‘It’s just very unnerving’; Bayside residents stunned to learn eight sex offenders were moved into hotel

The Anchor Inn on Northern Boulevard in Bayside
Photo via Google Maps

Some Bayside residents are sounding the alarm after learning that five registered sex offenders — three who have offenses against children — have allegedly moved into an area motel.

Diane Colucci, a mother of two children, said she received an email alert from Parents for Megan’s Law on April 2 notifying her of five sex offenders residing at the Anchor Inn Motel, located at 215-34 Northern Blvd.  

The five registered sex offenders, according to the Parents for Megan’s Law alert, are also listed on the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services sex offender registry. They are men who range in age from 33 to 66. Four of the individuals were said to be level 3, sexually violent offenders.

It’s not the first time Colucci has received notifications of sex offenders residing in the neighborhood. Though there have been others, she could not recall offenders with such a violent classification moving into the area, and especially together at the same place.

“This is my first notice from this hotel,” said Colucci. “While this hotel has been used as a halfway house, I am not sure if it has been used for violent sex offenders.”

According to Colucci, residents have commented on the Bayside, Queens, Facebook page saying that the hotel has been used as a halfway house for a very long time.

After seeing the notification and assuming it was an error, Colucci said she called the hotel for confirmation.

“The hotel just hung up on me. I assumed that it’s true,” said Colucci. “I also called the NYPD 111th [Precinct] Community Affairs Office and left a message. They’re definitely registered at that address, but I wanted to confirm if this was true before I sounded the alarm to families.”

QNS contacted Anchor Motel and was told that the location is not being used as a halfway house or homeless shelter, nor do they have sex offenders staying at the motel. According to the source, the Anchor Motel provides online service for its guests and doesn’t conduct “that kind of business.”

The New York City Department of Homeless Services has also confirmed to QNS that the motel is not being used as a homeless shelter, but did not make a statement on whether or not the motel was being used as a halfway house.

But a spokeswoman from the New York State Department of Justice confirmed that the sex offenders were indeed placed at the Anchor Inn: “The NYPD notified the Registry on 4/1/19 that these five individuals reported 215-34 Northern Boulevard address as their residence.”

“The Registry does not operate any residences for sex offenders, has no role in finding housing for sex offenders and does not supervise sex offenders; it serves an administrative function and works in partnership with local law enforcement to help ensure the Registry is as up-to-date and accurate as possible,” the spokeswoman said.

One source with knowledge of the situation told QNS that “the supervising agency for the individuals who we believe are currently in the hotel is the NYS Department of Corrections.”

The New York City Department of Homeless Services has also confirmed to QNS that the motel is not being used as a homeless shelter, but did not make a statement on whether or not the motel was being used as a halfway house.

Politicians and the local precinct are investigating the matter to find out more details about the motel and the five individuals supposedly residing there.

Since learning of the situation, Colucci said, local residents are horrified that the men — one of whom assaulted an 8-year-old child — have moved into the community.

“A very large amount of shock that this area would be chosen considering how family-friendly it is in this community, that they would choose to have these people reenter society right here across the street from a daycare and a couple of blocks from a library, and within a mile of multiple schools as well. People are just very upset about it,” said Colucci.

A friend of Colucci’s, who lives a couple of blocks from the location, reached out to Councilman Paul Vallone’s office and is awaiting a response.

“I was thinking back at the parade on Saturday and everyone is having a blast and my kids were running around with their friends, and I just think that without warning to the community that these five men could’ve been standing with us. It’s just very unnerving,” the friend said.

Several local elected officials — including state Senator John Liu and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein and  — are said to be investigating the matter, sources with the lawmakers told QNS.

“This news is alarming and requires immediate action. We are working with the police and various offices to get to the bottom of this and to understand what options currently exist,” said Liu. “One major concern is that the location is close to children’s facilities and the local library.”


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