A reader tells us that the 20th precinct has been parking wrecks around the corner from the precinct for years, and one particular car (pictured above) that’s been there for weeks is beginning to bug him. He asked that we only identify him by his first name, Jeff.

I am writing today because I am confused and disappointed by the 20th Precinct for parking/storing wrecked automobiles on Columbus Avenue around the corner from their premises.  In most cases the damage to the cars parked on Columbus and 82nd Street is extreme and frankly very scary to look at for anyone especially for children.  This has been going on for years. I understand if cars are parked there for investigation purposes for a few days, but the car in this photo has been parked in this location, off the corner of 82nd Street (in front of Rays Pizza) for over 5 weeks!  The repercussions from the damage to the car in the photo were possibly life-threatening and some of the cars stored there are in more damaged condition(s) than this.

I lost my mother to a car accident, so the sight of these cars is certainly sensitive to me, but I am sure other residents and people passing by find it unsettling and offensive too. It is unacceptable that the 20th Precinct acts this passively and apathetically, to leave these wrecks in plain sight (where people likely lost their lives) on “display” for weeks and even months at a time.

We asked Captain Levon Holley, the precinct’s commanding officer, to respond to Jeff’s email and he sent the response below:

“The car is evidence and will be removed as soon as possible. It has not been left there due to negligence nor to offend.”

NEWS | 28 comments | permalink
    1. the_the says:

      I don’t usually walk on that block but I did a few weeks ago and was pretty surprised at the wrecks.
      Isn’t evidence supposed to be stored in a secure location so that the “evidence” can’t be tampered with?
      I am not a lawyer but I believe the concept is reffered to as chain of custody.

    2. Wrapguy says:

      Shouldnt evidence be taken away somewhere where it can’t be tampered with, like an impound lot?

    3. Westsider in CPW says:

      This is the car from the head-on collision that killed the woman driver from NJ as previously reported by WSR.

    4. Jen says:

      Glad you posted this WSR! It is more than an eyesore, it is very upsetting to look at and most importantly a danger for children in the neighborhood–my son is very curious about this wrecked car and I have to pull him away from touching the wires hanging out of the wrecked car. The police should store this in their lot or on the less traveled side street on 82nd. Columbus Ave should not be used to store evidence for weeks upon weeks.

    5. Sean says:

      Turn it into a car wreck museum. The kids will love it.

      • ScooterStan says:

        EXCELLENT IDEA, but even better:
        Make it into a “Museum of the ‘Lost’ Upper West Side That All The Nostalgia Types Moan Over”.

        To add authenticity the “Two-Oh” guys could sprinkle crack vials, hypodermic needles, and empty bottles of Manischewitz around, tear out the cars’ radios leaving wires dangling, and spread dog poop all over. To enhance the reality, hidden loudspeakers could play 70’s music.

        Maybe they could even charge admission!

      • Michael G says:

        Even if you’re just joking, it would be a much better idea than a single totaled car in front of the “restaurat.” Sort of an unnatural history museum.

    6. DP says:

      “…damage to the cars parked on Columbus and 82nd Street is extreme and frankly very scary to look at for anyone especially for children.”

      A wrecked car is scary to look at, “especially for children”? And how is it more “dangerous” than other junk or trash kids find anywhere else? Maybe it’s an eyesore, but let’s tone down the outrage and delicate sensibilities, please.

    7. Just Saying says:

      They spend resources removing book sellers from the side walk but then dump wrecks on our streets. Seems ironic to me

    8. Erin says:

      We passed by this car when it first appeared and the keys were still in the ignition! I’d hope they’d be a little more careful with evidence if that’s the case.

    9. ws says:

      The 20th Precinct has been doing this with wrecks for decades. Now that they are doing it in front of $2,000,000 coops people are starting to notice…..

      The cops also take many dozens of parking spaces nearby for their own personal commuter cars. A ‘free street parking’ pass is worth thousands per year and just like free tuition or any other employee benefit it should be taxable as imputed income, but everyone just looks the other way and pretends it’s not there like the emperor’s new clothes.

