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.