It was about that time on Saturday that the usual hoodlum crowd on my block mysteriously dispersed in a mad hurry, causing us to question whether something big was going down. Many residents heard the shots...it's often difficult to tell where gunfire is coming from, but on this occasion the reports were correct. Likely at 9PM the number of young ones was less than during the day. But as I'm sure we've all noticed, 9PM is no curfew for even toddlers around here, so it's likely there were children present. This is bad, bad, bad news indeed. Cameras, a regular police patrol, and clearing the loungers at the entrance is in order.On Saturday July 14th at approximately 9PM a 22 year old male
was shot one time in the hand inside of Parkside Playground located on Winthrop Street between Bedford Avenue and Rogers Avenue. The male is listed in stable condition at Kings County Hospital. The victim has a lengthy arrest history including numerous arrests for marijuana. This case is being investigated by Detective Thomas of the 71 Precinct Detective Squad. Anyone with information should contact Detective Thomas at 718-735-0515. All information will be kept confidential.
The Q has been pondering whether to make a big deal about the grown men hanging out at the park's basketball court entrance, smoking weed and drinking all afternoon and into the night. But after this, I think it's time local officials keep the space off limits to anyone breaking the law in any manner around the perimeter of the playground. It makes no sense to me to create a safe outdoor recreation space for young people, then allow the worst sorts of "modeling" behavior to take place like a gauntlet as you enter the park. Drinking and smoking hooch might necessarily be tolerated to a certain degree on hot summer afternoons and nights, but not around youngsters. This is a school and a playground. The incident on Saturday shows that some neighborhood residents have no respect for the meaning of those public words.
update: I sent Mathieu Eugene the following email today:
I saw you last Wednesday at the Woodruff Ave Block Association meeting. I mentioned to you that there was a very uncool group hanging out regularly around the Parkside Playground that you so generously helped bring to life. Sadly, a shooting took place ON THE PLAYGROUND just this past Saturday night at 9PM. I'm absolutely certain this shooting could have been prevented, or the dispute would have happened elsewhere, if there were regular clearings and patrols of the park.
This is playground for children; the basketball courts are for those playing basketball. And if people are congregating there at reasonable hours, that should be fine too. But the number of grown men hanging out, drinking and smoking weed, and the activity that persists after dark, is simply not a smart way to inaugurate a public space. I urge you to use the power of your office to see that the 71st patrol the area every few hours AND clear the entrances of loiterers. A child should be able to enter the playground without being forced to endure unruly and illegal activity.
Thanks as always for your hard work!
Hi Tim,The Council Member asked that I respond to your email on his behalf. We’ve been speaking with Officer Martinos and other officers from the 71st Precinct about increasing the number of patrols in and around the park on a permanent basis. We are really infuriated and troubled by what happened, especially given the fact that this occurred shortly after the opening of the park. The police also mentioned that the park is not being properly closed by the Parks Department so we are trying to see how this can be resolved. Any illegal activities in the park should not be tolerated and we will continue pressing the NYPD to have patrols of the park as much as possible.I will keep you posted as we get more information from the 71st Precinct.Best,Jonah