The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Trespassing & Vandalism Supported by 104th Precinct

(*I've updated this post to include contact info at the end.)

This morning I went over to the reservoir to talk to Angel. What occurred before I found him has me seething.

There were 5 or 6 people playing paint ball in the north end of Basin 3. I could hear machine gun-like noise and splats from pretty far away. As expected, they were trashing the place. I called 311 to report the incident, which the operator referred to as "Criminal Mischief". I call it trespassing and vandalism of city property. Within about 20 minutes an unmarked police van with 4 officers arrived. They were quickly followed by a patrol car with 2 officers. I pointed them to the area of the basin near the pumphouse next to the Jackie Robinson. I was a distance away and watched as they disappeared around the corner. A few minutes later they all emerged, but without any of the guys with the paintguns. As I walked towards them I heard the sound of the paintball guns starting up again.

The officer who appeared to be in charge was a big guy with a shaved head, Officer Solomon, from the 104th Precinct. He told me, "We knows these guys, their good kids and we were told to leave them alone. Better they do it down there than on the street were someone could get hurt." I replied that I had been to meetings and had phone conversations with the Queens Commissioner of Parks, Dorothy Lewandowski, as well as, Highland Park Administrator, Debbie Kuha. Both said that the paintballs players vandalized the fences and trashed the forested basins, but that they've had trouble catching and stopping them. Officer Solomon replied, "I don't know what to tell you, we've been told to leave them alone."

I told Angel what had happened and he said that the police always make the same comment when they are called about the people on the ATVs.

Who is lying - the NYPD or the Department of Parks & Recreation? It occurred to me that parks was probably intentionally allowing these people to trash the reservoir, because it makes their argument to bulldoze the place that much easier.

I challenge Queen Commissioner of Park and Adminstrator Kuha to come out to the reservoir early one Saturday or Sunday. When they observe the paintball people or ATV riders destroying the place, call 311 but don't identify yourself as a city employee. Wait until the police arrive and say that they've been told to leave these people alone.

Here are some contacts if you like to send an email or letter of complaint. This is the new commander of the 104th Precinct:

Capt. Keith Green
64-2 Catalpa Ave.
Queens, NY, 11385
(718) 386-3004


You should also send a copy to Commissioner Kelly:

Mr. Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner
New York City Police Department
1 Police Plaza
New York NY 10038
Here is a link to his email submission form.

Meetings: The 104th Precinct Community Council meets the 4th Wednesday of every month at 8:00 p.m. at the Covenant Lutheran Church located at 6859 60 Avenue.

Send us an email


parnell said...

probably the same "good kids" who busted all the light fixtures.

Christina said...

Wonder what the gun looked like. NYC banned the sale of paintball guns that look like real guns years ago.

Sporting Goods Store Pulls Fake Guns From Shelves After Citation From City

Anonymous said...

I think that the cops cant do anything becuase of jurisdictional stuff.

Parks Police have to come in and issue summonses. the cops can only do something if they are committing a crime on the street not violating a park regulation.

I could be wrong but im a paint baller from Brooklyn that plays in these "outlaw" fields.

Rob Jett said...

Park Police have little authority and don't even carry firearms. My brother is a cop so I asked him about it. He told me that everything about their activities was illegal:

- It is against the law in NYC to vandalize property - private or public.

- They are in an area that is clearly marked "No Trespassing".

- They broke the chainlink fences to get in.

- They are participating in a sport on city property for which they need a permit.

- Some of their weapons are banned in NYC for looking too real.

Rob Jett said...

... regarding jurisdiction, NYPD officers can arrest people for committing a crime ANYWHERE in NYC, except inside another country's embassy.