Say They’re Showing Skin, Doing Drugs
“Sluts” and drug users are taking over the sidewalk in front of a restaurant and lounge in Sunnyside, residents claimed at the 108th Precinct Community Council during its meeting last Tuesday, Apr. 30, at Sunnyside Community Services.
Agroup of about 15 residents living near Xio Lounge on Queens Boulevard charged the club is attracting trashy clientele that dress provocatively, harass passers-by and smoke pot beneath their windows.
“I’m scared to take my garbage out,” said one resident who declined to give a name.
Several people complained that groups of 15 to 20 kids are going be- hind their building to smoke marijuana. The residents said the smell and smoke were wafting up into their apartments.
“Two to three people is one thing, but it’s 20 people,” a resident said.
They said patrons are more disruptive in the morning hours on Saturdays and Sundays than late-night clubbers are.
Bar-goers are drinking in the street during the afternoon and interfering with businesses, said a resident named Susan who declined to give her last name
She said the police aren’t doing anything about the problem, adding that she has called 311 and 911 on separate occasions hoping to resolve the issue.
Powers said the precinct recently inspected the club, noting the its liquor license is “up to snuff.” He stated his precinct follows up on all 311 complaints.
“There’s no way we could enforce [311s] everywhere else but not this place,” he said.
Powers noted his officers have responded to similar complaints in as little as two minutes.
“[These bars] all have issues to some degree or another, as we deal with all of them,” Powers said. “This is nothing we haven’t heard before; we haven’t dealt with before. We’ll deal with it.”
“If you go on Facebook, they’re proud to announce they’re an ‘afterhours, Saturday club,'” said Susan, last name withheld.
Elvis Padron, Xio’s owner, was present at the meeting. He said the location does not stay open past 4 a.m.
Xio’s Facebook page advertises the club’s hours as 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. The club’s website does not advertise hours, and according to archives on web.archive.org, the club’s website appears to have never advertised hours of operation. There were no archived records available of the club’s Facebook.
Susan noted a working relationship between Padron and herself, saying the issue has only started to crop up over the last few months.
Residents said they wanted action, and Sgt. David Porter, a conditions officer, told them the NYPD would have to take all the proper measures to ensure the business is given a fair shot at fixing the issues.
“We’ll give people the attention they deserve, but we’ll go by the books,” said Porter.
Crime trending down
Robberies, burglaries and cars reported stolen declined over the last month in the 108th Precinct, as those crimes continue their downward trend for the year.
Grand larcenies continue to be a problem in the precinct, mainly due to the theft of small electronics, Powers said.
A number of precincts have seen grand larcenies climb as the theft and black market sale of smartphones continues across the city.
During the week of Apr. 22 to Apr. 28, the precinct was up more than 17 percent in crime versus last year, however, only grand larcenies comprised that increase-all other indexed crimes dropped in that week versus last year’s numbers, the precinct’s crime report shows.
The precinct is down 11.8 percent in indexed crimes for Apr. 1 through Apr. 28, and year to date, the precinct is down 4.6 percent in reported crimes, according to Powers.
For the year, grand larcenies and rapes have increased over this time in 2012. There have been 184 reported grand larcenies versus 143 this time last year-a 28.7 percent increase. There have been seven reported rapes in 2013, and there were six this time last year.
Powers leaves the 108 Pct.
The Apr. 30 community council meeting was Powers’ last in the 108th Precinct. He was recently promted to deputy inspector and has since been reassigned to the Manhattan North command as part of his regular career progression, he said.
“I just want to say that [Powers] has done a wonderful job in the 108,” 108th Precinct Community Council President Diane Ballek noted.
Powers told the council he enjoyed his time at the precinct, noting the area has a “small-town feel” that allowed him to get to know people over the almost three years he commanded the precinct.
Powers will be succeeded by Capt. Brian Hennessy, formerly the executive officer of the 115th Precinct.
Hennessy said he has worked in Queens for his entire 15-year career with the NYPD, citing past commands in Bayside, the Rockaways, Astoria, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. He was raised in and currently resides in the adjoining 104th Precinct, he added.
“A lot of your concerns are a lot of my concerns, so I understand a lot of your complaints,” he said. “I’m looking forward to helping in any way I can.”
Meetings of the 108th Precinct Community Council are held at 7 p.m.on the last Tuesday of the month at Sunnyside Community Services, located 43-31 39th St. in Sunnyside. The next meeting will be May 28.