Why One Address Seems to Be a Crime Hotspot, and More News from NYPD’s 24th Precinct Commander

Deputy Inspector Naoki Yaguchi addresses residents

By Joy Bergmann

Shootings, public pooping and pedestrians’ fears of reckless drivers were among the issues discussed at Saturday’s 24th Precinct Community Council meeting held at the Firemen’s Memorial at 100th Street in Riverside Park. 

Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Naoki Yaguchi kicked things off with a review of 2020’s total crime statistics for the precinct, which encompasses 86th Street to 110th Street, Hudson River to Central Park West. 

Looking at the seven major crimes tracked by NYPD, the number of total complaints was down by approximately 9% compared to 2019. However, “we had eight homicides versus two the previous year…burglaries pretty much doubled 201 versus 110…and GLAs [grand larceny auto: vehicle thefts] were up considerably, 77 versus 39 last year,” said Yaguchi. “Unfortunately we finished with nine shootings for 2020 which was a considerable increase [one in 2019]. So for the new year we want to be focused on the violence of the shootings…and the burglaries which mostly consisted of overnight burglaries of commercial businesses and package thefts of goods ordered online.”

Yaguchi with Sgt. Carlos Pappagallo

The new year also brings a new supervisor, Sgt. Carlos Pappagallo, for the area’s Neighborhood Coordination Officers [NCOs]. Residents may email concerns to him and/or their neighborhood’s specific NCOs; all emails appear on the precinct’s web page

Yaguchi praised his credentials and shared how Pappagallo and Officer Flores responded to a shots-fired incident on December 3rd. “We had three kids come down to 91st and Broadway and fired a shot at two individuals. They heard the shot and saw the perpetrator running toward Amsterdam…they chased him down and were able to arrest the subject and recover the gun.” 

The meeting then turned to questions from residents. 

One woman asked about the many 911 alerts popping up on the Citizen app for serious-sounding incidents at 312 Riverside Drive. “What’s going on there?” 

“That is an individual that’s basically making fake 911 calls. He actually has been arrested for it,” said Yaguchi, adding that the suspect has mental health issues and 312 Riverside is a non-existent address. “He perceives that something is actually going on in that place. We are working not only with the district attorney, but his defense attorney and his mental health provider to try to keep him busy and cut down on those calls.”

WSR asked about the quantity of moving violation summonses being issued to reckless drivers, especially in light of recent pedestrian deaths. In December, the 24th Precinct wrote 18 tickets for red light violations and 43 for failure to yield to a pedestrian, according to NYPD data. “Do you think that’s an adequate amount of enforcement?”  

“There’s no number that I’m like, ‘Oh if we write this many we’re good.’ It’s really based on how many collisions are happening, what type of collisions and where they’re happening,” said Yaguchi. “We have a dedicated traffic team. We monitor week-to-week where the collisions are happening, with specific attention to pedestrians. Then we try to direct the officers to take enforcement actions at those specific locations.” He added that, yes, bike riders do receive moving violations, but that Riverside Park is not an enforcement focus for his officers.

WSR also gave a shout out to the 2-4’s role in recovering Luca, a dachshund that was stolen from outside a market. [Read the thrilling timeline of how community members and police collaborated to find him.] 

Multiple residents shared concerns about the area surrounding the 96th Street subway station on Broadway, including aggressive panhandling, drinking, pot smoking and public defecation, especially in the outdoor planters at the station entrance and under the scaffolding at the nearby McDonald’s. 

Planters outside 96th Street station 

“They’re using that as their public toilets,” said Robert, a resident. “Each morning there are large piles of feces on the sidewalk and around the station entrances. Isn’t that a health hazard?”

“Absolutely. We’ll look into that,” Yaguchi said. “Broadway is a big focus for us. We have a lot of quality of life issues.” He added that when NYPD’s budgets were reallocated, the NYPD’s homeless outreach unit disbanded. “We’re still working with our partners at Goddard Riverside and the Department of Homeless Services, but obviously it’s not as seamless as it was because the unit that specifically dealt with [homeless] issues is now gone.” 

A man who identified himself as a resident of a UWS homeless shelter asked attendees not to see all people experiencing homelessness through the lens of criminality. 

“I really need [the shelter] to get back on my feet,” he said. “Everybody is not a bad guy…I’m not abusing the resources.”

“We’re not looking to stigmatize or single out all the homeless people,” said Yaguchi. “Our job is just to provide a safe environment.”

So, one woman asked, given the changing NYPD budgets, does he feel he has the resources he needs?

Yes. “Right now, resource-wise, manpower-wise, we’re good,” Yaguchi said. “A new class of recruits should be arriving to us in April…we are good.”  

