Lindenwood out in force at precinct meeting

It was a standing-room only crowd at the most recent meeting of the 106th Precinct Community Council, with many Lindenwood residents in attendance, as they say their neighborhood has become unsafe.
But before their concerns were addressed, Deputy Inspector Joseph G. Courtesis and Precinct Council president Frank Dardani honored Sergeant John J. Egan, who has received the award before, for his bravery in saving a woman and in apprehending a suspect.
It was in the early morning hours of Sunday, September 26 and Egan, who is anti-crime in the command, was driving home at Centerville Street and Eckford Avenue. He saw 40 or 50 people fighting at the location, with six or seven different pockets of fights. He calls 9-1-1 and requested backup; however, the fighting escalates, and at one point the suspects break the window of a car, pull a female passenger out, and begin beating her.
Egan jumps in and saves her, but he is attacked by eight or 10 suspects.
“He held his own though,” said Courtesis, who noted the entire incident was caught on tape.
When the fracas subsided, said Courtesis, one perp was arrested – he was already on probation in Florida for heroin trafficking – and Egan suffered multiple injuries.
“His [Egan’s] actions exemplify bravery at its highest,” said Courtesis.
Egan returned to work on Wednesday, October 13 and the suspect is being held on $10,000 bail.
Special guest Assemblymember Audrey Pheffer then shared that she and her colleagues are “very happy with the decision [for Genting to operate] Aqueduct.”
She said the casino should be opening within six to eight months with 1,200 Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) initially.
“The thing a casino doesn’t want is crime, because people won’t come back,” she added.
In terms of crime, one woman, the president of the Greenwood Arms co-ops in Lindenwood, said that a suspect allegedly robbed a resident’s motorcycle on Thursday, October 7. That same night, he broke in again – this time a board member saw him, questioned him and followed him, allegedly to his home – while 9-1-1 was called.
Residents say cops never showed up – “four phone calls to 9-1-1” – but turned in a video to the 106th Precinct.
Courtesis assured her that officers would investigate the crime – and they did, speaking to the man on Friday, October 15.
“Lindenwood and Howard Beach have the fewest dots on the map for crime,” said Courtesis. “I’m not hanging my hat on that. If it’s an issue you feel needs to be addressed, we’ll address it.”
He reiterated that the best thing to do is report a crime – or potential crime – in progress to 9-1-1.
“We may prevent it from happening,” he said, and reminded those assembled of the various free crime prevention programs the precinct offers.
“We are here for you – our doors are always open,” said Community Affairs officer Brenda Bratcher.
And residents, many upset with the “disrespectful” youth they say are coming in from Brooklyn and tormenting area kids, said that one line of defense is to “address this the correct way – with education and knowledge.”
This includes getting to know your neighbors, installing video cameras, and possibly forming a block watch.
In fact, a 37-year Lindenwood resident said that he had a similar problem 35 years ago, and residents formed an association and got involved.
“We have to be active and be involved,” said Community Board 10 chair Betty Braton. “There are 127,000 people in the 106th Precinct. There is reality, perception and something in between. You can’t wait until there’s a problem.”
The 106th Precinct Community Council meets the second Wednesday of every month at 8 p.m. at the precinct.

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