By Carol Tannenhauser
“Someone was throwing bricks last night,” said an NYPD spokesperson, when West Side Rag called the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information (DCPI), on Tuesday morning to ask about a string of broken glass doors and windows, stretching from around W. 96th to W. 101st Street on Broadway.
DCPI is the NYPD’s central press office, located at One Police Plaza. It is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to provide the media with details of crimes that have recently occurred — who, what, when, where, and why — though why is rarely covered. Which is why I was surprised by Tuesday’s encounter.
It started when WSR reader Benny Fong came upon the broken glass around 7:30 am and sent WSR the photographs and tip. I immediately called DCPI — because that’s what reporters do. The detective was so pleasant, which is a bonus. He said the acts — deemed criminal mischief — were reported between 10:30 pm and midnight on Monday.
“The pattern was the same,” he said. “They must have had a wheelbarrow full of bricks.”
He recited the details: 2560 Broadway (97-98), front door of vacant store smashed with brick; 2592 Broadway (98), brick shattered front door; 2606 Broadway (97-98), CitiBank window smashed; 2642 (100-101), car service window shattered.
“Remember this on November 8th,” the detective added, unexpectedly. “Remember what’s on the ballot. This is the crisis of the moment — literally, broken windows.”
The police are waiting to view security tapes, he said, back to business. As of now, the perp is “completely unknown.”