central park night

Two attacks were reported this weekend in Central Park, and as of Sunday afternoon police had not caught the perpetrators.

In the first attack, at around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, 15 men and women confronted a 17-year-old and her 20-year-old boyfriend at the rear of Heckscher Playground around 63rd street, according to Gothamist. One of the muggers ahd a knife and another had a Taser. “The muggers cursed at the victims, then one punched the female victim in the face and threw her to the ground. Both people had their cellphones stolen.”

On Sunday at 1 a.m., a 45-year-old man was walking across the park on the 81st street transverse when a man with green pants and dreadlocks choked him and held a gun to his head before stealing his wallet and backpack.

If you have information, call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS, use the Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.

File photo of Central Park at night by John Gillespie.

NEWS | 65 comments | permalink
    1. Jason says:

      Please chime in Bruce and tell WSR that crime isn’t up, it’s just a few more rape instances and attacks.

      “Rape is up but we are talking about a very few instances — 13 this year vs 9 a year ago. who knows why that is?”

      • Terri says:

        It is normal for numbers to fluctuate. These are very serious crimes to be sure, but nothing indicative of an epidemic. Be vigilant and smart out there, but take heed my diminutive, fine feathered friends. The sky isn’t falling.

        • Rako says:

          so 50% increase in serious crime incidents like rape gets classified as “normal fluctuation” by Terri. I can sleep easy at night – thanks for allaying my fears.

          I am rolling my eyes, if you couldn’t get the sarcasm thru the tone of the above.

          This city is being torn to shreds by self interest:
          1) Leftist ideologue mayor who is half-assedly trying to drive social re-engineering
          2) Greedy landlords who are screwing small businesses and even franchise owners
          3) Ineffectual bureaucracy who sucks in more and more money and cannot address infrastructure needs
          4) Security infrastructure bent on justifying existence

          The current political system seems to generate people who drive separation versus coming together, and NYC is a lovely petri dish!

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            Rako, in the case of rape in the 24th last year, yes, those were normal fluctuations. We are talking very small numbers so small changes end up looking like large percentages.

            Since 2006, there have been between 9 and 13 rapes in the 24th every year. here is how the numbers look:

            2006: 10
            2007: 13
            2008: 12
            2009: 9
            2010: 11
            2011: 12
            2012: 10
            2013: 10
            2014: 13


            this year, through 5/3 there have been 3 rapes in the 24th, the exact same as last year at that time.

            if there had been 2 more, it would have been a 66% increase in rape, which sounds horrible… but yes, though people don’t want to hear this, that sort of thing is most likely random activity and not a trend.

            it’s almost useless to make rational arguments about this stuff, as people don’t seem to want to hear it and want to substitute their own beliefs for facts. their beliefs are often sensational and accusatory. but i’ll keep trying.

          • patricia says:

            Sarcasm doesn’t always register on the internet. That is fact. The city is going through ebbs and flows, that is life. Quite a list you have created May. Not a fan of de Blasio. Just wondering if you were in the Mayoral Hot Seat what solutions would you pose?

    2. Bruce Bernstein says:

      i guess your method for determining if crime is up or down is to count the stories about crimes in the WSR?

      what if the WSR ran a story about every single murder anywhere in NYC? would that mean crime was now out of control?

      btw, rape in the 24th Precinct is down this year by 33%. but the numbers are so small that it is meaningless to discuss as any “trend.” 2 rapes 2015; 3 in 2014.

    3. DMH says:

      Jeez. These are both really scary. Robbed at gunpoint or punched in the face. Holy moly. Thanks for letting us know how to help, WSR – I hope these guys are run to ground soon.

    4. Albiggity says:

      Listen, even when the stats reveal that indeed crime is up, Bruce and his Ilk will blame it on an NYPD conspiracy rather than Comrade Wilhelm’s inept leadership. I have no doubt about that.

      • luke says:

        You will be happy to know that Comrade Wilhelm is in Washington to spread his progressive left wing propaganda to the masses, so the whole country can benefit.

      • joe says:

        You will be happy to know that Comrade Wilhelm will be in Washington spreading the progressive left wing word.

        • AnD says:

          Actually I think Bill is in DC, among other things, looking for Federal dollars to help our mass transit system – subway, bus, trains, you know, biased, lefty stuff like that.

    5. Paris Wyome says:

      Is our “wonderful” very left-wing mayor aware of the rise in crime on the UWS, including a knifing on West 73 St. and Amsterdam Ave. a few nights ago, and elsewhere in NYC since he was inaugurated?