NEWS | 52 comments | permalink
    1. UWS Mom says:

      The pot smoking is out of control. Pretty much any time I walk outside the air stinks of weed. And most times it’s not the homeless, I’ve seen construction workers, a security guard, and tenants on their stoops. But I’m supposed to walk around in a mask all day to protect these people? Enough.

      • m.pipik says:

        You aren’t being clear:

        Are you against the smoking of weed at all? Weed is going to become legal soon and people will smoke in places where others will get a whiff so what do you intend to do?

        Or are you just objecting to people blowing smoke and thus any COIVD viruses into your path?

        And yes, for now, you are supposed to walk around in a mask all day to protect ALL of us. If you aren’t then you are the problem.

        • Dae says:

          Is it too much to ask for a little common courtesy?

        • robert says:

          Not quite it is still a federal crime
          There is a pesky thing called the “supremacy clause” in the US Constitution. There have been a number of suits by red and blue states and SCOTUS will hear the case later this year. In cases from civil rights to regular crime the court has always held that federal law beats out state and city law

        • robert says:

          Also, none of the states that have legalized it have seen even a quarter of the expected tax revenue. In fact, doing so has increased the size of the illegal market in CA as its still much cheaper than the gov stores with tax. The cannabis industry association in CA has asked the state/police to crackdown on the illegal trade as its causing many of the “legal weed’ stores to go out of biz

        • robert says:

          As for medical-weed as a painkiller 99.9% of so called “studies” on it are done vs a placebo, not other drugs. No controlled study by a reputable, none weed industry sponsored medical/research facility has been done to prove it medical benefits. Just the opposite, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, Netherlands, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia, Karolinska Institutet, Department of Social Medicine, Huddinge, Sweden, in addition to work being done at Harvard and Stamford, have all shown a direct correlation between pot use and schizophrenia.
          These were studies that lasted over a decade and each was of thousands of subjects.

        • Briant says:

          It doesn’t say anywhere that you have to wear a mask outside at all times, and if you read any one of a multitude of studies on covid-19, you’re equally as responsible as those wearing them because CNN told them too. Responsible is being personally well versed in the science, which, as demonstrated in a summer of riots as well, states that spread is not occurring outside as you walk down a sidewalk. Sitting stationary at a table in an indoor outside dining arrangement however; definitely not wise, just like the inside of many buildings. Those people who refuse to wear masks there are irresponsible, but for the same base reason as the people that accost you for not wearing a mask outside; willful ignorance.

      • Alan says:

        the smell is practice for you to get used to it, pot smoking along with legalized gambling will be signed into law in the near future…and then after that prostitution, then you can officially say your govt is the MOB

      • Mark Moore says:

        It’s going to be legal soon.

      • Walt says:

        Pot smoking is not a crime get used to it. I have the same issue, my entire apartment smells like pot half the time from my neighbors or smokers outside but it’s not a crime so we get used to it or move. There are way worse crime issues going on in this city right now. They need to get a grip on crime and burglaries.

      • Dresden says:

        The air is for ALL of us to breathe. …can’t walk anywhere without breathing it in. Being forced to inhale pot, by simply taking a walk is one reason I’m leaving.
        As well, it is illegal to smoke ANYTHING in NYC parks. That doesn’t get enforced. I was verbally assaulted & chased by a pot smoker. When the police came, the cop in charge harassed ME and started accusing me of anything random that he could make up.

      • UWS’R says:

        I’d like to remind everyone that weed and the act of smoking weed is completely harmless. It is important to have common courtesy for your fellow neighbors. However, as long as you keep it away from kids it really poses no risk to the quality of life here. We have to try harder!!!

    2. Frank Grimes says:

      So in summary:

      Shootings up 900%
      Homocides up 400%
      Burglaries up 95%
      Vehicle thefts up 95%

      At some point we will need to concede that emptying jails and not prosecuting crimes is not working. The Woke leadership in this city (and state) should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this city to take such a step backwards.

      • LK says:

        Things will get worse before they get better. The leadership of this city will stay irrational for a long while. Likely for longer than sane people will be able to handle…

      • Juan says:

        Totally agree. Let’s see what the candidates for mayor have to say about this. This is a litmus test issue for many of us. Let’s let the police do their jobs and enforce quality of life laws and have real penalties, especially for repeat offenders.

      • EdNY says:

        Can we at least get the math right?
        Shootings up 800%.
        Homicides up 300%.
        Burglaries up 83%.
        Vehicle thefts up 97%.

        Percentages sound like a lot, but to expect crime to drop year after year is unrealistic. There are many things exacerbating the problem right now.

    3. dannyb says:

      Once upon a time we actually had a publicly available bathroom in the mini building (formerly the subway entrance kiosk) in the Broadway median on the north side of 96th street. Perhaps someone might consider reopening this, with supervision by, I dunno, Goddard or Doe or some similar group.

