Helped Cops Grab Taggers Who Hit Ridgewood
The recent arrest of two alleged graffiti vandals who tagged parts of Ridgewood after attending a memorial service for a fellow graffiti maker was the focus of the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) meeting last Thursday, July 10, at Glendale’s United Talmudical Seminary.
Frank Kotnik, 104COP president, explained that a patrol was sent to stake out the area on July 7 during and after a memorial service at Ridgewood’s Seneca Chapels held for Jason Wulf, a graffiti vandal who recently died after being electrocuted on the subway tracks in Manhattan.
Kotnik said the patrol waited for other vandals to show up to the services. At around 9:30 p.m., just before Kotnik was to called off the patrol, two suspects were spotted.
Kotnik reported the patrol was able to detain one suspect on the subway platform, while another fled on foot.
The detainee questioned why the other suspect wasn’t being detained when, Kotnik allegedly said, “He didn’t do anything, unless you got something to say.”
The first suspect immediately confessed he does graffiti. The other perpetrator was then captured at the next stop.
As reported in last week’s Times Newsweekly, the vandals were identified as Jonathan Bornemann, 18, and Brian Alequin, 47.
Capt. Christopher Manson, 104th Precinct commanding officer, made clear that graffiti was a crime and far from art, calling the vandals “misguided adults and youth” that are still at large because the “mainstream media calls them artist.”
“These vandals are not artists,” agreed Assemblyman Mike Miller, who decried graffiti and those who make it.
Mark Pearson, 104COP first vice president, informed attendees he will be giving the area a fresh blanket of 104COP posters to inform the community of the group and get people more involved.
Pearson said he will also update the 104COP Facebook page and website in an effort to boost membership and double the number of volunteers over the next two years.
He will be shadowing Kotnik over the next year to take his place as president in a planned succession.
Pearson also hopes to increase the number of patrols in the 104th Precinct. Currently they do around seven patrols a month of three cars, with two people in each vehicle. He hopes to grow that to morning, afternoon, and night patrols.
People have become complacent, explained Pearson. While the 104th Precinct is not in bad shape, he wants to make sure it stays that way by being proactive.
P.O. Edwin Collado of the 104th Precinct Crime Prevention Unit handed out pamphlets warning attendees of local scams and a ATM card skimming scam affecting local banks.
“Everyone should engage,” said Collado, who request that the patrol expand its services-which includes safety details, routing traffic, disaster relief and searching for missing persons-to distributing crime prevention information in order to educate the community.
Manson stated that crime is down overall in the precinct and robberies are “unbelievably low.”
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo was also at the meeting to swear in the 2014-2015 officer board and commended the 104COP officers as “heroes.”
The officers include President Frank Kotnik, First Vice President Mark Pearson, Second Vice President John Wilczynski, Secretary Ronnie Roth, Treasurer Camille Venezia and Sergeant-at-arms Ray Hartman. The board of directors are Elizabeth Delacruz, Jon Kablack, Anthony DiFillipo, Stephen Joseph Ficarola, Krzystof Krydus, Nelly Rivera and Thomas Bruno.
The next 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol meeting will take place on Thursday night, Aug. 14, at 8 p.m. at the United Talmudical Seminary, located at 74-10 88th St. in Glendale. For more information, visit www.104cop.org or call 1-718-497- 1500.