked some joggers and put some on high alert.  “It brings concerns. There should be more park rangers protecting runners,” jogger Sujeiry Corniel told CBS 2’s Don Champion.

Anyone with information regarding the attack is urged to  call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Read/View More:

NYPD Hate Crime Unit Investigating Central Park Attack
WCBS - August 23, 2014

‘Anti-white statements’ made after jogger shot with pellet 
New York Post - August 23, 2014 -  By Natasha Velez

Tompkinsville Park Deteriorates Since Police Orders Parks' To Keep It Open Since Eric Garner's Death

Unlawful activity in Tompkinsville Park has increased dramatically since the Police Department instructed the Parks Department not to lock up the park at night. The order came the day after the choking death of Eric Garner's by the police.  As of July, there have been close to a hundred arrests in the vicinity of park this year on quality-of-life type violations.   "The park needs a lot of attention," said a Park law enforcement source. "Public urination, drinking, drug use,  the homeless are washing their clothes in the fountain."  

Police expect a large crowd today at a planned march and rally. The event is expected to begin at 11 a.m. at 204 Bay St. across from Tompkinsville Park where the 43-year-old Garner was killed. 

Staten Island

The NYPD has told the Parks Department to stand down when it comes to aggressively patrolling the park that is located right in the middle of the uproar surrounding Eric Garner's death at the hands of police. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
A sign outside Tompkinsville Park reads "This Park Closes at Dusk." And yet at 10 o'clock at night its gates are unlocked and there are still people hanging out inside.
"I've seen like people drinking, out of the paper bags and stuff, I haven't actually seen like drug use, but I mean, you'll see the guy smoking the doobie and whatever," said one passerby.
As of July, there were close to a hundred arrests in the park this year on quality of life type violations. It's just one of 11 on Staten Island that is supposed to be locked every night by the Parks Enforcement Patrol, or PEP.
PEP officers lock the gate and clear loiterers from the area in the hopes of preventing vandalism and other illegal activity. Parks officers - and the NYPD - are allowed to issue summonses to anyone caught hanging around inside after hours. Residents say that has been common practice for the last several years, until very recently.
"It's supposed to be closed; there's no lights in the park," said one neighborhood resident.
"If they always close it then they shouldn't have changed that," said another neighborhood resident.
But since Eric Garner's death across the street at the hands of the police, residents say that has changed.
Garner is the 43-year-old father of six who died during a quality-of-life crackdown by police who were trying to stop the illegal sale of cigarettes.
The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and a grand jury will decide whether charges will be brought in the case.
Sources say since Garner's death, the Parks Department has been told by the NYPD to stop locking the park and issuing summonses to anyone hanging out inside.
"The police want it open? Why? That makes no sense," said one Tompkinsville resident.
In the short time NY1 was at the park, the station witnessed public drinking, public urination, and a fist fight: All reasons residents say the park should be off limits after dark.
The NYPD confirms it did tell the Parks Department to relax its rules about closing the park because of the sensitivity of the situation with Garner, pointing to a memorial in his honor nearby.
Police vehicles were visible during NY1's visit and the NYPD says the area is still heavily patrolled.
Read/View More:

NY1 - August 22, 2014 - By Amanda Farinacci  

Friday, August 22, 2014

Woman On Bike With Dog Run Over By Parks Department Garbage Truck


Parks Department mini-packer garbage truck. (File Photo)  The Parks' truck hit a 20-year-old woman while biking and her  5-month-old Pomeranian. 


By Geoffrey Croft

A 20-year-old woman and her  5-month-old Pomeranian puppy, Charlie, were injured after being struck by a Parks Department garbage truck NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The incident occurred yesterday evening around 5:10pm at 104 Street & 43 Avenue.

A Parks Department source said the rider was weaving through traffic on her bike when it struck by the garbage truck.

The woman sustained an injury to her left arm when the rear tire of  "mini-packer" ran over it. 

