Friday, November 10, 2017

Teen Slashed, I-Phone Robbed In Brooklyn Park

Brooklyn

By Geoffrey Croft

A teen was robbed by a group of males and slashed, NYC Park Advocates has learned.   

The victim, 17, told police three men approached him in City Line Park on Wednesday at 6:40 pm.  

One of robbers grabbed him from behind, pushed him down, forcing his head to the ground.

The two other attackers riffled through his pockets taking cash and an I-phone 6. 

The victim was slashed one time on the left hand.

The assailants fled with the cash and the phone.

The victim was taken to Jamaica hospital where he was treated for the slash wound.

Central Park: Teen Gun-Point Suspects Arrested Ski Mask Robbery

Manhattan

By Geoffrey Croft

The police apprehended two teen suspects wanted in last night’s gun point robbery in Central Park.

The male victim, 37, was walking alone through the park at 9:40 p.m. at East Drive near 96th Street
 wearing headphones, when a boy and girl, both 15,  came from behind and pushed him.

One of the robbers was wearing a ski mask. 

The male lifted his shirt to reveal the butt of a  380 semi-auto pistol gun tucked in his waist and demanded the victims wallet according to police. 

"Give me all your stuff," the suspect demanded.

The victim handed over the wallet. When the victim couldn't open his phone with the pass code, the male suspect pulled the gun and racked the slid as if loading a bullet in the chamber.

The victim handed over the phone and the perps fled westbound in the park.

The victim used a park patrons phone to call 911.

While he was on the phone with the dispatcher, before the call was typed out and transmitted, the alert came over the smartphone of the NYPD's plain clothes team inside the park who went to the victims location.

Police canvassed with the victim and they activated his Find-My-iphone app. Police used their department issued smart phones to track the missing phone and found it still inside the park.

Police spotted the suspects matching the description walking on West Drive near 96th Street. They spotted the police and ran. They were caught.

In a bag the female was carrying, police found the stolen wallet, the ski mask used during the robbery.

The male suspect had the ringing stolen phone in his front pants pocket and the gun still tucked in his waistband. The gun was unloaded.

The female suspect is from the Bronx and the male suspect is from Manhattan, both 15 were charged with robbery as juvenile offenders.

The victim is a Manhattan resident. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Gang Attacks Teens In Fort Tryon Park - Several Other Stabbings In Area

Update

Manhattan

By Geoffrey Croft

New details have emerged in Monday's multiple stabbing incidents in upper Manhattan by a large group.

Police responded to at least three separate stabbings on Monday evening. 

Two teens were viciously attacked by a gang of males inside Fort Tryon Park NYC Park Advocates has learned.

Two victims, ages, 16, and 17,  were walking out of the park near Broadway and Dongan Place and Arden St. at 6:10 pm when they were confronted by a large group of males. 

The 16-year-old was stabbed five times according to police. He was stabbed in his stomach, left thigh, buttocks and twice in his forearm.  He was hit with an object and sustained a compound fracture of his right forearm.  

The 17-year-old was slashed in his face and neck.   Both victims were punched in the face and body. 

Both victims were hospitalized.

Police are investigating if the same group is responsible several other similar attacks nearby.

Police are investigating the stabbing of a 17- year-old near 1552 St. Nicholas Avenue btw. W. 187/188th at 6:30pm.

The teen was stabbed in his torso.  

A few hours later a large group attacked a couple at West 173rd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. 

A 23-year-old male was walking with his girlfriend, 22, at 10 p.m. when they encountered a large group of men. 

The attackers called his name and began throwing bottles at him.

The victim was stabbed in the buttocks and struck with a baseball bat.

A witness drove the victim to Columbia Presbyterian hospital where he was treated.

All incidents are under investigation.

Read/View More:

Buscan a sospechosos de ataques en Washington Heights
Telemundo 47 - November 8, 2017 



Saturday, November 4, 2017

Vigil Held For Hudson River Park Bike Path Victims


"All of us, I know feel shocked, and saddened and angry that this beautiful part of our daily lives as New Yorkers this incredible stretch of parkland where we ride our bikes and walk with our children and our loved ones was turned into an instrument of death and destruction."  -  Brad Hoylman - New York State Senator


Two women originally from Argentina hold the country flag during the vigil.  Five of the victims killed in Tuesday's murder spree were Argentine. The attack was the deadliest incident of terrorism in New York City since Sept. 11, 2001.  After the march police began installing cement barriers along the four plus miles of bike path, protections the public had been calling for over more than a decade.  (Photos by Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge

Manhattan

By Geoffrey Croft

Hundreds of mourners turned out yesterday evening for a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of Tuesday horrific tragedy in Hudson River Park.