    6. Mike says:

      Let’s just help out the editors of this nice e-pub. Perhaps overweened PC delicacy edited omission meant: We’re looking for a Black male, with ‘dreadlocks’; Or. White male with dreads, etc. You see this HELPS us, who live in the UWS. And perhaps we are looking for [ghetto?] rat pack of 15 young persons of color (yo) that mugged a [white couple] in the park. Yes or no. If yes, okay; if no, fine; we want to know either way. We weren’t there. But. What did the victims describe their assailants as is left unsaid. Our speculative prerogative is ESSENTIAL and hardly unreasonable. We all want to do what’s right and need the FACTS. Just let’s be careful out there. SituationalAwareness, please, etc. You’re welcome, in advance. Thank you. Peace.

      • Sam says:

        Mike, while I agree that there is way too much PC these day, WSR did not break this story and none of the outlets that are reporting on it (Daily News, Gothamist, PIX11) have any additional information about the suspects race other than the Daily News calling the muggers a “pack of hoodlums”.

        Thinly veiled racism perhapss, maybe they’ll get a call from a certain WSR “contributor” tomorrow. Oh the humanity!:)

    7. Mike says:

      If I may add postscript to fellow UWS’rs. Just purchased what looks like very nice Mace Pepper Gard; a Legal NYS/NYC defensive personal protection item It’s the only thing our lawmakers allows us. ☑ Advisable, Legal & Recommended. (I bought it @ Esco Drug Co Inc. on 47 & 9th Ave. NO affiliation but they are authorized to sell + least $ mark-up & also recommended.) Safe Journey! Peace.

    8. Eric says:

      assailants descriptions sans pc

      • Lisa says:

        Finally! Someone who will actually publish a real description. (Not disparaging WSR, as I know they just pulled the report from the mainstream press who PC-check their reporting.) Thank you.

    9. Jean says:

      Will someone open these people’s eyes and tell them not to go into the park at night?
      Even if you’re a native New Yorker such as myself, you shouldn’t feel comfortable doing so. Tourists as well should heed this warning.

      • whatsupduck says:

        THANK YOU!!! Exactly what I was about to post.

        And this has nothing to do with victim-blaiming. Having grown up in the shadow of the Central Park Jogger case, going into a city park past dusk has always been a “no-no” in my house. It’s an unfortunate reality but unless we’re living in a soon-to-be Utopia (and I don’t mean the amazing Utopia diner on Amsterdam), then we need to get real…and stay out of the park during off-hours.

        • Karen says:

          I went to high school with the Central Park Jogger and moved to NYC 10 yrs later with fear of the Park after dark. Ultimately I conquered that fear and commuted through the Park morning and night year-round from 2001 to 2014 passing Heckscher Playground & Ballfields as late as 8pm in winter and 10pm in summer; taking West Dr when it was later. Joggers, cyclists, dog walkers and Park personnel on golf carts were around me–sometimes cops too. As a woman walking alone I remained hyper-aware and in 13 years was only spooked by humans a couple of times; rats, raccoons geese and coyotes were another story. Looking back at past incidents, daylight is no protection against muggings and even rape.

          • whatsupduck says:

            Oh, you’re 100% right—anything could happen at any point in the day. (In fact, when Riverside gets desolate at certain times of the day, I always keep my eyes poised on my surroundings.) But dusk throws in another unwanted variable into the mix.

            I’m glad you were able to enjoy the park at that hour. I’m still leery, and will probably always be.

      • StephG says:

        Yes, I was thinking the same thing! The first thing I wondered about when reading this was the time…and sure enough they happened at late hours when the park is desolate. The same rules apply in any big city. We can never take our safely for granted.

      • ELJ says:

        I am with you. As a woman, I have been told my entire life to stay out of parks at night regardless of where I’ve lived – which has included urban areas in the US and Europe as well as the upper middle class suburbs where I grew up. When stop and frisk was happening all of the time I never felt like it was safe to be in the park at night. I would be fabulous to be able to enjoy parks at night but I don’t see that happening in my lifetime anywhere.

    10. AC says:

      The sad part of it all? These two incidents were probably the only ones reported. This probably happens in CP more often, but people feel helpless in reporting them to the NYPD. NYPD’s Central Park Precinct needs either more manpower or better oversight.