The injured bike rider and dog were transported to Elmhurst Hospital. The woman was in stable condition according to EMS.

The puppy suffered three fractures and substantial bleeding, but no internal injuries, so he should be able to make a full recovery according to the FDNY. 

Read More:

City Parks Dept. Truck Hits, Injures Woman Biking With Her Puppy in Queens
DNAinfo - August 22, 2014 - By Natalie Musumeci  

Central Park Cafe Robbed


Burglars swiped a safe containing thousands in cash from a Central Park cafe, police sources said, according to the New York Post.

A clerk arriving for work at the Knish Nosh cafe near East 74th Street at 6 a.m. Monday realized the side door was ajar, according to sources.  He alerted the owner of the cafe, who found that the safe had been pried loose from its floor bolts, the sources said.  Work boots and a pickax were recovered at the scene, police sources said.

The safe contained between $15,000 and $17,000, said authorities.

Read More:

Daily Blotter
New York Post - August 22, 2014 - By Matt McNulty, Aaron Feis and Natasha Velez

Couple Held Up At Gunpoint In East River Park Robberies


Cops are looking for four robbers believed to be responsible for three thefts in 35 minutes on the Lower East Side, according to the NY Post.   

The gang of two men and two women knocked a ­29-year-old victim to the ground at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday near Cherry and Rutgers streets, authorities said.  The suspects punched the victim and stole his bracelet and $40, police said.  Cops said the goons struck again a half-hour later, pulling a gun on a man and a woman sitting in East River Park.  Neither victim was harmed, but the thieves fled with the woman’s purse, authorities said.  Five minutes later, the group held up an 18-year-old man in the park, snatching the victim’s watch, according to police.  The thieves are believed to be between 18 and 20 years old.

Read More:

Daily Blotter
New York Post - August 22, 2014 - By Matt McNulty, Aaron Feis and Natasha Velez

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Suspect Wanted In Central Park Robberies

The police released this sketch of a suspect wanted in several strong-arm robberies
in Central Park since Monday in the vicinity of 74 Street and East Drive near the Loeb Boathouse just after 12:00am. In both incidents the assailant placed the victim in a chokehold and robbed them.  


The NYPD is seeking the public's assistance in locating and identifying the following individual wanted in connection to a robbery pattern within the confines of the 22nd Precinct (Central Park). 

The circumstances are as follows:

1:  On Monday, August 18, 2014 at approximately 0005 hours, the suspect approached the 47 year-old male victim from behind in the vicinity of 74 Street and East Drive and placed him into a chokehold. The suspect then brought the victim to the ground and removed his backpack, which contained $7 in cash, one (1) debit card, and two (2) credit cards.  The suspect then fled to parts unknown.

2:  On Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at approximately 0025 hours, the suspect engaged the 47 year-old male victim in conversation in the vicinity of 74 Street and the East Drive and placed him in a chokehold.  The suspect then brought the victim to the ground and removed his bag, which contained $140 in cash and a debit card.

The suspect is described as follows:

Male, Black, approximately 6'5"

A sketch is attached.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Judge Dismisses Flushing Meadows Park "Willets Point West" Lawsuit - Group Vows To Appeal

A scheme hatched by the Bloomberg Administration and the City Council aims to hand over 47. 5 acres of Flushing Meadows - Corona Park worth as estimated $ 1 billion dollars to The Related Companies and Sterling Equities to build a 1.4 million sq. ft. mall known as Willets Point West. They are attempting to push the massive project through without receiving any approvals or even a vote. (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) 


A New York State Supreme Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed to prevent dozens of acres of public parkland from being developed into the city's largest shopping mall.  The group vows to appeal.     