The crowed converged at Pier 40 at West Houston Street near where the murderer entered the park.

Parents pushed strollers,  people held hands, some cried, some hugged, others were consoled.  

 They walked in silence along the esplanade, parallel to the bike path twenty feet away, the sun setting over the Hudson River on the right. 

Police on motor scooters lead the precession. 

The crowd makes its way along the Hudson River.


The crowd stopped at Pier 25 where the group gathered to say a few words.

"All of us, I know feel shocked, and saddened and angry that this beautiful part of our daily lives as New Yorkers this incredible stretch of parkland where we ride our bikes and walk with our children and our loved ones was turned into an instrument of death and destruction," New York State Senator Brad Hoylman said in a moving tribute.   

Hoylman, a former chair of Community Board 2 noted that one of the victims grew up nearby and was a constituent. 

"I'm also here to say we stand in solidarity with the victims and their loved ones. Those who lost their lives including a constituent of mine Nicholas Cleves who lives in Greenwich Village. Twenty-three years old and undertaking that very simple and pleasurable experience that so many of us have shared, riding his bicycle,  struck down. We can not explain it but we can be defiant in the face of such darkness and that’s why I think we are here."   

After the march police began installing cement barriers on the bike lane where the vehicle entered, and throughout the four mile long greenway, protections the public had been calling for over more than a decade.

The burning question is why did it take more than a decade and the needless deaths of eight innocent people and injuries of eleven more for the authorities finally install barriers, protections which would have easy prevented this.

























West Houston St. & West Street.  After the march police installed cement barriers on the bike lane where the vehicle entered, protections the public had been calling for since at least 2006, more than a decade. 


On Tuesday a terrorist plowed a truck into unsuspecting Hudson River Park bike path users killing eight and wounding eleven more. The horrifying incident occurred around 3:00 when the driver entered the unprotected bike path at West Houston St. and West Street and sped south, indiscriminately hitting pedestrians and cyclists.

Five of the victims killed were Argentine tourists in New York for a 30-year high school reunion. Those killed were Hernán Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi. A sixth member of the reunion group, was among the wounded.  

Another victim, Ann-Laure Decadt, 31,  a mother of 3-year-old and 3-month-old, from the town of Staden, Belgium was also killed. Three of those injured were also Belgian according to officials. 

Twenty-three-year old Nicholas Cleves, a software engineer from the West Village went to Elisabeth Irwin High School on Charlton St, four blocks from where he was murdered.  

Darren Drake, 32, of New Milford, New Jersey was the last person killed to be identified. 

Darren was a project manager for Moody’s Investors Service at the World Trade Center.  He was out for a bike ride, exercising between meetings when he was murdered.

According to his father he would have turned 33 on November 18th.  Darren was his only child.  




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


Read More:





Friday, November 3, 2017

Union Picket Stabbing At US Open Tennis Construction Site In FMCP

Queens

By Geoffrey Croft

A violent melee broke out yesterday between union and non-union Iron workers that left one man in serious condition after being stabbed and two others slashed several times.

The first victim, 35,  was stabbed in the arm and in the groan which cut an artery.  He underwent surgery last night and remains hospitalized. 

A second victim, 45 received 20 stitches in his side and stitches in both hands as a result of his efforts in trying to disarm the attacker according to a union representative. 

A third victim, 50, was slashed in the stomach but refused medical attention.  

Police arrested Delroy Danvers, 65, of Brooklyn. He was charged with Assault and Criminal Possession of a Weapon.

Ironworkers LOCAL 197 Stone Derrickman & Riggers were out on a picket line protesting non union work re-building the Louis Armstrong Stadium job site in Flushing Meadow Corona Park.

At approximately 3:25 p.m., a 65-year-old non-union worker emerged from the construction site and pulled a knife.  

"There were no problems," said William Hayes, the Local's Financial Secretary, Treasurer, and Business Manager who noted it was quiet before the incident.     

"The non-union guy was running his mouth going back and forth and went back inside and came back outside the door and stabbed the man.

The attacker then took off running where union workers caught up to him and held him until police arrived.  

"It was crazy,” said Hayes.

The union picketed with inflatable rats and about fifty workers to protest subcontractor U.S. Crane and Rigging’s hiring of non-union workers to install exterior precast stone work panels at the new stadium.

Hayes said some other trades were threatened on the job site today and are refusing to work over safety concerns for their members.

He says he does not understand why the City's Project Labor Agreement regarding city parkland is not in effect here.  

"When the contracts go out they say it's not a park entity," he said.  "They’re saying the US Open is a different entity and they don’t have to follow it."