    11. Off Duty says:

      Want it straight? In the last ten years, the quality of new recruits into the NYPD has been so significantly diminished through affirmative hiring programs, (along with the exiting of experienced and better vetted officers), that you will soon see a resurgence in crimes that no ComStat fudging can be able to hide. In other words, the inability of today’s officers to keep your butts safe in the near future is about to fall on your heads.
      You wanted more physically incapable women on the force, along with lowered background standards, and agenda driven individuals, (homosexuals, foreign borns and “multiculturalism”), and you thought this was gonna turn out OK?
      The only thing that was keeping the lid on the garbage can was the pressure from “broken windows” and “stop and frisk”. Today’s uniformed spend half their time in patrol cars and “making tickets”. “Street crime” details are demoralized by a mayor who sees them as the enemy. The “bosses” are more concerned with “political correctness” and fudging the numbers than they are with actual enforcement. Most officers are just trying to “get over”, get their twenty and get out.
      And here comes summer.

      • Siddhartha says:

        Yes! More Irish-Catholic cops! No black cops! bad!!!

        (end sarcasm)

        • DMH says:

          yeah, really. What was that from, a time capsule to 1952? I personally am offended to read this stereotyped, not even dog-whistled garbage from someone claiming to speak for the cops in my neighborhood. My trust in NYPD and Bratton just sank lower than it was before.

          Yes, PLEASE clean bad apples out from the force. But bigotry is not representative of 2015. I shouldn’t have to say this!!!!!

          Also whoever we voted for for mayor, it’s strange that people don’t even express concern or sympathy for the victims of these crimes before going to their political points.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            seriously? you’re blaming this guy on Bratton? have you paid any attention to Bratton’s policies and statements?

            • DMH says:

              If you mean me, Bruce, yes- I see garbage like this as reflective of Bratton’s leadership of the NYPD.

              I would be disciplined/fired/disavowed by lunchtime if I publicly associated my employer with flat-out offensive views like this. Not even a question. If you represent the whole city, you represent the whole city. You don’t get to pick off different ethnicities or sexual orientations or HALF the population that doesnt bring credit to the force. No, I’m not misinterpreting the first amendment. But I might not fully understand the union protections.

              Hope this thread isn’t deleted off the site. This should be out in the open.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              DMH, my point is that if you know anything about Bratton, you know he is very inclusionary and would not put up with this sort of crap.

              the fellow who is making these inflammatory posts IS NOT making “public statements.” he is posting anonymously and we have no idea if he is even actually a member of NYPD.

              I don’t see how Bratton gets the blame.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              and i agree with you, DMH, what the fellow is saying should stay out in the open so people can see it and see what De B and Bratton are trying to deal with. if this fellow is indeed in NYPD, it’s truly disturbing.

          • Off Duty says:

            News Flash for “DMH” and “brucie”.
            YOU are the problem. YOU are in denial.
            Bratton is a politician, and there is a reason Giuliani fired him BEYOND the media reporting that Rudy was jealous of Bratton’s media exposure over his.
            And you two want to report me? Too late. I’m on the pension, protected and out of your range. I’m giving you the unvarnished truth as many others still on the job wish they could say, but the two of you wouldn’t know a gift when handed to you.

            Revel in your cognitive dissonance.

            • DMH says:

              ok, hello hostile retired cop. I went back and forth over whether to let this speak for itself, but I really don’t want to see the West Side Rag comments turn into a cesspool like TheeRant. And UWSers should not have to wonder if our local cops are holding such views and feel like it’s okay to unleash them. So:

              1- after reading your comments, I have less trust and respect for the NYPD than I did before. Was that the goal?

              2- you’re talking about your disdain for “physically incapable” women on the force. Really. I’d like to see every member of the NYPD, women and men, go through annual physical fitness tests. And drug-testing. Especially for steroids.

              3- sorry, this is long. Look, you have every right to whatever view you want to hold, no matter how odious or embarrassing. But racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic views, held out like words of wisdom of an off-duty officer, are out of sync with the Upper West Side and New York overall. I hope people understand how damaging this is to the NYPD’s reputation locally.

              4- I hope the leaders of NYPD’s local precincts speak up to clarify when it is and isn’t acceptable to snarl at members of the public, and how it looks to see a retired cop spewing BS hatred at random members of the 2-0 and 2-4 and CP precinct, who should not have to deal with it at their job.

            • Off Duty says:

              And hello right back at you DMH. I was wondering whether any use would come of answering your condescending, misinformed, “politically correct” analysis of my comments. And then I could go on about how such a brain-dead, narcissistic far-left wing fool, such as yourself, could ever possibly have come up with such vapid, tedious and predictable responses, and all at the same time you think you really are righteous.
              Perhaps I could dare some analysis of my own to your four (numbered, no less), pathetic paragraphs?
              It’s late. I’ll see how I feel in the morning.