Justice Manuel J. Mendez  dismissed the lawsuit which challenges the give-away of 47 acres of public parkland in Flushing Meadows Corona Park worth an estimated $ 1 billion to The Related Companies/ Sterling Equities to build "Willet's West," a 1.4 million square foot mega-mall adjacent to CitiField.  (full decision below)

A coalition of area residents,  environmental groups, business and home owners, and State Senator Tony Avella filed a lawsuit in New York County Supreme Court in February demanding the City halt its illegal handing over of mapped Parkland to build a mega-mall.

The suit also asks the Court to nullify actions taken by the Planning Commission, and approved by the Council in October of last year, to permit construction of parking facilities in Willets Point in lieu of the affordable housing and supportive facilities called for by the 2008 plan.  

The complaint alleges that the project cannot proceed without approval by the State Legislature under the “public trust” doctrine that protects all parkland throughout the State against non-park uses without the consent of the Legislature which was not requested or obtained.

The City and developers claim entitlement to the land based on a 1961 law which authorized the construction of Shea Stadium.

The suit claims that the 1961 law never granted the defendants the use of the premises for these purposes.  

During the oral arguments on July 30th the developers and the City spent most of the time talking about the alleged benefits their project and very little time addressing the legal issues before the Court.  The Plaintiffs argued that the defendants were brazenly violating State law and the City Charter's land use provisions. 

“Most of their response, in their argument, had actually nothing to do with the issue at hand," State Senator Tony Avella commented after the hearing last month.

"The issue is that they still have to get the necessary approval from the State Legislature and undergo the City’s land use process before being able to develop on-site. As things stand right now, the developers are illegally taking away parkland and the City is letting them!" the Senator said.

Related Companies and Sterling Equities are attempting to build a 1.4 million square foot mall on 47.5 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 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. 

The oral arguments also  provided some colorful moments.  Former Chief NY State Supreme Justice Judith Kaye, counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom representing the developers  explicitly inferred that shopping was a "recreational use." 

Plaintiff's include State Senator Tony Avella, City Club of New York, Queens Civic Congress, several members of Willets Point United Inc., and nearby residents/business owners, and NYC Park Advocates. 

"The decision flies in the face of the Public Trust Doctrine and ignores long-established case law, " said NYC Park Advocates, president Geoffrey Croft, a plaintiff in the suit. 

"Equally troubling is it bestows the powers of the former Board of Estimate for  land-use decisions to one person, the Mayor.  This is ironic considering the Board was declared unconstitutional because it violated the "one man, one vote"  provision of the Equal Protection Clause  which was determined to be un-democratic.  This is an issue that every NYC resident and elected official should be greatly concerned with," Croft stated 

"Plaintiffs believe that the decision misunderstands the common law doctrine that prohibits any nonpark use of parkland without the specific and explicit approval of the State Legislature,"   the plaintiff's attorney John Low-Beer said in a statement.  

"The State Legislature, when it passed the 1961 law permitting the construction of Shea Stadium, did not intend to allow construction of a shopping mall.  That law did not allow the construction of anything except a stadium and related facilities on the site.  Plaintiffs will appeal, and believe that this decision will be reversed on appeal."

"It was disheartening to learn of Justice Mendoza's decision today in respect to the Willets West lawsuit," NY State Senator Tony Avella, who represents the 11th Senatorial District, and a plaintiff in the lawsuit stated. 

"We made some very good legal arguments and strongly believe that we are in the right on this issue. I look forward to submitting an appeal alongside the other plaintiffs and feel confident about a future positive outcome."

The proposed  1.4 million square foot retail and entertainment development was approved by the City Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Rendering of the $ 3 billion dollar Willets Point projects.

Read More:

New York Daily News - August 21,  2014 - By Eli Rosenberg

Despite win, Willets Point developers are cautious
Crain's NY Business -  August 21, 2014 - By Joe Anuta 

New York Daily News - August 4, 2014,  By Tony Avella & John Low-Beer 

A Walk In The Park - February 11,  2014 

City Limits - November 1, 2013 - By Patrick Arden

Legal Questions Emerge About Citi Field Mall

City Limits - July 30, 2012 - By Patrick Arden

Man Arrested In Bensonhurst Park Shooting - 4 People Shot in City Parks On Sat.


