By Joy Bergmann
Although year-to-date crime statistics continue to fall in the 24th Precinct (86th – 110th Streets), the area has seen a recent increase in robberies and felonious assaults, Capt. Seth Lynch told residents at the Community Council meeting Wednesday evening.
During the 28-day period ending May 5th, the precinct recorded 10 robberies compared to 5 during the same period last year and 9 felonious assaults – 3 of which were committed against police officers – compared to 8 in 2018.
Lynch drew special attention to a mugging on the afternoon of May 2nd. “We had a 73-year-old woman that was going into the train station at 96th Street and CPW. An individual approached her, grabbed her purse. She struggled a little bit. He struck her in the face…took her purse and ran with it.” Two passersby gave chase, Lynch said, and managed to get her purse back with her belongings; the suspect escaped with $50 from her bag. The woman was treated for a cut on her lip, he said, urging anyone with information to contact NYPD.
The investigation continues into the May 3rd shots fired incident near 100th and Columbus, Lynch reported. A dispute between two groups on West 100th Street apparently precipitated the gunfire, he said. “It was in close proximity to the Frederick Douglass Houses, but however we can’t say for sure if that’s where the intended targets were from.” Lynch said video footage showed two males who appeared to be teenagers pulling out 22-caliber guns and shooting northbound. “What is clear to us is that these individuals who were firing the shots, they are not from the neighborhood.” No one was injured, but several vehicles were damaged, he said.
Lynch said he is bringing in extra officers on overtime over the weekend to “help beef up the presence and address the situation both with the robberies and the possibility of any further shots fired incident.”
A resident asked for more information regarding the assaults on 24th Precinct officers.
Lynch said the first incident occurred at 4:30 a.m. on April 28th when two suspects in a drugstore shoplifting spree were approached by officers who played back a radio description that fit their appearance. The suspects “panicked” with one shoving the other into an officer who was kicked during the altercation, breaking two bones in his lower leg. One suspect was arrested that day, the other was arrested May 2nd, he said.
Lynch said the second incident happened after two officers were flagged down to investigate a man smoking crack on the street. As the officers attempted to interview the suspect, he punched both officers. The suspect was arrested at the scene, he said.