Although Deputy Inspector Hank Sautner, the commanding officer of the 102nd Precinct, opened the first meeting of the community council since June with an update on the Forest Park rape case, the meeting’s main focus was general quality-of-life issues in the community, from noise to parking problems.
Sautner was unable to give too much of an update on the rape case, which is still an open investigation, but he did say that police are not completely sure the suspect wanted in the Aug. 26 case is the same person wanted in past sex attacks dating back to 2011, but he noted that the police are looking at the similarity of the incidents.
“We do have an active pattern. It goes back two years. We don’t know of all these incidents being related. Certainly we are concerned with the weapon and the motive,” Sautner said, alluding to the stun gun used in last month’s rape and another attack in March.
The suspect in both cases was white and in his 30s or 40s.
“These incidents happened months apart,” Sautner added.
He was unable to go into more detail about the investigation but said they were taking any leads they could get from the public.
Besides the park issue, Sautner took concerns from the public on a myriad of issues, including drugs along 101st Avenue in Ozone Park and the situation at a home on 101st Road off 105th Street, where a neighbor said residents do drugs in front of their children.
“If we have to get [Administration for Childern’s Services] involved, we will,” Sautner said.
He added that a deli on 101st Avenue was raided due to drugs and underage drinking and a second deli was being watched by cops.
“I believe they’re some of the same players [as the 101st Road house],” Sautner said.
Residents living near PS 97 and PS 60, both in Woodhaven, expressed concern over the traffic and safety situation near the schools, especially during dismissal times.
“It is insanity,” said one resident who lives near PS 97, suggesting that 85th Street be closed during dismissal as is done around some Catholic schools in the area. Sautner said he would look into that possibility.
At PS 60, the younger grades enter and exit at the main entrance on the dead end of 88th Road, which one resident said was a traffic hazard because parents make U-turns on the block, using driveway cuts to turn.
Kenichi Wilson, an Ozone Park resident, asked if locating a school safety officer there was a possibility.
Sautner said he would look into the PS 60 issue personally and see if the street could be closed or another officer could be put there.
Parking issues were also a concern for a number of residents in Woodhaven, especially around the same schools. One resident who lives across the street from PS 97 said school bus drivers often park their buses in the street overnight. Another meeting attendee said there have been issues with livery cabs parking in the streets, to which Sautner said there was little he could do about it unless a cab company was parking its entire fleet on the street. Also, concerns over a parked tractor-trailer on Atlantic Avenue were also brought up.
“They take off the license plates so they can’t get a ticket,” he said. “That’s okay, we’ll tow him.”
The problem also exists along Woodhaven Boulevard into the 106th Precinct’s command area. Sautner said he and Deputy Inspector Thomas Pascale, the commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, would to conduct joint operations against illegally parked trucks along the boulevard.