110th Pct. Slams Brakes On Drag Racers
A recent enforcement detail at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park’s Meadow Lake left five alleged “drifting” drag racers in handcuffs, the 110th Precinct’s commanding officer reported during the 110th Precinct Community Council meeting last Thursday, Nov. 13, at Flanders Field VFW Post 150 in Corona.
Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson stated the deployment- dubbed “Fast and Furious,” a reference to the popular drag racing movie series-took place on the evening of Oct. 25 to catch drifters operating near the lake.
As reported in the Times Newsweekly, the illegal racing was talked about extensively at last month’s meeting.
Just before police were winding down the operation, “we saw the first car come in and do some drifting,” Leyson said. “I had undercovers in the lot for about three and a half hours before.”
“After, like, four cars did it we moved in. We closed off the lot,” he added.
“We took their cars. They are not getting their cars back. We are working with the Queens County District Attorney’s office Special Proceedings unit and we are going to be doing search warrants on their cars to make sure they are street legal,” the deputy inspector said.
“And we also took their cell phones,” he added. “Because they videotape themselves and then post it online.”
“I’ve had that as a constant 311 location for months,” Leyson said. “This past week was the first time it was not.”
At the meeting last Thursday, the deputy inspector said crime is down overall in the precinct over the last four weeks.
“For the 28-day period, we are down 50 percent in robberies, Leyson said. “We have had 18 robberies this year versus 36 last year. And year to date, we are down 16 percent.”
“That’s unprecedented in the 110th Precinct,” Leyson stated.
“We’re down 25 percent overall in crime for the 28 days, and for the year, we’re down 6 percent,” Leyson said.
“It takes a team,” he added. “We are having a really good run with crime,” he said.
The only crime that increased in the period was felony assaults, Leyson said.
“We average about 23 felony assaults every four week period,” he said. “We are going against a very low number of 12 for the 28- day last year. For some reason last year, I don’t know what it was, we were really low in felony assaults and now this year we are right on our average of 23.”
Burglaries have also been a problem in the area, he advised.
“We have been struggling hard,” Leyson said. “For the last few months and for the year we are up almost 19 percent.”
But this number actually dropped about six percent in the most recent 28-day period, he said.
“We averaged about seven burglaries a week last year, and we are only going against three last week,” Leyson said. “So that’s showing that hopefully we caught the right guy, our deployment is right and people are doing a little bit more at home to help themselves.”
Other crime stats show a 41 percent decrease in grand larcenies for the 28-day period, and a 17 percent decrease in grand larcenies for the year, according to the deputy inspector.
“We’re locking up the right people, and we’re de deploying to the right areas and doing a lot of good crime prevention,” Leyson said.
He also addressed holidayrelated crime near the Queens Center Mall, and said residents will see an “increased patrol presence there.”
He promised more police, a temporary headquarters vehicle at Queens Boulevard and 59th Avenue and auxiliary officers around the mall during the holiday shopping season.
Capt. Ralph Forgione, the 110th Precinct’s executive officer, will be in charge of the deployment at the mall, Leyson told residents.
He also gave a presentation on the 110th Precinct’s Twitter feed and encouraged all attendees to sign up to receive information from the deputy inspector.
Cop of the Month
Det. Bruce Koch earned the recognition of his commanding officer for October after making five robbery arrests in the month, Leyson stated.
Speaking on the award, Leyson said: “Sometimes it’s because of one specific action or arrest. Sometimes we do it just because of the exceptional work a person does over an extended period of time.”
The difference between a patrol and a detective robbery arrest is they have to follow-up, the deputy inspector said.
“They don’t just work behind a desk,” Leyson said. “They do a lot of field work, a lot of investigation.”
“Detective Koch is one of those detectives that’s very thorough in his investigations and makes sure there is no stone unturned,” he added. “These are the kinds of detectives that we want up in our detective squad.”
Koch received a plaque donated by the Times Newsweekly for his efforts.
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The 110th Precinct Community Council meets on the second Thursday of every month at Flanders VFW Hall, 51-11 108th Street. Meetings begin at 7 p.m.