VIOLENT CRIME, FOOD TRUCKS AND MR. SOFTEE DISCUSSED AT 20TH PRECINCT COMMUNITY MEETING

nypd 20

The good news is that there have been no murders in the 20th precinct this year, and while one rape has been reported it stemmed from an incident in 2011. The bad news is that burglaries and grand larcenies have risen, causing overall major crime to tick higher by 7.2%. The 20th covers the area from 59th to 86th.

At a 20th precinct community council meeting on Tuesday night, Captain Michael Falcon said that the rise in burglaries — 33 versus 25 through the same period last year — stems from a rise in thefts from construction sites, as well as packages being stolen from lobbies. Grand larcenies are up too, to 204 from 195. Ten cars have been stolen this year, up from four last year, Capt. Falcon said.

20 nypd aprilThere have been some other serious recent crimes, one of which we asked about at the meeting after hearing about it from a witness. On Saturday around noon, an elderly woman got into a dispute on 69th street between Columbus and Central Park West with a man who ended up being arrested for misdemeanor assault, said Captain Falcon. The captain did not describe the event in more detail.

The witness, however, told us the woman appeared to be seriously injured.

“I did not see the incident happen but was walking from the park down 69th and saw people gathered around an elderly woman bleeding profusely from her nose and face. Someone was chasing after the mugger, who had attacked the woman, stolen her bags and walked calmly towards Columbus. The police were called and I saw an ambulance pull up so believe the woman was taken to a hospital.”

Police also say they are working aggressively to keep food trucks away from areas where they are not supposed to be located, including in front of the Apple Store and the Museum of Natural History (only veterans are allowed to sell food in front of museums).

“We’re going to be concentrating on that,” he said.

Falcon said vendors tend to drive away after being confronted by the police.

Another audience member complained about Mr. Softee trucks that idle while playing blaring music. An officer said that the trucks are allowed to play music as long as they’re moving.

Sgt. Felicia Montgomery, who is in charge of traffic enforcement said that traffic collisions are up 8% year to date, but total injuries are slightly down. The precinct is training more officers to handle traffic enforcement, as we’ve reported before.

Montgomery said that officers are also confronting tour bus drivers who idle their cars around 72nd street and Central Park West — a perennial neighborhood complaint that continues to annoy locals.

Community council meetings are usually held the fourth Monday of every month. Next month, the meeting will be on the third Monday.

NEWS | 13 comments | permalink
    1. ScooterStan says:

      Re: “Another audience member complained about Mr. Softee trucks ”

      AWRRR…let’s take it easy on Mr. Softee.

      By definition, he’s a real sweetheart of a guy…a real … err … soft-y ?

      And we should pity him because, also by definition, he can never father children.

      🙂

    2. Pedestrian says:

      Food trucks: food trucks have blossomed all over the Upper West Side and in my opinion that isn’t good. They are hurting small businesses and never or rarely clean up after themselves or their customers. The streets are starting to look like a scene out of a dystopian future movie. I have heard all the arguments but when small local restuarants are being hammered with high rents and rightfully held to high standards of cleanliness it is hard to understand how food trucks can simply set up anywhere and begin selling.

    3. Joel says:

      There is always a food truck in front of Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Lincoln Center spent $1 billion to redo the plaza and Tully Hall, and there is the food truck with bright lights day and night. On another note, school buses let children off at CPW and 69th (and 72nd) and leave their engines idling for hours. And the Mr. Softee trucks spew noxious fumes all day long!

    4. LG says:

      I have and always will never patronize a food truck. I don’t know if they are ‘health dept rated’, don’t see a rating on the truck and their idling engines are polluting the city. Here’s an idea: reduce the cars but bring in food trucks and then have us bicycle all over town in the idling C2O? Thanks Mayor Bloomberg for your awful vision of the city. You may have saved the city some bucks on the Budget but you’ve ruined the ‘quality of life’ for us locals, which Mayor Guiliani had improved for 8 years. Are you listening Mayor de Blasio? I will rue the day New Yorkers are eating out of food trucks while restaurants we can afford (Blossom) close down due to higher rents and mostly tourists patronize expensive restaurants and designer clothing stores. Have you been to Greenwich Village lately? It looks like Madison Ave. This is the state of our City all over town. And apparently same is happening in Europe too. Ok I’m done ranting.

    5. eloise says:

      And why is FreshDirect allowed to park a truck right at the crosswalk at Amsterdam and 101 Street almost every day, blocking the traffic light? Unloading goes on for hours, impeding pedestrians trying to cross. This is especially onerous when schoolchildren need to use the crosswalk. Isn’t FreshDirect violating the law?

    6. TG says:

      “…as well as packages being stolen from lobbies.”
      My building is included in that. Dozens of packages stolen in the last few months from the lobby and from hallways, and we think the same guy vandalized our laundry room trying to get coins out of the machines. Management had to put in new security features and request no packages be left by delivery people. Someone in the building stopped him from taking a package once – he was described as a dark-skinned latino man in his 40s.

    7. Chris says:

      We have had the same issues with packages stolen from our lobby. It turned out it was a kid from one of the local schools. Our super chased the kid down and caught him. The police indicated this has become an increasing menace, with groups of kids waiting outside buildings for people to load/unload and then following them into the buildings, and walking out with things left by UPS or the postal service.

    8. Christina says:

      Seriously?! Mr. Softee has been a mainstay on the Upper West Side since I was a kid. And so what if they music is blaring and truck idling that’s all part of the Mr. Softee mystic! It’s a city, and NYC for that matter for crying out loud! There’s noise everywhere! If you can’t stand the heat, get otta the kitchen!

    9. Bruce Bernstein says:

      why are people in non-doorman buildings leaving packages sitting in the lobby? that sounds crazy. you can’t complain when they are stolen…

      at least have them leave the package with a neighbor!! or maybe now that the rent-stablized apts are gone, there are no seniors who are home during the day.

    10. Howard Freeman says:

      I eat a meal from almost any food truck almost any day before eating a meal at 3 Star diner on 86 & Columbus.