            • DMH says:

              You are speaking for the force, or you are impersonating a police officer. I’m all for a discussion of ideas, but please don’t insult me or use demeaning language again.

            • Off Duty says:

              @DMH – “…a discussions of ideas” is meaningless without honesty, and honesty is a virtue/trait you do not possess.
              Besides you are a bundle of anger, lacking in comprehension and a prisoner of your own rhetoric. So, what’s the point of a “discussion” with you?
              Want the last word? Of course you do.

            • UWS-er says:

              Um, “Off Duty,” you just called someone a bundle of anger, right after calling that person “brain-dead, narcissistic far-left wing fool”? Buy a mirror. Look in it.

            • Off Duty says:

              @ UWS-er….Er, ah, uhm, I’ve looked in the mirror pal…..deeper than you could ever imagine, and guess what? I’m happy in my skin. I’m not inclined to change much, some things, for the most part, I’m OK with myself.
              On my way to judgment day, I decided that really good men confront the lies, the decadence and the absurdities put forth by nincompoops like you.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              i wish i could be there when you get to the pearly gates and find out that St Peter is a dark-skinned foreign-born homosexual.

            • UWS-er says:

              Sigh. My point, “Off Duty,” is you sure do a lot of name-calling for someone who claims OTHER people are angry. All you do is call people names. Tends to be a sign of, you know, anger. If you have reasoned arguments to make, by all means, make ’em. But the name-calling makes you look like you have nothing of substance to say, you’re just seething with rage.

        • Off Duty says:

          Some of the best, most dependable guys I worked with were my Black and Puerto Rican officers. They were American born, well vetted and MEN!
          Almost all of the female officers I worked with could NOT be depended upon when it was time to rock and roll. FACT.

      • Zeus says:

        Words etched in stone.
        Under comrade commie mayor bdB the outlook is:

        NYC = RIP

        • UWS-er says:

          Um, the city seems pretty similar to the way it was under Bloomberg, actually. I know you don’t like the mayor, so you want NYC to descend into some sort of hellscape so you can blame “the commie,” but c’mon. Look out the window. Things are ok. Breathe. Relax. It’s still a nice place to live. I know it hurts, but it’s true.

      • QueerCop says:

        “agenda driven individuals, (homosexuals, foreign borns and “multiculturalism”)”

        Sounds you have your own racist and homophobic agenda, dollface.

    12. Paul RL says:

      I don’t expect crime to be at 0%. But I do expect our elected leaders to show us that they will do everything it takes to keep the safety of their citizens (and tourists for that matter) their number one priority. That includes showing real support for the NYPD, and giving them all the tools and tactics they need to do their job. I get a laugh when people make mention of the police “turning their backs” on the mayor. It was he who turned his back on his own police force. He can prioritize affordable housing, economic parity, and punishing the rich all he wants, but it will be meaningless if people aren’t safe.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        precisely which “tools and tactics” needed to do their job have been taken away from the NYPD? I can think of one and only one: racial profiling, specifically when used for stop and frisk.

        • Paul RL says:

          Well of course you can only think of one – because you’re doing your daily trolling to see how many people you can call “racist” in one comments section. So I’m not going to get into yet another nonsensical pissing match with you and bore everyone else here. Go bait some of the newcomers on this blog – they’ll be easier pickings for you. That is, until they quickly wise up like the rest of us did.

          • UWS-er says:

            But it’s a valid question. You say he’s taken away tools and tactics, so which ones are you talking about?? In what way has he “turned his back” on the police?

            • Paul RL says:

              Really? Much of his campaign platform was a reprimand of the NYPD – an NYPD that for 20 years was instrumental in dropping the crime rate and making citizens feel safe again. Many people, including me, believe that his vitriol against cops during Ferguson and the Eric Garner case not only alienated much of the NYPD, but helped contribute to the murder of the two patrolmen sitting in their car. If that’s not turning his back on the NYPD, I don’t know what is. I believe that he has created and perpetuated dangerous atmosphere for cops, which in turn compromises safety for you and me.

            • DMH says:

              PaulRL, what’s your suggestion when we feel like cops need to do a better job on community relations? I’m in absolute shock that an unhinged ex-cop would wade in to say that crime is up because 20 years ago the NYPD hired black cops, women cops, and gay cops, then double- and triple-down with personal insults. There wasn’t a lot of courtesy-professionalism-respect in there. I expected better than this from NYPD. If s/he doesn’t represent their views, they should speak up to say so and tell her/him to can it.

