What Cops Have to Say About the Teen Hooligans

Last night’s meeting of the 1st Precinct Community Council had a relatively high turnout; many people were there to talk about the problem of the teens harassing residents of Battery Park City and Tribeca.

The precinct’s commanding officer, Mark Iocco (above left), led things off with a report of crime statistics from the past month, but as we shall soon see, they don’t include unreported crimes, which calls their usefulness into question.

A woman told of being victimized by the teens in November. “Did you call us?” asked Iocco. No, she said. Instead, she spoke with a guard with Allied Barton, the private security firm hired by the Battery Park City Authority, who said that he couldn’t follow the kids till the police were called in. (The only real takeaway here: Allied Barton guards are meant to be a deterrent, but if you see a crime being committed, skip them and call 911.)

When other people spoke of incidents, Iocco repeatedly asked why no one had called 911: “How can I do anything about it if I don’t know about it?” He also floated out the kids-being-kids idea a couple of times, but their behavior is clearly more egregious—and illegal—than that. Personally, I got a sense of why people might be wary of calling the police, if this is the reaction they get. Can you imagine how the cops might respond if you said a kid had beat you up? Or if you weren’t a legal U.S. citizen?

Another resident said she has photos of the kids—and what’s more, she had showed them to a cop, who said he knew of the kids. (“We get called every Friday about them,” he told her.) But Iocco made it clear that without a victim reporting a crime, there’s not much he can do.

And then he did a remarkable pivot, announcing that the precinct has compiled a list of names—despite not knowing anything about this?—and the cops plan to talk to their parents. And he mentioned stationing extra cops in Battery Park City near the trouble spots. He also said that if what you see is something less than a crime but still problematic, you can call 311. He gets a report of 311 calls on various topics, such as disorderly youths, and if he said that if sees spikes in certain areas, he starts paying more attention.

UPDATE 4/3: “One of the purported gang members, [name redacted], was arrested for assaulting another boy, I believe in a restaurant,” commented HL Bingcroft. “I hear he will be tried as an adult.” (The Tribeca Trib says it was for “aggravated harassment.”) And yesterday, I spoke with someone who has a lot of info about the gang, and as you point out, it’s more serious than has been indicated. If anyone else has information, I can connect you with the person I spoke with. And if you are the victim of criminal or threatening activity—or if you see it happening to someone else—call 911. The NYPD is, in fact, being forced to deal with it, and the more incidents that get reported, the better.

18 Comments

  1. Lock them up! Lock them up!

  2. SMH
    #WhitePeopleProblems

  3. This “Tribeca’s Most Wanted” nonsense is really getting out of hand.

    “The precinct’s commanding officer, Mark Iocco (above left), led things off with a report of crime statistics from the past month, but as we shall soon see, they don’t include unreported crimes, which calls their usefulness into question.”

    What else do they have to go on apart from crimes that were ACTUALLY reported? Do we want them to read the minds of neighborhood residents?

    It’s also insulting and incredibly insensitive to trivialize the very real suffering of non-U.S. citizens by offering them as a possible explanation for why quick-on-the-draw Tribeca residents aren’t notifying the police of these oh-so-serious run-ins with teenagers.

    Perhaps people haven’t called 9-11 because, upon further reflection, they realize that their claims of being “terrorized” are overblown and dramatic. Here are three such examples:

    “Two adults in surgical masks stopped a 13-year-old boy by Gristedes and asked him for money.”

    “3 teenagers were bothering some girls that were sitting in the ballfields terrace. The mom of one of them approached and asked them to leave. They didn’t like it and started shouting.”

    “A man, pregnant wife, and their little boy came out of the movie theater (around March 4), when some kids started bothering them. Goldman Sachs security guard had to interfere and ask them to leave them alone and leave the alley…”

    Do you REALLY think these warrant police attention? Do you REALLY think these qualify as crimes?

    These people are completely lacking in self-awareness. By using words like “terrorizing,” they’re effectively comparing these sorts of low-level incidents to what’s currently going on in a place like Mosul. It’s frankly disgusting and shameful.