 “At this time we have no comment,"  subcontractor U.S. Crane and Rigging said when reached for comment. 

According to Hayes, Hunt Construction, the general contractor is, "ultimately responsible for what's going on over there.”

A message for Hunt Construction seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hudson River Park Bike Path Used To Kill 8 In Terror Attack, 11 More injured



The Hudson River Park Bike Path was strewn with bodies and mangled bicycles after Tuesday's terrorist attack that killed eight and wounded eleven more.  (Photo: Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press)  

Manhattan

By Geoffrey Croft

A terrorist plowed into unsuspecting Hudson River Park bike path users killing eight and wounding eleven more in what officials called a terrorist attack.

The horrifying incident occurred Tuesday afternoon around 3:00 when the driver of a rented Home Depot pick up truck entered the popular bike path at West Houston St. and drove straight down the path. He began hitting pedestrians and cyclists as he headed south.  

The vehicle stopped less than a mile later when the driver crashed into a school bus on Chambers and West Street across from Stuyvesant High School. 

The driver got out of the vehicle and was confronted by police after waving what appeared to be firearms.  After the suspect did not comply with orders to drop the weapons an officer opened fire, striking him in the stomach. 

The rampage left bodies and mangled bicycles strewn along the bike path along West Street.




Five of the victims killed were Argentine tourists from Santa Fe Province who were in New York for a 30-year high school reunion. Those killed were Hernán Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi according to Argentine authorities the NY Times reported. 

A sixth member of the reunion group, was among the wounded. 

Another victim, Ann-Laure Decadt, 31,  a mother of 3-year-old and 3-month-old, from the town of Staden, Belgium was also killed. Three of those injured were also Belgian according to officials.

The two other victims have now been identified as American. 

Nicholas Cleves, 23, a software engineer from the West Village.  He went to Elisabeth Irwin High School on Charlton St, four blocks away from where he was murdered.  A 33-year-old man from New Milford, New Jersey has also been Identified, but his name has not yet been released. 

The suspect was identified as Sayfullo Saipov, 29, from Uzbekistan who was in critical condition on Tuesday night.  He was expected to live law enforcement authorities said.

Saipov was living in Patterson, N.J.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi





The carnage along the bike path near West Houston St. in the aftermath of Tuesday's rampage in lower Manhattan.  (Photo: Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Gov. Cuomo Puts Brakes On Controversial Parkland Development

"We are concerned that a park's zoning properties could facilitate alienation to private real estate developers. Classification as a park or parkland should not provide zoning bonuses to private industry."   -  Governor Andrew Cuomo



























Rendering of the massive 1,175,000 square foot development including a more than 700 foot high luxury building, three non-Harlem Zone 4 schools, and retail space on 96th Street and 2nd Avenue, a project the community refers to as The WALL.  The city is attempting to seize a popular playground to build the $ 1 billion dollar development project.   


Manhattan

By Geoffrey Croft

Not so fast.  

Governor Andrew Cuomo has put the brakes on a controversial de Blasio’s administration plan to seize a popular playground to build a $ 1 billion dollar development project.   

In approving the State Parkland Alienation bill late Monday evening the Governor raised serious questions regarding the park's legal status and as a result the city's ability to develop the playground.



Marx Brother's Playground including artificial turf field - 2nd Avenue between 96th and 97th Street.  The massive 1.1 million square foot project would encompass an entire city block.   When re-built under the proposal the new playground would be in the shade for most of the day.   (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge





The Governor is requiring on the State's Office of Parks and Recreation to review the parks records and uses before the City can proceed with the project.  

Critics have argued that creating zoning for parks would set a terrible precedent and open the floodgates for future parkland development city-wide.

The Governor shares these concerns.

"We are concerned that a park's zoning properties could facilitate alienation to private real estate developers. Classification as a park or parkland should not provide zoning bonuses to private industry,"  Governor Cuomo wrote. (See below)

"Confirming the  status and nature of the land has significant legal implications for New York City and residents who want assurances that they will have access to outdoor recreation."   


The De Blasio’s administration is now claiming that the park had been improperly designated as parkland,  even though the State alienated it twice, including just a few months ago for this project.

In June the State voted to alienated the park over the objections of area residents and civic organizations.

The Educational Construction Fund (ECF) came up with a scheme that would dramatically increase the size currently allowed under existing zoning, re-zone the park. In August the City Council approved it.

Critics contend that the alienation of a public park in order to generate development rights is a circumvention of the Zoning Resolution’s regulations that specifically preclude public parks from having development rights. 

The park's re-zoning is expected to be the subject of future litigation.

