Saturday, July 11, 2009

New Levels of Anguish by Ralph Mancini - Times Newsweekly

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P.O. Roxfoy Bucknor (at center) is honored with the 106th Precinct's Cop of the Month award, donated by the Times Newsweekly, for his help in arresting two car thieves. Also pictured are Community Council President Frank Dardani (at left) and Special Operations Lt. Joseph Salvato (at right). The commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, Capt. Joseph Courtesis, was not in attendance. (photo: David M. Quintana)

Charges of heart-pounding noise rattling the foundations of
local homes and other forms of unsocial behavior filled the room at the latest 106th Precinct Community Council meeting held Wednesday, June 10 at the group's Ozone Park station house.

A standing-room only crowd comprised of community members from every area of the precinct, from Howard Beach to South Ozone Park, were beyond frustrated with the high levels of constant noise disturbances and general inconsideration on the part of unruly neighbors.

Accounts of Ozone Park residents blaring loud music all day and urinating in public—sometimes with no clothes on—were issued by a distraught neighbor in the area of 90th Street and Silver Road.

The delinquent acts, she reported, are confined to one house, which was recently sold to new owners.

The edifice was reportedly extended, and now houses 11 people in the basement and six people on the main floor.

The complainant claimed that the proprietors of the residence in question will often have visitors drop in on their motorcycles.

These same visitors reportedly ride up and down the woman's block at high rates of speed, while performing dangerous stunts, endangering local pedestrians.

One woman who accompanied the accuser acknowledged that her son was nearly run over by one of the cycles.

"I can't sleep. I'm up all night. What am I supposed to do? Put a 'For Sale' sign up?" asked the complainant.

"They are cursing people out, and my daughter can't study for her finals."

The problems, she mentioned, begin at about 3 p.m., with hoards of people lounging in front of the location.

In addition, police were told that a number children from ages six through 14 are also living on the property, but have never been witnessed attending school.

Sgt. Steve Cafasso admitted that he had never heard of any trouble at the Ozone Park residence, but assured attendees that he would resolve the dilemma if given enough time to properly gather evidence against the offenders.

Community Council President Frank Dardani further advised that the Ozone Park resident, along with other neighbors supporting her claims, contact the proper city agencies to ensure that the children obtain a proper education.

Menacing quads in Howard Beach

The quality-of-life predicaments extended to Howard Beach, as two homeowners voiced their exasperation with nearby residents riding four-wheel ATVs on their block while disregarding common traffic laws.

The perpetrators, it was noted, speed down local streets and sidewalks in the area of 160th Avenue and 90th Street in the Rockwood Park section of Howard Beach in excess of 50 miles per hour, often while going against traffic.

"These people are a nuisance and a menace," commented one of the property owners who singled out a house of 10 individuals as the source of the dangerous conditions."They're all in cahoots with their cell phones. They put their vehicles away once they see the cops coming."

It was further indicated that the accused parties would often verbally attack their neighbors with a slew of profanities whenever they were asked to curb their unlawful driving.

"We spend a ton of money to live here and we can't even walk on our sidewalks," police were told.

Special Operations Lt. Joseph Salvato (who filled in for commanding officer Capt. Joseph Courtesis, who wasn't in attendance) informed the rankled community members that he has already addressed a similar situation similar along Sutter Avenue by actually depriving a homeowner of his rights to use his own garage.

Gripes of overpopulation

A lifelong South Ozone Park resident was critical of the many homes in her surrounding area, which have been torn down and replaced by multi-family dwellings that have brought in an overabundance of new neighbors.

Too many of these people, she continued, have been playing their music at "untolerable" levels, while also walking outdoors drunk in the area of 125th Street between Rockaway Boulevard and Sutter Avenue.

Originally, the noise disturbances would go on all night into the wee hours of the morning, starting at 10 p.m.

But now, she said, the noise begins at noon.

"The cops were here a month ago. They confiscated speakers and two satchels of alcohol, but we have even more noise now," she explained.

A late-arriving member of the audience lodged additional concerns in the same area by communicating to officers how even ear plugs aren't enough to silence the deafening volume of noise outside her apartment.

She reported music-induced vibrations rocking her home at night.

Salvato recognized the location, and recounted how he confiscated speakers the size of desks from the area last year.

The lieutenant confirmed that the referenced block has already had its block party request denied.

Old business

In his rundown of last month's public grievances, Sergeant Cafasso spoke of the precinct's investigation of vehicles allegedly making illegal left turns at an Ozone Park IHOP location at Liberty Avenue and 98th Street.

Although no moving violations were doled out, he did notify residents of 21 criminal summonses that were issued to vehicles in that intersection.

Also mentioned were 30 summonses that were recently given to day laborers, seen drinking and urinating in public, as well as conducting themselves in a disorderly manner in the areas of Liberty Avenue and 88th Street and 105th Avenue and 88th Street.

In relation to grumblings over can collectors trespassing on private property to search for recyclables, Dardani said that this practice leaves homeowners wide open to having their backyards burglarized.

Cop of the Month

P.O. Roxfoy Bucknor was awarded with a Cop of the Month plaque, donated by the Times Newsweekly, for his efforts in helping out an off-duty officer, who was struggling with two individuals trying to drive off with his BMW on Liberty Avenue and 135th Street.

One of the arrested males was identified as a 19-year-old with a record of 11 arrests, while the other males was described as an 18-year old who had previously been arrested seven times.

The 106th Precinct Council is scheduled to meet on the second Tuesday of July at its Ozone Park station house, located at 103-53 101st Street.