By Geoffrey Croft

Four people were shot in city parks on Saturday.

Police arrested Ilya Shmaley, 53, for the shooting of a 50-year-old man in broad daylight inside a Brooklyn park, NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

The victim was pistol whipped and shot once in the stomach after a verbal dispute inside Bensonhurst Park at Bath Avenue and Bay 29th Street, about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

A portion of  the victims's colon had to be removed due to the bullet wound. He also suffered  internal bleeding and a laceration to the liver.

Shmaley was arrested nearby and charged with nine counts including Attempted Murder,  Assault as well as Harassment and Menacing according to the Brooklyn DA's office.

He is being on $100,000 bond/$50,000 cash bail.

His next court date is August 22nd.


A few hours later 3 people were shot in Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem. 

No arrests have be made in that incident.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Comptroller Faults Parks Dept. Mismanagement of Contractors In Street Trees Audit - Public Saftey Concerns, Wasting Tax Dollars

“Tax dollars are wasted, property is damaged and, worst of all, people are sometimes injured or killed. Time and time again in four of the five boroughs, the Parks Department failed to properly manage the work done by private contractors." - City Comptroller Scott Stringer

Controller Scott Stringer’s office audit found that private contractors hired by the Parks Department were pruning Street trees that didn’t need to be while others that needed to be were not pruned at all. The Parks Department provided failed to give contractors lists of trees  that needed to be pruned, or inaccurate lists and they could not produce evidence that the work was inspected. (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge


By Geoffrey Croft

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) has mismanaged the City’s street tree pruning program responsible for maintaining approximately 650,000 street trees citywide, increasing the risk of personal injury and property damage from falling branches, according to an audit released on Sunday by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.

The report focused on the parks department’s borough forestry offices mismanagement of contractors who prune street trees.   

“When the Parks Department, with responsibility for 650,000 (street) trees, can’t figure out what the left hand and the right hand is doing, it causes a real danger to the community. It hurts the fiscal condition of our city,” said Stringer, who held a news conference on West 23rd Street near ninth Avenue in Chelsea on Sunday.  The announcement was made near where someone was hit in the forehead by a falling branch in 2011, which resulted in a $4,000 settlement by the city.

“People are injured and sometimes even killed when trees are not properly cared for.”  

 Over the last few years the city had paid $390,000 to $14.8 million to settle claims related to injuries from falling branches Stringer said.  

Manhattan and Staten Island were the two worst-performing boroughs while the comptroller singled out Queens as the only borough that emerged unscathed.

Read/View More

LEADS TO POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS CONDITIONS ON CITY STREETS Parks’ negligence increases the risk that falling limbs will injure people and damage property

Contractors fail to prune trees, put public in danger: report
NY Post - August 17, 2014 - By Kate Briquelet  

WCBS - August 17, 2014  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

3 Shot In Thomas Jefferson Park

Police investigate outside the pool area Saturday night in Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem where three men were shot and injured.  (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge.


By Geoffrey Croft

Three men were shot and injured in an East Harlem park Saturday night.

The men were shot a few minutes before 10 p.m. in Thomas Jefferson Park on 113th Street and First Avenue.

Two men were taken to Harlem Hospital and the other victim was taken to St. Luke's Hospital, all with non-life threatening injuries according to the police. 

Police said no one has been arrested in connection with the shooting.

At one point the police searched the park's pool but say no firearm has been recovered. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lifeguard Sexually Assaulted At Rockaway Beach



By  Geoffrey Croft

A 51-year-old black male was arrested yesterday afternoon after he forcibly touched  a female lifeguard at Rockaway Beach, NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Terrell Webb,  of 114th Drive of St. Albans, Queens was arrested after he alegedly rubbed the woman's genitalia with his fingers,  "without her consent, which caused her annoyance and alarm," according to the  Queens District Attorney's office. 

