Police officers Francisco Luciano and Brendan Boyle of the NYPD’s 105th Precinct were on routine patrol in Rosedale on March 20 when things turned wrong quickly near the intersection of 230th Street and 145th Avenue.
“They saw a man who was following a group of girls crossing the street,” said Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis, commanding officer of the 105th Precinct. “He reached into his jacket and pulled out something that was long and shiny and looked like a gun.”
The officers, working in civilian clothes as part of the 105th’s anti-crime unit, jumped into action and grabbed the man, who was carrying what proved to be a homemade gun loaded with a 12-gauge shotgun shell.
Luciano and Boyle were named co-recipients of the 105th Precinct’s Cop of the Month honors on April 24 at the regular meeting of the 105th’s Community Council.
“I guess we’re seizing so many guns that criminals are having to make their own,” Courtesis said. “But that gun would have fired. And that’s what this guy was following those girls with.”
Gun crime topped the inspector’s list as he gave his monthly report on the crime statistics.
Shootings, he said, were zero for the previous 28-day period ending April 21, and are down 60 percent so far this year compared to last, falling from 15 this time last year to six, while total shooting incidents are down from 13 to 5.
Officers also have seized 15 illegal guns, including 10 taken in one raid from a Queens Village house on April 5 that resulted in six arrests.
Reported major crimes dropped in most categories for the previous 28-day period, down more than 12 percent from this time in 2012.
Felony assaults led the drop with a 30 percent decrease, followed by auto theft (29 percent), grand larceny (25 percent) and robberies (17 percent).
The auto thefts were a bit skewed, as crime statistics can be, by timing or as in this case, by a spree of activity.
“We had thefts or attempts on five Dodges in one night,” Courtesis said.
Burglaries were up.
Among the precinct’s major arrests was that of a man who robbed four businesses with a shotgun, striking employees with the weapon during each robbery.
“We circulated flyers with his picture and someone called us,” Courtesis said. “It is definitely safer with him off the streets. He was dangerous and he was violent.”