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Rock throwers terrorize motorists

Mary Ann Russo was relaxed as she enjoyed the country-in-the-city view of the woods along the Cross Island Parkway in Bayside recently. Her husband Frank was driving southbound, toward their Douglaston home, on a sunny Tuesday afternoon - and then their windshield shattered.
“It was like we got hit with a baseball bat,” she said.
What hit the gasket and windshield of the 2007 Ford Explorer at about 2:30 p.m. on August 12 was a baseball-sized rock.
Someone was throwing rocks from the high ground along the parkway between John Golden Park and 28th Avenue.
“Thank God Frank was driving,” Russo said, wondering, “What would have happened if it was my 18-year-old daughter who just got her license?”
They weren’t the only ones. According to the Russos, a Haitian couple in a brand-new silver-colored SUV ahead of them on the road pulled over at the same location, with their windshield also damaged by a thrown rock.
“We both called the police,” said Frank Russo. “We waited for them about a half-hour and then had to leave. They were still waiting,” he recalled.
A complaint was in fact filed at the 111th Precinct, later in the afternoon of August 12. Cops listed the crime as “criminal mischief,” and the damage as a “shattered sun roof” on the damaged vehicle.
Depending on circumstances, a charge of criminal mischief arising from property damage between $250 and $1,499 could lead to a year in jail, or up to four years in prison.
According to a police source, “That’s right on the line between the 109th and 111th precincts. Sometimes when it’s close like that, anon-emergency call will bounce around and not get answered right away.”
Another police source pointed out that if an incident is reported to the 9-1-1 reporter as having occurred in the past, it gets treated differently than if it is reported as being in progress. “It depends on what words you use with the operator,” they admitted.
The Russos were more-or-less philosophical, as they waited for the replacement windshield installer. “At least nobody got hurt,” Mary Ann offered.
“People have been killed like that,” Frank fumed. “I hope they get caught.”

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