The city is planning to build a more than 700 foot high, 1,175,000 square feet  luxury building,   three non-Harlem Zone 4 schools, and retail space on the corner of 96th Street and 2nd Avenue, a project the community refers to as The WALL.  

The project would built 1100 apartments including  315 affordable housing units under the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing law,  and 25,000 square feet of commercial space.



Proposed Mark Brother's Playground use. Rendering of new Co-Op Tech School and retail space as seen from 97th Street and Second Avenue. The rendering depicts just a few floors of the more than 700 foot residential tower in the background. This irresponsible development would be built on Marx Brothers Playground which the public has been shut out of the since 2007. The community is demanding that the playground be restored to its original location at 96th Street & 2nd Avenue. 


City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has championed the controversial project. 

According to ECF the Speaker dramatically changed the scope of the project in 2013. The change would allow the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center, a long time project of the Speaker's to greatly expand.   

The center, located on Lexington Avenue and 105th Street, currently shares space with the Heritage School, one of the two new schools the Speaker is hoping to move to 96th Street.


The Julia de Burgos Cultural Center is managed by The Hispanic Federation, who's first director, Luis A. Miranda is Mark-Viverito's chief political consultant as well as a de Blasio consultant.


Critics say this would set a very bad precedent, one that could open the floodgates and, at a minimum allow the development of not only every single one of the approximately 250 Parks Department Jointly Operated Parks properties it shares with the DOE throughout the city,  but ALL parks could be subjected to development if this proposed legislation is passed.  

Yesterday a coalition of civic organizations, and East Harlem and upper east side residents came together to call on the Governor to stop the City from inappropriately alienating parkland and to grant air rights to a private developer. 

The coalition included Trust For Public land, NYC Park Advocates, Carnegie Hill Neighbors, Municipal Art Society, New Yorkers for Parks, the Historic Districts Council, Friends of the Upper Eastside Historic Districts, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, 96th St. Neighbors, Landmarks West, Human Scale NYC.


According to ECF the legislation would allow the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center, a long time project of the Speaker's to greatly expand.  The center, (above) located on Lexington Avenue and 105th Street, currently shares space with the Heritage School, one of two schools the Speaker is hoping to move to 96th Street. 


Marx Brothers Playground site - 96th Street and Second Avenue.   The MTA is legally required to restore the playground after "temporarily" occupying 0.5 acres of the 1.5  acre park since 2007 as a staging area during Second Avenue Subway construction.  The MTA also paid $11 million to the Parks Department as mitigation for allowing its use. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently moved out of the playground (below).  (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge







Read More:

Cuomo calls for investigation on de Blasio’s playground plan
New York Post - October 24, 2017 - By Rich Calder and Kirstan Conley


WPIX - October 25, 2017 


New York Daily News - October 25, 2017 - By Glenn Blain

NY 1 - August 1, 2017 - By Michael Scotto


CityLand - July 5, 2017 - By Jonathon Sizemore

State Votes To Give Marx Brother's Playground To Private Developer For Massive Complex
A Walk In The Park - June 25, 2017 - By Geoffrey Croft 

City Seizing Parkland On UES To Build Massive Tower Complex - Residents Furious
A Walk In The Park - June 21, 2017 - By Geoffrey Croft 







Monday, August 28, 2017

Dr. Marion Sims Statue Vandalized In Central Park


Manhattan

By Geoffrey Croft 

The statue of controversial gynecologist James Marion Sims was defaced in Central Park over the weekend.

The word "Racists" was spray painted in red paint on the face and on the back of the statue. 

No cameras are located in the immediate area according to police who are investigating.

The vandalism was discovered on Saturday, 9 a.m.

Last week City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito held a press conference calling for the removal of the statue amid revelations for more than a decade that Sims performed experimental operations on enslaved women without getting their consent or giving them anesthesia.   

The bronze and granite Sims monument was originally dedicated in 1894 in Bryant Park. It was moved to the perimeter of Central Park at East 103rd Street and 5th Avenue in 1934, across from the Academy of Medicine, of which Dr. Sims was a member.

The monument is among the statues that a city commission is reviewing for possible removal following the deadly white nationalist rally on August 12th in Charlottesville, Va. 

That demonstration was organized to protest the removal of a statue of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. 

Often referred to as the "father of modern gynecology," he founded the first hospital for women in America in New York City in 1855.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Central Park: Root System Decay Cause Of Tree Failure Injury

Manhattan

By Geoffrey Croft

Root system decay caused the massive American Elm tree to come crashing down on a family of four  on Tuesday in Central Park.