    Get a grip.

    • I wasn’t offering non-US citizens as an explanation why Tribecans aren’t notifying the police. I was using them as an extreme example of anyone who has reason to be wary to going to the police. And “terrorize” was a word long before what we currently think of as terrorists ever existed.

      The crux of your argument is that the bad behavior doesn’t warrant police attention—but as proof, you cherry-picked the three least egregious examples. Do you think the police shouldn’t be concerned about these incidents?
      —Throwing glass bottles down into the ballfields.
      —Approaching kids and pulling out out a fake gun.
      —Spitting at a taxi driver.
      —Stealing the tip jar from Pick-a-Bagel.
      —Calling someone a faggot and spitting on him.
      —Throwing rocks at taxis and other cars.
      —Skateboarding on the hood of a car, causing damage.
      —Knocking adults and younger kids to the ground.

      • I’m aware that words change in meaning over time. (I’ve read Nietzsche as well.) I didn’t realize its use here was intended to evoke the pre-Robespierre era. Noted.

        The crux of my argument is not that bad behavior doesn’t warrant police attention — it’s that only unlawful behavior does. Do you really think it’s necessary to involve the NYPD because four kids threw their empty lemonade bottles onto a field? If their identity is known — as is repeatedly claimed — it would be pretty easy to find out where they attend high school / where they live and notify the appropriate parties.

        And, much like you reserved the right to use an “extreme example” for dramatic/rhetorical effect, I cited those particular incidents for the same purpose. That said, when there is a serious crime, OF COURSE the police should be called — which is why it’s incredibly hard to believe that a parent who, along with his/her child, was physically assaulted would not have called the police. It’s also surprising that the owner of a vehicle that sustained physical damage would not have filed a police report.

        TL;DR: It’s unfair to complain about police inaction if there are no reports for them to act on. If, however, every unlawful act committed by “Tribeca’s Most Wanted” was reported and subsequently ignored or mocked by the police, then it would absolutely and unequivocally open them to criticism.

  4. This has gotten to the point where teens can’t (or won’t) go to BPC or Brookfield for fear they will be painted with the same broad brush of guilty just because they are teens. If two (or more) boys are seen together, they are presumed a member of TMW or one of the offending kids. When my son finds himself getting video-taped by a stranger as he walks in BPC, I think things have gotten out of hand. Perhaps crimes have been committed and/or people harrassed – and there is no excuse for that and those people should face their punishment – but let’s not assume every kid in this neighborhood is a thug. That is misguided.

  5. I was suckered punched in the head by a group of kids on the west side highway, then hit a few more times while on a run in broad day light. I told a traffic cop, but his response was “well – you can go file a complaint at the station, but unlikely anything will come of it”. I agree it’s a real issue and not just kids being kids.

    • That’s terrible. This morning, I spoke with someone who has a lot of info about the gang, and as you point out, it’s more serious than has been indicated. If anyone else has information, I can connect you with the person I spoke with. And if you are the victim of criminal or threatening activity—or if you see it happening to someone else—call 911. The NYPD is, in fact, being forced to deal with it, and the more incidents that get reported, the better.

  6. Glad to see such a professional response from law enforcement. Not! Any chance the police could be proactive to “protect and serve” taxpayers. This gang is so tough to target rough neighborhoods like Tribeca and BPC. Ha!

  7. Thanks for reporting on the developments Erik. I look forward to continuing to get updates on this important issue.

  8. The real reason these kids have generated so much controversy is so liberals with white guilt can bleat about how vile and loathsome their own people are to prove their own innate goodness. Had the perpetrators been black I doubt we would have heard a peep about this from Tribeca Citizen.

  9. Calling someone stupid is not much of an argument.

    • True, but it felt good. Every morning, earlier that I should, I read the comments that came in the night before. And being called racist pisses me off.

      • I love TC and respect your good work but when it gets political you should expect some blowback from the few conservative Tribecans who are out of the closet.

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