Heavy rain did not deter community residents from packing the April 10 meeting of the 106th Precinct Community Council to voice their concerns about quality of life issues.
Before the complaints were addressed, Lt. Frank DiPreta, the 106th Precinct’s Special Operations Coordinator, discussed the precinct’s response to last month’s concerns.
Residents had long complained about a problematic bar in the vicinity of 107th Street and Rockaway Boulevard in Ozone Park. Community Affairs officer Ken Zorn reported at the last month’s meeting that eight summonses were issued to the bar for noise violations on Jan. 24. He added that the bar was cited as a disorderly location on Feb. 26. DiPreta said an arrest was made, but gave no further details, and the bar appears to be in the process of being closed.
“They actually started boarding up the 107th Street entrance (to the bar),” he said.
DiPreta also responded to complaints about parents double parking at PS 63 in Ozone Park. Summonses have been issued to violators and police are meeting with the school’s administration to find a permanent solution.
Acknowledging that burglaries and grand larcenies are up in the precinct for the year to date compared to last year, Deputy Inspector Thomas Pascale, the precinct’s commanding officer, urged people not to leave themselves open to crimes of opportunity. As he has before, Pascale reminded residents not to leave valuables in full view inside their cars when they go shopping.
Pascale said some burglary suspects are believed to be driving around in late-model rental cars, such as Nissan Altimas and Chevy Impalas. He added that usually three individuals ride in each car. Two will get out of the car on a residential block and knock on the front doors of homes while the third at a given house acts as the lookout. If no one answers they will then go around to the back and kick in the side door or backdoor.
“They’re nonconfrontational, though.” said Pascale. “They’ll kick the door, and [if] there’s a scream they’ll go away.”
Pascale urged residents to look out for their neighbors and call 911 if they see suspiciously acting individuals who appear to be aimlessly walking around the neighborhood or late-model vehicles driving slowly down the street with the occupants looking at homes on the block.
Several neighbors living on 97th Street near Rockaway Boulevard in Ozone Park brought to Pascale’s attention a group of teenagers who walk up and down their block at night trying the door handles of cars parked on the street.
One of the neighbors said the teens vandalized resident cars and slashed the tires. He added this vandalism has been going on for the past year and one-half and had been referred to the precinct’s detective squad.
Pascale had the residents meet with the precinct’s conditions officers to discuss what steps could be taken to correct their problem. He also told the group that he would personally meet with them after the meeting and review the old case file.
The Community Council’s nominating committee also presented its recommended slate of officers to members.
Incumbent President Frank Dardani and Vice President Donna Gilmartin were renominated, as was Joy Patron for treasurer, Frances Scarantino for recording secretary and Pelham Justinaino for corresponding secretary.
South Richmond Hill Civic Association President Margaret Finnerty was also nominated from the floor for recording secretary. Elections will be held at the council’s next meeting on May 8 at 8 p.m. at the 106th Precinct.