An inspection determined the tree fell over “as a result of decay in the root system beneath the surrounding pavement,”  according to the Central Park Conservancy,  the non-profit group responsible for tree maintenance in the iconic park.

 The group said the tree was last inspected in November.

“There were no visible signs of decay or disease,”  conservancy spokeswoman Jordan Jacuzzi said.

“The conservancy employs tree crews seven days a week who regularly inspect and maintain Central Park's nearly 20,000 trees according to industry standards,” she said.

On Tuesday morning Anne Monoky Goldman, 39, was out with her three young boys when the massive tree suddenly fell, pinning the family underneath.

The mother was listed in critical condition with a broken neck at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center Wednesday, according to police sources.

Her 3-year-old son Grant suffered a fractured skull. His injuries are not expected to be life threatening.

Her two other sons, James 4 months, and Will, 4, received less serious injuries.

Yesterday a family visiting from Spain was struck by a fallen tree branch in City Hall Park.

On July 31st,  a tree fell over on top of a woman who was sitting on a bench in Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx.

Injuries by falling trees or tree limbs are fairly infrequent, according to internal Parks Department documents. 31 people were injured by falling trees or branches between 2011 and 2015 according to data obtained from a Freedom of Information Law request.

That number is dramatically different however from data compiled from the City's Comptroller's office.

Each year there are typically more than 100 notices of claim related to injuries from fallen trees or tree limbs each year, according to the Comptroller’s office.

Read More:

Central Park tree that fell on family had rotten roots, conservancy says
New York Daily News -  August 16, 2017 - By Thomas Tracy, Reuven Blau, Chelsia Rose Marcius

Central Park: Woman & Kids Struck By Massive Tree
A Walk In The Park - August 15, 2017 - By Geoffrey Croft

Tree Falls On Woman In Bronx Park While Sitting On Bench
A Walk In The Park - August 1, 2017 - By Geoffrey Croft





Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Central Park: Woman & Kids Struck By Massive Tree



A massive American Elm tree suddenly came down near 62nd Street and the West Drive, striking a family of four who were pinned beneath it.   The incident occured at 10:00am. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge

Manhattan

By Geoffrey Croft

A 39-year-old woman was knocked unconscious by a massive American Elm tree while she pushed a stroller in the park with her three children. 

Anne Goldman,  her three sons, 4, 2 and a 4-month old infant she was carrying wearing a baby carrier were pinned under the branches and tree canapy after the tree suddenly came down.

The size of the tree stetched across the lengh of the West Drive near 63rd Street.

Good Samaritans quickly arrived at the scene and worked together to remove the branches.

An NYPD mounted unit heading down to Trump building detail joined the rescue.

Officers said they heard a loud crack, "It happened very quickly," said police officer Joesph Tomeo.

The mother was lying on her back when police arrived.

"What happened, what happened," officer Tomeo said the woman asked.

The officer described the stroller as, "twisted" from the impact of the tree.



"It was heart breaking," said mounted NYPD officer Meghan O'Leary who also provided assistance at the scene.

FDNY removed tree limbs with chainsaws and EMS treated and removed the family.

All four of the victims were taken to New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.  Police said the infant had a few scratches and bruises.

"God helped her out,"  said Antonio Russo, 57, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn who said he was about 100 feet way on his bike when he is saw the tree come down.

"It came down in slow motion,"  he said. "It came down nice and easy."

Russo said the mother's youngest boy was crying.

"She just wanted to see her baby, " he said.


Investigators at the scene.

  
This afternoon Central Park Conservancy workers and a contractor removed the remains of the tree.

The incident occurred approximately 40 yards from where a Google engineer was severally injured when a large rotted tree branch fell and struck him in the head.



The city also quietly paid $3 million dollars to settle a case involving an Albanian immigrant from Brooklyn who was killed by a fallen American elm tree near 69th Street while walking through Central Park less than six months earlier.  That case was settled as the jury was being selected.  

In June 2013, a 59-year-old tourist from Indiana was injured after she was struck by a tree limb in Central Park.

Multiple lawsuits against the City are still pending.


  Good Samaritans helped the trapped family, working together to remove the branches.








A Central Park Conservancy worker removing the remains of the tree.









A Central Park Conservancy worker removes the remains of the large canopy debris field after the incident. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge

Read More:


New York Times - August 15, 2017 - By Sarah Maslin Nir and Jonathan Wolfe 

Central Park tree falls on mother holding infant son, trapping her, FDNY says

AMNY - August 15, 2017 -  By Alex Bazeley and Polly Higgins

Mother, Three Children Hurt After Tree Falls In Central Park

CBS - August 15, 2017