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104th Council Prez Bows Out

New Leadership To Be Chosen In June

The president of the 104th Precinct Community Council will not be returning for a second term, it was announced during the council’s monthly meeting at Maspeth High School last Wednesday, May 29.

John Perricone, who has served as interim president since an emergency election in October, was accepted to the Urban Affairs masters program at Queens College, and some of his class times will conflict with council functions. He added it would be a disservice to the council for him to juggle work, school and his civic duties.

The Ridgewood resident took the helm of the 104th Precinct Community Council months after the resignation of its former leader, Michael Hetzer, who was embroiled in a grand larceny case. Following Hetzer’s departure, then-commander of the 104th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Michael Cody, reorganized the stagnant community council, which ultimately led to the election of Perricone and a slate of executive members.

Perricone noted he was very sorry to have to leave, adding the round of officers elected in October “brought relevancy back to the community council.”

He also said his brother Vincent Perricone, who serves as the council’s sergeant-at-arms, will not be returning due to school scheduling conflicts.

“We’re losing two really important people,” said Kathy Masi, who serves on the council’s election committee.

The council held nominations for its upcoming election, which will be held during its June 26 meeting.

Mario Matos, the council’s vice president, was nominated for president. The whole thing came as a surprise to Matos, who said he found out earlier that day when Perricone got the green-light from Queens College and announced the situation to fellow council members.

Matos will work to drum up attendance, he said.

The board made nominations for all positions except for treasurer, which can remain open according to the council’s bylaws Masi said.

Current recording secretary Amy Lassell was nominated for another term.

Dieter Vey, who heads the Farmers Oval Civic Association, was nominated for sergeant-at-arms. Sal Candela was tapped for corresponding secretary, and the council nominated Abraham Markowitz for assistant corresponding secretary.

Masi noted attendance was low May 29, but members can nominate from the floor prior to the election during the council’s June meeting.

Busting up a bike gang

Motorcycle gangs are a problem for residents living near the intersection of Linden Street and Woodward Avenue in Ridgewood, according to one attendee.

He said a group of overzealous cycle enthusiasts that call themselves “The Legion of Doom” are having raucous parties, ignoring parking laws and intimidating their neighbors.

The group moved in last month and has been parking trailers on the sidewalk and throwing large barbecues that escalate into drunken reveries, the resident said.

When neighbors approach the “gang” members, they often become hostile, he said.

Capt. Christopher Manson, the 104th Precinct’s commanding officer, said he has officers who “live to make arrests” and would love to patrol the area to keep an eye out for illegal behavior.

“My gang’s bigger than their gang-trust me,” he said.

Manson said the situation didn’t sound like the group was engaged in “gangbanging”-activity like engaging in turf wars and selling drugs- but it was still cause for concern.

The resident asked whether the situation warranted that he call 311, the precinct, or 911.

Manson said if the group is being hostile, calling 911 is appropriate, noting that when people call the precinct, the precinct simply calls 911. It’s protocol, he said.

“A ‘disorderly group’ necessitates a 911 call,” Manson said. “There are certain key words that trigger a faster response.” Making a difference in the 75th Pct.

One attendee at the council meeting said she came from East New York to thank Manson and P.O. Thomas Bell of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit for quelling drunken parties at Highland Park on the Brooklyn/Queens border and is patrolled by the 75th and 104th commands.

The resident said large groups of people would gather there on the weekends to party after playing baseball in the park. Speakers blaring music were a huge issue for her, she said .

The resident noted she lives a half-mile away, but the noise is still enough to keep her and her husband up at night.

She admitted the noise wasn’t as much of an issue on Fridays and Saturdays, but going to work Monday morning was tough after being kept up by noise on Sunday nights.

She also noted the park revellers were exposing themselves to urinate in and around the park.

She said she sought help from the police, but the problem didn’t abate until Manson, Bell and the 104th Precinct got involved, too.

She said the command “completely shut them down.”

Manson said he knew the area was a problem and decided to be proactive since it bordered is precinct. He instituted direct-topatrols, which require patrolling officers to stop there at least once on their shift, he said. Often, they just do paperwork or have a coffee-it’s all about creating a police presence, he noted.

Crime stats

A reduction in crime over the last month has mirrored a year-long trend of declining incidents in the 104th Precinct.

Manson said the number of reported crimes over the 28-day period starting May 20 has declined eight percent. Similarly, year-to-date crimes have dropped by 8.5 percent, he noted.

He said the precinct is struggling with felony assaults, which are up one-third over the same 28-day period last year and 11 percent year-todate.

It’s one of two crime categories that has seen an increase over last year.

The other is rape, according to police records, which show the crime has eight rapes reported in 2013 versus six reported this time last year.

While robberies spiked for the 28- day period, they are still trending down for the year with a 20 percent reduction over 2012, reports show.

The precinct had a good month for burglaries, though, which declined 45 percent in the last 28 days and 8.5 percent over the year, according to police records.

The 104th Precinct Community Council typically meets at 7:30 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month. The locations vary, and more information can be found at www.104thcc.com.

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