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October 24, 2013- By Steven E. Greer
The monthly meeting of the First Precinct Community Affairs took place a week early to avoid conflicts with Halloween. District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. gave a talk about the agenda for his office in his latest term, for which he will be re-elected this November. He discussed the growing problem of cybercrime and identity theft.
Commander Timoney then took the podium and BatteryPark.TV asked about the recent problems with biker gangs. CO Timoney began by explaining that he felt his officers handled the September biker gangs properly. He then explained that he is “not a fan of motorcycles” and has never driven one. BP.TV explained that the same bike gangs involved in the September beating of a family in an SUV on the Upper West Side have also been congregating on September 11th near the ceremonial vertical spotlights by West Thames. He expressed concern and indicated that his police force would act next year to prevent the gathering.
An audience member also asked specifically about reports he had read in BP.TV regarding pedal-bicycle-gangs attacking pedestrians on the bike path. Recall, in September, a wife posted on the Hudson River Mama blog an incident about her husband jogging and being knocked over the head from behind by a group of young males on bicycles. Commander Timoney explained that it was never reported to his precinct.
In addition to the case reported on the blog, another similar case made the local TV news when a Columbia professor was assaulted by a similar gang of young men on bicycles. Two other cases within the last four months involving groups of bicyclists and young males have been reported in police blotters, etc.
The topic of the proposed plan to relocate two criminal courts into Tribeca and FiDi was raised. Despite DA Vance having no authority of the court buildings, two women from the CB1 (Tricia Joyce and Katherine McVay Hughes) bloviated for 15 minutes. Being only two days after the CB1, where the same duo out-dueled one another to hear themselves talk, the Thursday night session, in a cramped police room with paint fumes, was challenging.
On other general crime matters, Commander Timoney explained that the report in the Broadsheet (BS) of a child predator caught on the ballfields was misleading. He described the man arrested as one of “special needs with no prior record at all” who wanted to play with the children. Captain Timoney said that the perpetrator stated, “I have more balls back at my house.”. He was charged with endangering a child.
Recall, this story was originally reported as an exclusive in the BS by Matt Fenton. Mr. Fenton then published a partial retraction apologizing for originally reporting that some parents had refused to file charges, which was not the case.
Overall, the turnout for the meeting was lower than expected given the recent biker gang assaults and other issues that could have been addressed.