    4. William Pearlman says:

      The people have only themselves to blame. They keep voting in progressives. This is the result

      • Philip says:

        One question the residents need to ask themselves is who did they vote for in State & NYC elections. Voting has consequences.

        • EdNY says:

          I couldn’t agree more. If we hadn’t voted Cuomo in, NY State would not have a law guaranteeing abortion rights.

    5. Cordcutter says:

      Alerts at 312 RSD have been quiet as of late. Hoping the person gets the real help they need because so far they’ve been ignored by whomever has been responsible for their care up to now.

    6. good humor says:

      Other than writing the 60 tickets in December, what did the traffic team do all day, and night? I will personally assure you that I witness 60 traffic infractions an hour at 96th from Broadway to West End Ave.

      I do hope people in other parts of the UWS are getting great police service. They are entirely absent around my home.

    7. soldier says:

      WSR should ask all running for mayor what are they going to do about the catastrophic plunge in quality of life in the city. The “values” they keep blathering about never touch the quality of life of, you know, New York City taxpayers. A GIANT elephant in the room.

      • Leon says:

        Completely agree. Let’s deal with the following areas that deBlasio has destroyed:

        – inability of the police to enforce quality of life crimes – they are doing their best but are completely neutered.
        – efforts to ruin NYC schools by eliminating all screens, so that it is a race to the bottom
        – No coherent policy to deal with the huge increase in the homeless population.

        I will vote for anyone who gives decent solutions to these problems. I think there are many others who agree. All of us moderate Democrats want to stop the race to the extreme left.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          Leon said:

          “efforts to ruin NYC schools by eliminating all screens, so that it is a race to the bottom”

          let’s rephrase this, accurately. Schools are being DESEGREGATED by eliminating middle school “screens”, a fancy word for segregation. There is ZERO evidence that this results in a decrease of quality in middle schools. In fact, there is evidence that integrated schools INCREASE quality. “race to the bottom” is simply old fashioned segregationist language.

          Saying that students at different levels in the same schools and classes destroy the schools is simply a lie. In the suburbs and in elementary schools, students of different learning levels sit side by side. It only becomes an issue to panic about when it has to do with school integration.

          • Confused UWS says:

            Bruce, can you help me understand what screening tests have to do with racial segregation? It sounds like you’re suggesting that certain races are incapable of succeeding in these screening exams which I take issue with.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              reply to confusedUWS:

              I think you are mixing up two different things.

              The controversies regarding the “Screening” tests apply to the testing High schools and also the K-5 G&T program. In both cases, it’s easy to see how the tests discriminate against low income and underserved communities, which in NYC are mostly Black and Hispanic. for G&T K-5, tests are given at age 4, which is ridiculous. For the testing HSs (Stuy, Bx Science, etc), the proof that the tests are not “objective” is that many upper income parents pay thousands of $s for “test prep” courses for their kids… and it works! Also, GPA and excellence in school is not considered in admissions: the only schools in the country (HS or College) to do that.

              The middle school screening is a different issue, and is not a single test per se. Ending “screening” on so many middle schools on the UWS is an initiative to end segregation in these schools. it will work, and the idea that the schools once integrated will go downhill is segregationist malarkey.

            • lollerskates says:

              Bruce did a lot of dancing there to avoid answering your actual question, didn’t he?

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          reply to Leon:

          I can’t help but note the irony of someone defending school segregation on MLK Day.

    8. Love this! Thank you for sharing!

    9. Servant says:

      Their is One, who gives peace beyond all understanding. His name is Jesus Christ. Without Him, you will have no peace in this life, and because you have rejected his love, and his commandments much less peace will you have once this body, flesh, goes back to the earth. Your soul is Eternal. Repent, ask him and him alone for forgiveness, that you may be redeemed, and enter the kingdom of Heaven. Your faith,in politics, police, anything that comes from traditions of man will always fail. Peace comes from GOD. The Bible says Seek and ye shall find. (Revelations 3:20KJV) (John 3:16 KJV)

    10. lizzie says:

      It’s ironic that they are holding the meeting at the Fireman’s Memorial, where people gather every night (especially before the weather turned cold) to drink, do drugs and have sex. Every morning the area is littered with empties, drug detritus and condoms. It’s right at the end of the street…how hard would it be to send a patrol car down there a few times a night? You’d think the cops would at least have respect for the nature of the memorial and try to stop this disrespectful behavior.

      • ben says:

        I wouldn’t hold my breath on them sending patrol cars down that way any time soon. They can’t seem to even get the grounds of Douglas Houses covered sometimes, which is literally the backyard of the 24th station house.