The assailant approached a female lifeguard, 24, when she finished an exercise drill and started a conversation.  While talking he reached over and touched her arm, elbow and back and then her private parts according to a Park Department source.  

She ran away crying and reported the incident to a Parks Department maintenance worker who contacted Park Enforcement Patrol and the NYPD. 

"He dropped to his knees and apoogized, begging for forgiveness," said the source. 

The man was arrested by Park Enforcement Patrol & transported to the 100th Precinct. 

The incident occurred at 116th Street at approximately 10:00am.

Webb is presently awaiting arraignment on a criminal complaint charging him with third-degree sexual abuse, a Class B misdemeanor, and second-degree harassment, a violation, the office of the Queens DA said.

If convicted he faces up to three months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.

Webb has been arrested numerous times including for disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental justice.

He has been arrested 7 prior times in Queens alone since 2009 according to the Queens DA. 

Read More:

DNAinfo - August 14, 2014  -  By Katie Honan

NY Post - August 15, 2014 - By Kirstan Conley, Natasha Velez and Dana Sauchelli  

gothamist - August 14, 2014 - By Lauren Evans 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Parks Worker Found Dead In Kissena Park


By Geoffrey Croft

A seasonal park employee assigned to the tennis courts in Kissena Park was found unconscious today NYC Park Advocates has learned.

EMS transported Joseph Sharp, 47, to Flushing Hospital, where he later passed away. 

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

Mr. Sharp worked for the Parks Department as a City Seasonal Aide in various positions since 2006 according to the agency. 

"We are saddened to hear of the loss of Joseph Sharp," the Parks Department said in a statement.

"Mr. Sharp began with Parks in 2006, serving in capacities ranging from Job Training Participant to City Seasonal Aide to Filter Plant Operator at Fisher Pool.  He assisted with SuperStorm Sandy recovery.  At the time of his passing, he was working as a seasonal CSA at the Kissena Park tennis courts.  

Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time."

Monday, August 11, 2014

Police Arrest Suspect In Marcus Garvey Stabbing

Three days after Timothy Goodwin, 41,  was stabbed to death in broad daylight in Marcus Garvey Park police arrested a suspect.


On Sunday police arrested Melson Judkins, 20, who is accused of stabbing 41-year-old Timothy Goodwin to death in Marcus Garvey Park on Friday afternoon, according the NY Daily News.

A source at the scene told  A Walk In The Park that Goodwin was fighting with a woman on the sidewalk moments before he was murdered.

Read More:

Man Dies After Being Stabbed In Neck After Dispute in Marcus Garvey Park 
A Walk In The Park - August 8, 2014 

Girl, 10, Finds Loaded 9mm Gun On Coney Island Beach


By Geoffrey Croft

A mother and her daughter made a startling discovery on the beach today.

A 10-year-old girl  picked up a loaded 9mm hand gun in Coney Island Beach while looking for sea shells.

The two brought it to a nearby lifeguard on post at the lifeguard station who called the NYPD.

Just after 2:00pm the NYPD received a call regarding a found firearm in the vicinity of West 19 Street and the Boardwalk.  Upon arrival, police determined that the girl and her mother found the firearm in approximately two feet of water.

The gun was taken to the NYPD forensics lab to determine if it was used in a crime and tossed into the ocean to get rid of the evidence.    

Read/View More:

CBS 2 Exclusive: Disturbing Discovery Prompts Coney Island Lifeguard To Take Action
WCBS - August 12, 2014 

New York Daily News - August 12,  2014 - By Joseph Stepansky

Friday, August 8, 2014

Marcus Garvey Park - Man Dies After Being Stabbed In Neck After Dispute

Timothy Goodwin, 41, was found about 1:30 p.m. Friday in the northeast end of Marcus Garvey Park  near 124th Street and Madison Avenue. Paramedics rushed him to Harlem Hospital, but he couldn't be saved.  The victim, a Bronx resident, got into a dispute with an unidentified assailant. The man was stabbed near a playground filled with children. Witnesses said he walked out of the park and tried to go across the street for help but did not make it far.  (Photo:  Tomas E. Gaston For New York Daily News) 


A 41-year-old man was killed Friday after being stabbed in the neck in Marcus Garvey Park, authorities said, according to the NY Daily News.