            • Paul RL says:

              DMH, of course I support better relations between the NYPD and the communities they serve. I don’t know why anyone would not be in favor of it, unless there is a feeling that “better community relations” would be a substitute for better policing. I don’t believe that the two are mutually exclusive of each other.

              Regarding Off Duty’s comments, I cannot speak for him and I am not a cop. To my eyes, some of his comments were extreme, but those who are using those comments to demonize the entire NYPD are being silly. Did other comments that he made have merit? Only those in the line of duty would be able to answer that, I don’t think any of us ordinary citizens can. My personal opinion: I don’t care what color, sexual orientation, or beliefs a cop has, but if he’s not capable of giving 110% of what’s required for the job, then they shouldn’t be wearing a uniform. Incidentally, if steroids help them run down a bad guy, I’m all for it!

        • Zeus says:

          I read your comments from time to time, and I reply to you, as you do to mine, from time to time.
          Well old buddy, it’s time to call a lib by it’s name:

          You are the bigot.
          Not the ones bringing up the S & F.

          You never let go of it, so you must be immersed in this feeling of being so right.
          You are not, for you are the racist, now, before, and most likely in the future.

          Cheers to our city, going down the drain.

          Thank you commie comrade mayor BdB.
          You are ushering your future:

          NYC = RIP

        • Off Duty says:

          @ dmh, brucie, queerkop & uws-err…..
          I suspect I’m “speaking” to the same person? A far left-wing troll determined to poison this site with ludicrous absurdity and personal attacks on anyone who challenges it’s insane twisted rants?
          It’s a pity that this site’s comments section does not have a thumbs up and down function so you can see just how much your delusional words are regarded by those too weary to actually put their thoughts to written words.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            sorry you’re so weary but i assure you that there are at least two people criticizing you and most likely three.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              sorry for my miscount.. 4 people so far have objected to your venom.

            • Zeus says:

              Is it not time for your annual three month vacation?
              Enjoy it, and hoping there’ no internet connection on that lonely island.
              Some of us here could use a long vacation from you.

    13. Eric says:

      Does anyone seriously think police officers are motivated to interact with law breakers unles they absolutely have to? In this political climate who would want to sacrifice their future or the safety of their families when, if something goes sideways, they’ll be offered up as a sacrifice to the mob chanting for their blood. I’m surprised there aren’t more cops fleeing this thankless job because of the pandering pols and race baiters.

      • ScooterStan says:

        Thanks for speaking the truth to power!

        So long as we have Clueless Crazies marching around with signs calling the NYPD “racist”after the BALTIMORE/FREDDIE GRAY episode (yes!), and so long as the faux-populist local TV news (yes, YOU, WABC, WWCBS, and WNBC) are quick to pounce on every possible example of police misconduct, even if it was in some out-lying suburb, we’re going to see more and more police officers saying, “I ain’t going to risk my reputation for some idjit who’ll be back out on the street in two days”

        AND, speaking of marchers, where ARE the self-righteous street protestors marching AGAINST muggings/street assaults/etc.

        Oh, sorry, not a PC-approved cause.

        • Mark says:

          Don’t forget about Eric Garner, choked to death in broad daylight. Then the undercover had the audacity to smile and wave to the camera. If you think cops don’t deserve the karma that’s coming back around their way, then you have your head up your ass farther than I do. I’m not talking about the poor officers who lost their lives, but we have a right to let them know that you spell racist N-Y-P-D because that’s what they are.

      • DMH says:

        Remember that great Don Draper line? “Peggy, that’s what the money is for!” That’s exactly what cops are paid to do. If some cops would rather not, I’m not sure why they don’t quit and take a job they’d rather do instead.

    14. Steve says:

      I don’t understand all these comments. I doubt this group of hoodlums who committed this crime were in any way responding to who is the mayor or how the police operate. They were responding to the fact that no cops were around and they had an opportunity to carry out a horrible act. People like that have always existed and will continue exist. Cops can’t be everywhere and the continuation of stop and frisk would not have stopped this group from doing what they did. And walking in the park is not a safe thing to do in my opinion. I’ve been around awhile and remember the “old” days and a certain level of caution goes with that.

    15. Christine Kealy says:

      i wanted to know about the accident that occurred sometime last weekend when a car crashed at 79th and Columbus Ave taking out a park bench and knocking out a large part of the iron fence surrounding Museum of Natural History. When did it occur and was anybody hurt.
      I thought I would find out in The West Side Rag.
      Christine Kealy