Tag Archives: Communities of Maspeth & Elmhurst Together Inc. (COMET) Civic Association

Crime rates down for the year in the 110th Precinct

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

Crime continues to drop across the 110th Precinct, the force’s commanding officer announced at the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) meeting on Monday night.

“We are down 6.2 percent in crime for the year so far,” Deputy Inspector Christopher Manson said. “We have major reductions in robbery, burglary and grand larceny.”

The precinct is currently down eight robberies for the year, from 111 last year to 103 thus far in 2015. Police officers have made 63 robbery arrests this year, Manson noted, leading to the lower crime rates that the precinct is seeing.

Although crime is down overall for the 110th Precinct, vehicle thefts are on the rise. Manson told those in attendance that they have been six more stolen cars this year than at this point last year.

“The other area we are up in is felony assaults. We’ve been fighting that since the beginning of the year; there’s a lot domestic felony assaults,” Manson said. “One of the reasons we think we’re up in domestic assaults, it’s not a bad thing, it’s because we’re doing a lot of outreach. We’re going out on the streets and out into the community and we’re giving out pamphlets and letting people know about domestic violence and how they can report it. So we think more people are reporting it.”

Manson also alerted those in attendance of three recent crimes that turned out to all be connected within the 110th Precinct.

The first two crimes were robberies in which a male, Hispanic suspect drove up to people on the street and robbed them of their cellphones at knife point.

Later that night, police witnessed two men fighting in the street on Queens Boulevard near 74th Street, where one of the men stabbed the other six times with a small knife. That suspect was taken into custody and brought to the stationhouse. The other man was brought to the hospital and will survive his wounds.

“While we were in the stationhouse with this male, our officers in the room began tracking one of the cellphones from the earlier robberies,” Manson added. “We ping it, we get to find out the location, we look down and the location came to the same room we were in. We looked at the property that we were taking from the guy who just stabbed the guy six times and he has both cellphones. So we got him for all three crimes.”


Precincts give crime updates at COMET meeting

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

The 108th Precinct’s commander raised concern over a rash of stolen vehicles and commercial burglaries in the Maspeth/Woodside area during the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) meeting held Monday in Elmhurst.

Captain John Travaglia said the number of cars being stolen in the neighborhoods has escalated, especially the older-model Dodge Caravans. According to Travaglia, at least four of these vehicles have been stolen within the confines of the 108th Precinct in the last 28 days.

“What we see a lot with that is, they’re easy to steal,” Travaglia said. “And then they’re easy to steal other things with because the seats will come out quick and maybe they’ll steal a motorcycle then, and throw the motorcycle in the back of that Dodge Caravan. So we’ve seen that type of activity going on in the precinct.”

The precinct has noticed an increase in commercial burglaries throughout the neighborhoods as well. The one burglary that was reported in the 28-day time frame from the 108th Precinct occurred at 70-32 Queens Blvd., where tools were stolen from off of a construction site.

“Construction sites, houses that are under construction are being burglarized for copper pipes [and] for tools,” Travaglia told those in attendance. “This has become a prevalent problem all over Queens.”

One major highlight for the 108th Precinct is the number of traffic fatalities that have occurred since November, which is zero.

“I can report the 108 Precinct [has] not had a traffic fatality since I’ve been there in November,” Travaglia announced. “It’s been fantastic. Year-to-date, we haven’t had a traffic fatality.”

Detective Thomas Bell from the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit also announced that the precinct is down in overall crime.

“Year-to-date, the 104 is down about 8.6 percent in crime,” Bell said. “We are down pretty much across the board.”

The 104th Precinct has seen two murders this year, compared to three at this time last year. There have been seven rapes compared to eight last year, 57 robberies compared to 62 last year. Felony assaults dropped to 63 this year from 69 last year, burglaries fell by just one, 110 versus 111 from 2014. Grand larcenies dropped from 198 last year to only 181 this year and grand larceny for automobiles dropped from 71 in 2014 to 57 this year.

P.O. David Saponieri from the 110th Precinct Community Affairs Unit also informed COMET about its crime numbers. There have only been six arrests during the 28-day period within COMET’s area of Elmhurst. There were two stolen cars, two grand larcenies and two burglaries.


Elmhurst residents say no to homeless shelter at Pan-American Hotel

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Salvatore Licata

Updated: 6/19/2014 2:17 p.m. 


Hundreds of protestors flocked to the Pan-American Hotel in Elmhurst to push back on the city’s initiative to house more homeless families in the neighborhood.

“We must step up to the plate now and stop this from going any further,” Roe Daraio, president of the nonprofit Communities of Maspeth & Elmhurst Together Inc. (COMET) Civic Association and organizer of the Tuesday protest, said to the crowd. “We must call to attention the issue of homelessness and how the city is choosing to deal with it.”

In a plan that is supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio, nonprofit Samaritan Village proposed the Pan-American Hotel, located at 7900 Queens Blvd., to house 200 homeless people, including the 36 families already residing there.

This is the fourth homeless shelter in Elmhurst and for residents of the community, it is one too many.

“They did this without any input from the community,” Hilda Chu, one of the protestors, said. “We have three already and now they want to add a fourth. This is so unfair to us.”

Councilman Daniel Dromm addressed the crowd during the June 17 protest and said he was disappointed by the Department of Homeless Services’ (DHS) lack of communication with local officials. He was outraged that he was given no advance notice that the closed-down hotel would now house homeless families, but said protestors must act civilly in their protest and engage in a discussion to figure out the best way to combat the situation.

“Elmhurst is overburdened [with the homeless],” Dromm said. “It is bad policy to bring that many needy people into one place.”

Pan-American Hotel officials declined to comment on the subject.

The DHS will provide the families with three meals a day until the agency can move them to an alternate shelter, the agency said.

“As the number of families with children residing in temporary, emergency shelter grows, we must consider all available options to address our capacity needs and meet our legally mandated right to shelter,” the DHS said in a statement. “In the short term, DHS is using the Queens Boulevard facility to provide essential shelter and supportive services to families with children.”

Advocates previously claimed that both the mayor and City Comptroller Scott Stringer approved the plan, but Stringer’s office said he only approved payments for family shelters across the city but had not weighed in on any specific location.

“[Stringer] believes that communication and adequate community notification are critical parts of this process,”  said a Stringer spokesman.