2017-04-05 / Front Page

108th Pct. Community Council Meets

By Thomas Cogan
The 108th Police Precinct’s meeting at the end of March had two Cop of the Month award ceremonies and several quality-of-life complaints.  It did not have the presence of Commander Captain Ralph Forgione who said his day had been so busy he needed relief from this particular duty this month, according to Lieutenant Jack Morrison, who was standing in for him.  The lieutenant handled not only the quality-of-life issues but a plea from a visitor that the status of immigrants should not be shared by the city’s police and federal agencies.  There was no crime report, as the lieutenant said he wasn’t prepared to deliver one on short notice, but the report posted in the precinct newsletter showed some striking increases in criminal incidents.

The murder count for the entire year stood at zero in late March, down by one compared to last year.  There have been two rapes, but that count is also down by one.  The robbery count was up by one for the year, 21 to 20.  The series of significant gains begins with felonious assaults, which doubled in the most recent week, from one to two.  In the 28-day period, however, the count was 13, up from eight, or 62.5 percent from the same period of 2016, and up in the year to date by 53.8 percent, from 26 incidents to 40.  Burglaries were up from four to five for the week, seven to 13 in the 28-day period and 22 to 40 for the year, those last two being increases of more than 85 percent. 

Grand larceny was doubled in the most recent week, to 12 from six, but its figures were sharply divergent during the 28-day period, falling from 48 to 35 (down 27.1 percent) and declining 21.7 percent for the year to date, to 103 from 123.  Grand larceny auto was increased across the board, to four from one during the week, to eight from six during the 28-day period and to 22 from 21 in the year to date.  Total crime increase during the week was 53.3 percent (to 23 from 15) but the 28-day figures were lower by 9.9 percent (from 81 to 73) and higher by 7.0 percent in the year to date, to 230 from 215.

 Cop of the Month plaques were awarded to four officers who made arrests in two incidents.  The first, on Friday, March 2, shortly after 1:00 a.m., was a robbery of one person by three others, near the Woodside train stations at 61st Street and Roosevelt Avenue.  Sergeant Daniel Marussich and Patrol Officer Gerald La Clair, took the radio call and began looking for the three.  They stopped two men a few blocks away and searched them for some of the items reported stolen, including a mobile phone that was found on one of them.  The two were taken into custody and later Marussich and La Clair followed a lead and found the third suspect, who was apprehended.

The other winners were Patrol Officers Ken McLaughlin and Rafal Jankowski, who in the early morning of Monday, March 12 responded to the sound of gunshots, also in Woodside in the 60s.  In a nearby house they found a woman with a chest wound who told them her husband had shot her.  After calling for medical aid and waiting for it to arrive, they set out after the shooter.  They found somebody walking along a street and called to him.  When he was slow to respond, both officers got out of the patrol car and approached the man.  He didn’t resist, so they searched him and found a gun.  He was arrested and his wife, the shooting victim, is recovering.

When the question period was opened the first to bring up a complaint was a group of neighbors living near Long Island City Vocational and Technical High School, on 47th Avenue at 37th Street.  Their collective gripe was that several of the students sit outside the school or in nearby spots and smoke marijuana, lots of it and at all hours of the day.  The odor becomes so strong, one person said, perhaps hyperbolically, that you can get a contact high.  The lieutenant said he’d check it out, as he also would the complaints from those living near Windmuller Park on 39th Drive in Woodside, where homeless men allegedly harass women passing by or just use it and adjacent parks as a dwelling place of last resort.  The lieutenant said there used to be periodic evacuations of these parks but apparently that effort has gone slack.  He said he would examine it, adding that he’s a man who follows through on his promises.  He would also see about the complaint that food carts, formerly banned from the public area under the elevated station at Bliss/46th Street, have made a return.  (That would apply also to carts in the public area under the 40th/Lowery Street station.)

A man bearing a sheet from the Civil Liberties Union, listing nine state and local enforcement policies and rules the ACLU would like to see enacted, appealed to the lieutenant to ask that city police not collaborate with federal officers in rounding up immigrants on possible illegal alien charges.  The lieutenant replied with a policy statement that bore resemblance to much of the ACLU’s list of hypothetical rules.  He said that the police do not ask the particulars of any seeming immigrants’ residential status if and when they deal with them in matters pertaining only to local law enforcement.

Also at the meeting was Meredith Wittmann, director of community affairs/scheduling for Assemblyman Brian Barnwell, to announce that the assemblyman is sponsoring a day of free legal services, provided by the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), on Monday, April 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 51st Street and 32nd Avenue in Woodside.  Among several matters that could be covered are housing and foreclosures; consumer credit; debt management; immigration; domestic violence; identity theft; and disability and healthcare benefits.  To arrange for an appointment, call the assemblyman’s district office at 718-651-3185.



Return to top

Copyright 1999-2018 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.