2016-11-02 / Front Page

108th Police Precinct Community Council Holds October Meeting

By Thomas Cogan

At October’s 108th Police Precinct Community Council meeting, Captain Dominic Carosella presided in place of Commander Deputy Inspector John Travaglia.  He oversaw a brief meeting that included a Cop of the Month ceremony honoring two patrol officers who responded to a physical attack on a bus driver in the early morning hours.  It was followed by a crime report with some further information about the wave of catalytic converter thefts from automobiles, which had been reported initially by the commander.  The annual alert was issued about parking conditions during the New York City Marathon, which occurs in early November; and a lieutenant made a report about the command’s crackdown on establishments presented with summonses from city agencies.

The Cop of the Month awards went to two patrol officers, Anthony Mangiolino and Anthony Scavetta. On Thursday, October 20 at 3:40 a.m. the two received a 911 report of an attack made on a bus driver taking a work break at 69th Street and Queens Boulevard.  When they showed up at that spot they found the driver had been assaulted with a box cutter wielded by an apparently drunken man, who slashed him across his abdomen.  The driver was eventually taken in an ambulance to a hospital, to be treated and released. 

But at the scene, Officers Mangiolino and Scavetta were faced by the alleged attacker, still there and still holding a box cutter.  The two appealed to him to put the alleged weapon down and surrender to them.  Faced with overwhelming opposition, the man relinquished the box cutter and was apprehended.  P.O. Scavetta was unable to attend the meeting to receive his award but P.O. Mangiolino was present, as were his wife and parents.  His father joined him in front of the room, saying to the audience as he approached, “That’s my son!”  The officer’s mother followed, saying, “He’s my son too!”

Capt. Carosella reported that there had been no rapes in the latest week surveyed (October 17-23) and one in the past month.  Other than that, all index crime figures during week and month were even with or lower than figures from the corresponding periods of 2015.  He had an update on incidents of catalytic converter theft, first reported by D.I. Travaglia early in the month at the Community Board 2 meeting.  The captain said that in the precinct district during the month of September, 18 catalytic converters were removed with hacksaws from the undersides of automobiles and sold to those who would extract the valuable metals within them.  In October, up to Tuesday the 25th, there were no thefts whatever, indicating that either the thieves were apprehended or had some reason to move somewhere else to continue their crimes. 

The captain reported that traffic mishaps were happening less often lately, and pedestrian incidents also.  He did mention that one driver was recently stopped on Laurel Hill Boulevard for going 80 miles per hour in a 30-mph zone, which might have prevented a little mayhem.  He reminded everybody that the New York City Marathon would be run in all five boroughs Sunday, November 6.  Runners will begin as usual on the Verazzano Narrows Bridge and come through parts of Brooklyn and Queens before making the grand turn at Queens Plaza onto the Queensboro Bridge.  No parked vehicles are permitted along the route and in the streets around Queens Plaza.  Any of them seen parked in these forbidden areas when the police make a pre-race check will be towed, he said.

Lieutenant Sean Corcoran reported about recent “march operations” carried out in establishments that have been either slow or unwilling to recognize summonses or penalties brought against them by such city agencies as the departments of Consumer Affairs or Buildings.  The vicinity of Roosevelt Avenue provided police with several of those delinquents and also with sex-trade women to bust.  A man living near Windmuller Park in Woodside stood up at the meeting to thank the police for at last showing up to clear out some dope-smokers who had been loitering in the park constantly, causing him to complain about them repeatedly at monthly meetings.  Lieut. Corcoran told him he led that particular operation.

A ghastly mid-month discovery in Long Island City got an inquiry from a concerned woman.  At American Self Storage, 47-30 29th St., a man rented locker space that had been seized from a prior customer, who had stopped paying her rent for it late last year.  When the space was cleared out for the new renter, several dozen cats were found frozen in a freezer stored there.  The woman at the meeting asked what the police had done about it.  Lieut. Corcoran said that after removing the dead cats, the police turned the matter over to the ASPCA.                             




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