The core of the Big Apple is rotten from crime: NYPD statistics, experts, business owners
The core of the Big Apple is rotten with crime, according to new police statistics.
According to the NYPD, the number of serious crimes in South Midtown has increased sharply by 44% as of February 5 compared to the same period last year: 412 incidents against 287.
The staggering jump in crime outpaced the city’s total number of incidents, which increased by just 2.6%.
The area is home to some of the city’s most crowded and iconic locations, including Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, Madison Square Garden, and the Port Authority bus station, near which a deadly gunfight erupted this week.
Bullets sprayed down West 44th Street and Eighth Avenue near the Shake Shack at around 5:35 p.m. Thursday, killing 22-year-old Idrissa Seabee of the Bronx, with pedestrians scurrying through the crowded tourist spot. The murder is believed to have been carried out by drug dealers, police and sources said.
Last month, a slasher erupted outside the infamous bus station, injuring three people. Luis D. Rosas, 41, was arrested Jan. 3 at the same place he was captured a few days earlier for threatening someone in a bathroom, according to the Port Police Department and police sources.
The alleged serial slasher attacked his first victim, a 41-year-old man, around 9:15 p.m. Jan. 2 after asking him for cigarettes on Eighth Avenue near West 39th Street, government and police sources said. The victim received cuts on the left side of his face.
Sources said the same assailant is suspected of stabbing someone at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue at midnight, although the victim did not file a criminal complaint. According to police sources, the same assailant also randomly targeted the 50-year-old man as he exited the 42nd Street-Port Authority subway station at West 40th Street and Eighth Avenue. In this case, the victim was on the stairs when the stranger hit him without warning and ran away.
“It’s kind of a race to the bottom. I don’t know if they don’t have enough cops or if they just don’t care,” said the concerned 44-year-old Manhattan business owner, who declined to be named.
“The mentally ill are not treated, drugs are taken in the open air, and all this is symptomatic,” he continued. “The irony is that this is the commercial corridor of the city. This is the heart of what New York is known for. . . The city is doing little to clean it up.”
Felony assaults in Midtown South rose 115% to 56 from 26; while robberies rose 59%, from 59 to 37.
In addition, grand larceny rose by 39% (to 237 from 170); Data shows burglaries rose 10% (to 53 from 48) and auto theft increased 20% (to 6 from 5).
South Midtown “continues to be destroyed, as if the city almost gave up in Times Square, [Grand Central Terminal], Pennsylvania Station and Koreatown; all under criminal control,” tweeted tech entrepreneur Reza Chowdhury, founder of AlleyWatch and New York Startup Lab.
Controlling the Midtown frenzy of menacing vagrants, junkies and reckless attackers is key, according to business people and experts.
“It’s an increase in shoplifting and random assaults,” grumbled Anthony Mignano, manager of 1450 Broadway, a 42-story office building located on the corner of West 41st Street.
In July, he alleged that homeless drug addicts were using LinkNYC’s Wi-Fi kiosks to stop shoppers from coming to his stores. Mignano said this week that business leaders successfully lobbied for more cops over the summer, but “the police presence has dwindled” and the vagrants are back.
Almost everyone who comes to New York to work, visit or play in Manhattan passes through Pennsylvania Station, Grand Central Station or the Port Authority Bus Terminal – all located within the not-so-friendly confines of Midtown South,” Joseph quipped. Giacalone, retired NYPD sergeant, now professor at John Jay College.
“Do you want to see the Knicks, the Rangers, or go to a concert? You are driving the LIRR to Penn and heading to Madison Garden. The mayor and other politicians continue to push for companies to get people back to work, but the area that houses the main transportation hub is fighting crime. Can we blame people for not wanting to come in?”
The NYPD is “continuously monitoring crime conditions and the causes of violence as part of our mission to bring public safety to all New Yorkers,” the department said, noting that arrests related to serious crimes have increased over the same period by 64%. ( 175 vs 107). According to the NYPD, the quality of law enforcement has improved, with criminal court summonses up 630% (416 vs. 57).
“Stable footholds have been added to combat this criminal condition, and the Public Safety and Neighborhood Coordination Officers continue to carry out targeted enforcement,” the department added.
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