Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rowdy Teens, Break-ins Concern the 106th Pct. by Stephen Geffon - Queens Chronicle

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Members of the 106th Precinct Community Council learned during their meeting last week in Ozone Park that a group of rowdy teenagers has been disturbing the tranquility of the Lefferts branch of the Queens Public Library, located at 103-34 Lefferts Blvd in Richmond Hill.

Their antics, out-of-control behavior and rebellious attitude have frustrated library patrons, area residents told board members. “It’s really getting out of hand,” said a resident who only gave her name as Nicole. The teenagers, she noted, wrestle, block the library entrance and push and shove each other.

Residents also expressed concern about children riding bicycles with speakers blaring loud music, disturbing those trying to read in the library.

But the library isn’t the only place the rowdy teens can be found, Nicole told the board: they are also a problem on Rockaway Boulevard between 124th Street and 127th Street, where they have reportedly broken several store windows.

The commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, Capt. Joseph Courtesis, said the Lefferts library and the 124th Street area are part of the city’s Safe Corridor Program, which provides an additional measure of protection and safety for students as they travel to and from school.

Under the program, the primary streets on which students travel are identified and officers are deployed along them to ensure students’ safe passage.

Courtesis also noted that a police officer is assigned to a post at the Lefferts branch library. But when the precinct is short on personnel, the officer is assigned to 124th Street and Rockaway Boulevard since that location has triple the number of young people and therefore more potential for trouble.

A group of residents from 134th Road between 97th and 99th street in Ozone Park were concerned about suspicious individuals with tools in their back pockets looking in driveways, walking through private properties, looking through garbage cans and ringing doorbells.

One resident noted that in the last two weeks there have been two attempted house break-ins in the area. Another said 134th Road is a quiet block with no through traffic so there should be no reason for any non-resident to be there. The person asked for police presence on the block.

Sgt. Donna Nugent, coordinator of the precinct’s Community Police Unit, said since the attempted break-ins, patrol cars have been directed to include 134th Road in their daily rounds. Nugent told resident that she herself has driven through the block in an unmarked car.

Courtesis asked area residents to aid the precinct by providing any information they have about the person or persons attempting the break-ins. He also told residents to call 911 if they see suspicious individuals. “We’ll arrest them for trespassing,” he said.