      • geoff says:

        This might help you decide whether you are in favor of NYC cops receiving a parking benefit or not (and which in doiing so deprives NYC resident car owners of a spot). According to the website NYPD Recruit (, salary and benefits for NYC basic cops are:

        Salary starts at $45,673 (total) and rises after five and one half years to $88,096.

        Detectives earn $101,656
        Sergeants top total compensation is $114,905
        Lieutenants earn $132,240
        Captains earn $169,090

        Figures do NOT include night differential and overtime.

        ADDITIONAL benefits include:
        • 27 paid vacation days after five years
        • unlimited sick leave with full pay
        • a choice of paid medical plans
        • prescription, dental and corrective lens coverage
        • annuity fund
        • deferred compensation plan, 401K and IRA
        • optional retirement at one half salary after 22 years service
        • annual $12,000 variable supplement fund (upon retirement)
        • annual banking of $12,000 VSF after 22 years if not retiring
        • additional benefits available to military personnel

        • ScooterStan says:

          AND, don’t forget THESE OTHER “BENEFITS”:

          1. The chance to get SHOT, probably in the back, by any cop-hating CRACKPOT or angry LUNATIC roaming the streets with the gun he is no longer afraid to carry since Stop-Question-and-Frisk was declared too harsh on all them poor widdle cwiminals; and/or

          2. The chance to be cursed at, given the finger, and even be spit upon by “social activists” showing their “solidarity with the oppressed”, their “opposition to a police state”, or whatever other neo-leftist/two-year-old temper tantrum B.S. is the flavor-of-the-moment; and/or

          3. The chance to stand on duty for hours in all kinds of NYC weather while “social activists” create chaos by “demonstrating” their support for whatever is the latest “Let’s Go Out and Screw-Up Traffic To Show How Powerful We Are (and Videotape Ourselves for YouTube” cause celebré.

        • 2 Handicap says:

          It’s not enough. They deserve more.

        • Harriet says:

          Are you saying this because you think it is too much…..or not enough? I personally think there isn’t any amount of financial compensation which is enough to ask people to become cops in this day and age. Certainly, no cop can afford to live in the neighborhood he/she polices on that salary, which is a very sad statement.

    10. Stephen O’Kane says:

      Just another example of cops in the city (and country) considering themselves above the law. This type of thing needs to be kept in check for people to want to respect the police force.

    11. Kenneth says:

      The wrecks and single/double parked police cars (and police personal cars) on Columbus in the low 80’s in the 7am to 10am NO STANDING zone is one of the reasons traffic no longer moves on Columbus Ave. Before the bike lane, they could get away with it not having as severe an impact – but no longer. Are you listening CB7?

    12. Laura C says:

      They do the same thing at the precinct on W 100th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus – there are always wrecked cars parked there for weeks on end.

    13. Deborah says:

      To state that this car is parked as “evidence” is ridiculous — such “evidence” is in a prime location to be tampered with, hauled off or otherwise tampered with. Evidence should be protected and secured, not left on a public street to frighten people or to be eviscerated.

      • dannyboy says:

        this car that is parked is evidence

        • Kenneth says:

          When did Columbus Avenue parking spaces become the neighborhood’s NYPD evidence locker?

          • dannyboy says:


            I am not associated with the 20th Police Precinct.

            You will need to address your inquiry to Captain Levon Holley, the Precinct’s commanding officer. He sent the response below:
            “The car is evidence and will be removed as soon as possible. It has not been left there due to negligence nor to offend.”

            Captain Holley sounds very reasonable and polite. I am sure he would love to engage.

    14. Sean says:

      How about a sound and light show with these cars? They could be our pyramids for the tourists.

    15. Julie says:

      I agree! I’m sure this is not commonplace for precincts across the nation.

      Lock it up 20th P!!

      Thanks for posting.

    16. JIMBO G says:

      Keep attacking the NYPD cops and you’ll suck EVERY BIT of commitment out of them.I know—I WAS ONE OF THEM.


      • dannyboy says:

        Agree wholeheartedly. The police are what stand between us and criminals. It isn’t safe without them.