Parents and staff members at the Joan of Arc schools complex on 93rd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues say that a gang is intimidating and robbing students at the school. Two students were mugged for their cell phones in December, and people at the school suspect that the gang Money Comes First is responsible. The gang is based in Upper Manhattan. Police have said in the past that they operate around 92nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, and Morningside Heights. In a city press release from 2005, the gang was linked to he CRIPS.
Councilwoman Gale Brewer asked the 24th precinct to put more police around the school and she says that “NYPD has been responsive.” There’s also been an increase in problems at other local schools, Brewer says.
Here’s the letter from Brewer:
December 27, 2012
Deputy Inspector and Commanding Ofñcer
24 Precinct NYPD
151 West 100 Street
New York, NY 10025
Dear Deputy Inspector Barry:
l write on behalf of parents and their children who attend schools at the NYC DOE Joan of Arc Educational Complex at 154 West 93 Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues, New York, NY 10025. These parents are extremely concerned with the recent increase in threatening activity, intimidation, and crimes targeting students in the neighborhood, specifically the theft of iPhones and cellphones. Parents and staff think those responsible are members of the Money Comes First gang.
On December 13, 2012 at 8am, a student was mugged for his phone in front of the school building. Just over a week later on December 21, 2012 another student was targeted after school had been dismissed, around 3:45pm, in the parking lot adjacent to the school by the West 92 Street entrance.
These two incidents highlight the severity of the problem and the need for increased security around the Complex. I appreciate your efforts on this issue, and a police officer is present at the school during dismissal at the West 93 Street entrance. However, there are none present at the West 92 Street entrance, where a significant portion of these incidents are taking place; and a police presence is needed in the morning. In addition, problems remain on the surrounding streets students use to access the trains at West 96 Street, where there is no consistent police presence. I have also spoken with principals from other schools in the West 80’s and West 90’s, including elementary schools with young children, who have also reported similar incidents and have tried to find ways to have their students avoid specific areas when getting to and from school.
This issue is of great concern to me and I urge you to increase police presence on West 92 Street and in the nearby Amsterdam Avenue and Columbus Avenue corridors, both before school and during after school hours, including dismissal and the end of after school activities. I appreciate your urgent attention to this issue. If you have any questions, contact Shula Warren of my office, or me, at (212) 788-6975.
Gale A. Brewer