Local Resident Honored At 108th Precinct Community Council
Mike Novak was the honored guest at the April meeting of the 108th Police Precinct Community Council. Novak was presented with a plaque for foiling a sexual attack on 39th Street in Sunnyside early in the morning of Sunday, April 8. A woman leaving the No. 7 train at the 40th Street elevated station was followed by a man who attacked her on 39th Street and threw her to the pavement. Her cries attracted Novak, who surprised the attacker and sent him running. He and his wife took the victim into their home nearby and aided her until the police arrived. Novak accepted the plaque but, beyond expressing his gratitude for it, made no further comment.
The crime report for the precinct through Sunday, April 15 showed no murders or rapes, the same as in the corresponding week of 2011, and robberies (four) were the same at both times. Felonious assaults showed a gain to three from two, burglaries doubled from three to six, grand larcenies went from nine to 11 and grand larceny auto from three to four incidents. 108th Precinct Commanding Officer Captain Donald Powers brought the report up to April 22, saying the total of the seven index crimes was down slightly (17 vs. 18) from the same week in 2011, but up for the month; and for the year to date, there were 372 index crimes vs. 360 for the same period of 2011. The body found unburied in Calvary Cemetery in March remains unidentified and the cause of death has not been disclosed.
A bicycle and its rider recently collided with a moving taxicab on Greenpoint Avenue at Borden Avenue in Long Island City and the bicyclist, who reportedly was riding against the traffic, was killed. The taxi driver was checked for alcohol consumption and cleared. Powers said that the 108th Precinct “is a target command” for the regulation of bicycle riding, which prompted commentary from a few persons in attendance. One woman alleged that the delivery bicyclists for Pete’s Grill on Queens Boulevard near 40th Street are particularly bothersome to pedestrians. She said there is a high turnover among the deliverymen, so instructing them on sidewalk courtesy goes for naught when they are replaced by other free-riding cyclists. Carol Terrano, a Woodside resident, said she and all others who drive automobiles are required to have licenses and bear responsibility for their actions but bicyclists are free of such constraints, a situation she finds unjust.
Powers said that Greenpoint Avenue where it meets the Long Island Expressway service road is officially known as an “accident prone” location, having gained that distinction by being a constantly unsafe junction, a condition he called “historic”. Several audience members spoke of drivers cutting through the gas station located on Greenpoint between Hunters Point Avenue and the service road or trying other measures to gain advantage in the flow of traffic headed for an entrance to the main highway.
Christian Murray, who puts out www.sunnysidepost.com, asked Powers where the burglary “hot spots” are in the command. Powers told his inquirer that there have been some break-ins in Sunnyside Gardens, but not enough to constitute a “crime wave” as Murray apparently claimed. There are a greater number of burglaries and grand larceny incidents in Woodside than in Sunnyside, he said; and in addition, the small part of the western end of Maspeth covered by the 108th Precinct can be problematical. Incidents of bar-related assaults and fights are fairly evenly distributed across the command, he added.
Terrano told Powers and the audience that a man has been conducting some sort of auto repair service out of a disabled automobile (one wheel is missing) on 60th Street near 59th Avenue. Powers said he would check out her complaint.