The victim, a Bronx resident, was on the northeastern end of the Harlem park at about 1:30 p.m. when he got into a dispute with an unidentified assailant, officials said. 

Paramedics rushed him to Harlem Hospital, where he died, officials said. The victim’s name was not immediately released. Cops were looking for his assailant Friday afternoon.

Read More:

New York Daily News -  August 8,  2014 - By Thomas Tracy 

WNBC - August 8,  2014

WABC - August 8, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Queens Man Arrested On Drunk Driving Charges After Crashing Car & Toppling Lamppost Into Union Sq. Park Playground

A toppled lamp post near the swing area in Union Square Park.  A Queens man was arrested  on Sunday and charged with drunk driving after he crashed his vehicle into the park.   (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click in images to enlarge.


By Geoffrey Croft

A Queens man was arrested for drunk driving early Sunday morning by police in Union Square Park after crashing his vehicle into a lamp post which fell into a playground NYC Park Advocates has learned.

A portion of the lamp post at the park's entrance on 16th Street near Union Square West.

Bassam Richard,  31, of Queens was charged with DWI and destruction of government property.    

Richard entered the park from the Northeast corner of Union Square West and 16th Street and drove his vehicle on the sidewalk 100 feet and into a park safety lamp. The light toppled over into a planted area in Evelyn's Playground striking a tree and narrowly missing the swing set.

The incident happened at approximately 3:30 A.M.  

The driver was taken to Bellevue Hospital with unknown injuries. 

Sections of the destroyed lamp post lie scattered on the ground.  

The vehicle entered on the park sidewalk at 16th street and drove 100 feet  before striking the lamp post.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Man Arrested On Attempted Kidnapping Charges Of Boy, 2 In Bronx Playground

Police arrested Shajahan Hasnath, 30 after the mother of a two 2-year-old said he tried to lure her son into the bathroom of Virginia Playground in the Bronx near the corner of McGraw and Virginia Avenue on July 31, 2014.  The mother said he warned the defendant to stay away from the child  several times after he touched the boy.  Hasnath was arrested and charged with five charges including attempted kidnapping, attempted unlawful imprisonment and child luring charges.  


By Geoffrey Croft

A 30-year-old man was arrested in a Bronx playground after the mother of a two 2-year-old said he repeatedly touched the child,  and attempted to lure the child into the bathroom NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Police arrested Bronx resident Shajahan Hasnath shortly after.  Hasnath lives nearby on Taylor Avenue. 

The alleged incident occurred just after 8:00pm on July 31, 2014.  

According to the complaint the defendant first grabbed the child's hand, swinging his arms and hands. 

A short time later he approached the boy again and "grabbed hold of the child's hands and did not let go," rubbed his arm and stroked his cheek after the tot had fallen down.

The mother told the defendant not to touch her child. 

A short time later the man approached the child again while he was crying and crouched down beside him,  grabbed his hand and tried to lead him away from his mother in the direction of the bathroom.

The mother went after him and removed the child from his grasp and again told him not to touch her child.

A short time later the mother said that the defendant stood in front of the bathroom and motioned toward various children including her own to come towards him. The mother stated her son began walking towards him.

Hasnath was arrested and charged by the Bronx DA's office with Attempted Kidnapping, Attempted Luring A Child,  Attempted unlawful imprisonment, Unlawful Imprisonment,  Engaging the Welfare of a Child. 

He is being held on Rikers Island on $10,000 bail.