    11. Ronald says:

      Unfortunately the subway station and surrounding 96th street is really bad. Was there mid day on Tuesday as saw a pedestrian urinating on the station. The city and lack of enforcement from the Mayor and liberal left of UWS have gotten what they voted for. You can’t have your cake and eat it too! Get tough on petty crime and you won’t see this.

    12. Ambro says:

      I very proud of the work NYPD does in my neighborhood. The crossing guards are very nice to me.

      • good humor says:

        the crossing guards for 95th and 96th streets hang out together in the middle, serving neither corner.

    13. UWS Mom says:

      For those who think I should just “get used to” smelling weed whenever I go outside, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that my kids and I not have to breathe in other people’s pot smoke when they walk by us on the sidewalk.
      Cigarette smoking is legal, but not in a restaurant.
      Drinking a six pack is legal, but not on the playground.
      Urination is legal, but not on the corner.
      Sex is legal, but not at the bus stop.
      Just because it’s “gonna be legal soon” doesn’t mean it’s appropriate on a crowded public street.

      • EdNY says:

        I imagine this will eventually be dealt with when there is enough public pushback.

      • lynn says:

        Not trying to be snarky but I’ve smelled pot consistently on my block, in my building, at my workplace, nearly everywhere I go, for 10+ years. It’s become like any other smell in NYC. I’m curious as to why you’ve just now noticed it and find it a problem.

      • Huh says:

        You’re right, there are boundaries. But when pot smoking is legal it will have the same restrictions as cigarettes. I hate the smoke too but public streets are public. If we don’t like the smoke we have to get out of the way, not the smokers.

    14. nemo paradise says:

      “Each morning there are large piles of feces on the sidewalk and around the station entrances.”

      Seems like a small price to pay for compassion. If people don’t like it, it’s only a short walk to another station. And where are people going on the subway anyway? Shelter in place, folks.

      • Balebusta says:

        LOL is this a serious comment? The irony of the “woke” saying piles of feces are a small price to pay, while being totally in your privilege about people needing to use the subway “just go to another station…where are we going anyway”…climb down from your ivory tower and realize many people don’t get to work from home or just “shelter in place.”

        • nemo paradise says:

          Privilege is people lucky enough to have jobs during a pandemic complaining about homeless people who have to go to the bathroom somewhere. They could just stop eating, I suppose.

      • Peter says:

        What a joke you are.

      • LivableCity says:

        And…this one FTW. This was the comment that got read aloud! I do appreciate the humor here.

        But I also appreciate the reporting on this police community event and the work behind the event from many quarters.

        There is so much going on. Not all of it we have figured out how to respond to. And sometimes a wry, absurd, gently satirical caricature of our fellow concerned citizens is really welcome!

      • Upset UWSer says:

        Excuse me, but there IS a pandemic going on and to have people leaving HUMAN EXCREMENT on the sidewalk where their germs, viruses, etc could be stepped on and walked away into someone’s home is NOT ACCEPTABLE. To speak so smugly shows me that you are lacking compassion for the stores this sits in front of and the people paying for the social services that are so ill-managed. We should have had the homeless under control before the pandemic but this city has pathetic leaders and some smug residents who sit and preach.

    15. Claire says:

      The next era of white flight can’t happen soon enough.

    16. Sherry Levine says:

      I am afraid to walk alone on Broadway at night. I live on 95th and West End. During the day, I am appalled and ashamed by the streets surrounding the subway. How will we attract new residents and new stores and restaurants with the streets becoming public toilets. I have not commented on this before but feel compelled given the above reports.

    17. Arlene Mehlman says:

      Our streets w 109-107 a pig sty we need to get back to olive NY pride we need to reopen psychiatric hospitals that are run well. Like good nursing homes, they are what people need and can thrive.
      We will not Have our nyc if it is not safer and clean.
      Affordable housing buildings on 108 are as ugly as can be. A multilevel garage would have been built as part of project. DeBlasio has no concidestion for the people in the community living here for so many years.

    18. Ira Gershenhorn says:

      When, where is the next meeting? I was at two meetings so far and missed this one. How does one find out when these will happen? I don’t like hearing this stuff second hand. How about a gofundme for a $150 decent PA from PC Richards? The outreach doesn’t seem important. I’ve been to these meetings and you can barely hear anything. Fortunately, Commander Yaguchi has a good voice, but you can only hear him if he’s speaking in your general direction.

    19. Bobby Shepherd says:

      It appears quite evident to me that whenever there is a Dem Mayor the police start laying back in order to create a good chance for some Reuplican who they evidently favor.Police by goofing off, decide elections. Watched it play out over and over. This last Mayor was elected, police vanished.

    20. Bonnie says:

      Use of a well fitting N95 NIOSH facemark reduces penetration of smoke by 95+%. Wear a well fitting mask at all times when outside to reduce the anxiety associated with smelling the smoke. It won’t be perfect, but it will reduce it.