That statement was the past, we now have a new Commanding Officer of the 61 Precinct; Captain John M. Chell.As of right now, there is no public statement or commitment of resources for our area. In comparison to last year, DI Mastrokostas reached out early to residents for ideas. Hopefully we will hear something soon.
Locally, there has not yet been any statement. However, the GBPOA (Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association) will meet the first Wednesday of October.
The 61 will more than likely keep the same response level. If they keep the same level of response we should expect:
Officers at every other intersection.
Officers at the Parks.
Patrols following Buses.
Roving patrols in weeds with all terrain vehicles.
Sky Watch (this is a long shot, but it may be available)
TARU Video cameras and such (also a long shot but who knows)
This year the community took back the streets. Starting very early on, the police had a strong presence on Gerritsen Avenue. They were patrolling the Avenue and the courts frequently. They also had foot posts with a patrol car at every intersection of a one mile stretch of road. During the prime trick or treating hours (4-8pm) there may have been up to 20 police vehicles and at least that many officers. The officers were from not just the 61 precinct, officers were brought in from the 63, Patrol Boro Brooklyn South, and Brooklyn South Task Force.
Before - 2010
After - 2011
For the first time in years, the B31 bus was not shut down. This is a major accomplishment for us as a community. People were free to walk up and down Gerritsen Avenue without fear. Even yours truly was able to walk around and talk with people. One person said “If this is what it takes then so be it”, another told me “Thank You”, others were just surprised to see me walking around and had a lot to say about last year. The property owners patrols were a success as well. They were able to get the word out and kept watch over the area.
There were a handful of arrests and at some point a dirtbiker thought it would a good idea to ride up and down the weeds with all of this police presence. Needless to say, it did not end well for the biker.
Although last years events were full of drama it seems that this year has been a drastic improvement and was a complete success thanks to the Police, Property Owners, Councilman Fidler’s Office for standing up for us and State Senator Golden’s office for arranging essential meetings.
Although I have no official knowledge of how the 61st, 63 and Parks will deal with Halloween in Gerrtisen Beach, I’m going to guess there will be a presence of marked and unmarked cars, and plain clothes officers. The 61 commanding officer will be in the area as well. If you are a parent, I would make sure you keep an eye on them because summonses and arrests sound likely.
Remember all NYC Parks close at dusk and anyone committing a crime will be arrested (no matter how old).
Update: 1:00pm (It’s about time we retook the streets)
Brooklyn South Task Force greets you when you come in.
From the reports of last years Halloween, it looks like we might need to buy, umbrellas, or riot gear! I vote for neither. How about you?
The Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association is requesting volunteers to walk around Halloween afternoon and night. They are counting on supportive members like you to help us all have a safe Halloween. Can you help?
Your time and effort will not only help us keep the neighborhood safe but also help us build a better image of our community!
The association is also requesting that everyone remain vigilant and calm. No one should take matters into their own hands and anyone walking around trick or treating to be follow Halloween safety and to call 911 if they see any mischief.
If you are interested, have questions, concerns, or just want more details call George at 917-538-4415
Halloween is a fun and exciting time, especially for children. To ensure that youngsters and your home make it safely through the festivities this year, follow these Halloween safety tips:
Wear clothing that is bright, reflective and flame-retardant; wear short clothing that prevents tripping.
Wear sneakers or comfortable shoes.
Use face paint (non-toxic, hypoallergenic) and avoid masks – especially if the eye holes obstruct the child’s vision.
See well through facemasks, or use make-up.
Don’t wear floppy hats or wigs that slide over the eyes. Also, children should not wear long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversized shoes.
Avoid toy weapons – if desired, use costume knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid.
Stay away from pets. The pet may not recognize the child and become frightened.
Children should stay within familiar areas and surroundings. Parents should establish a route for children.
Children should use flashlights and stay on sidewalks.
Children should cross the street at corners / crosswalks and not between parked cars.
Motorists should drive slowly and watch carefully for children.
There may be organizations hosting Halloween parties. Parents should consider these as a safe alternative to door-to-door “trick-or-treating” for their children.
Children should never go into homes - stay on the porch or stoop when asking for treats.
Children should avoid homes that don’t have their outside lights turned on.
Children should never talk to strangers or get into strangers’ cars.
Children should travel in small groups and be accompanied by parents or an authorized adult chaperone.
Children should know their home phone number and their parents’ cell phone numbers, when applicable. They should carry coins for emergency telephone calls or know how to make collect calls.
Children should have their names and addresses attached to their costumes.
Children should bring home treats before eating them so parents can inspect them. When children get home, parents should inspect all candy and other treats before they are eaten. Discard all unwrapped or loosely wrapped candy or fruit.
If you have any questions about suspicious looking treats, call the police department non-emergency number.
Parents and children should carve pumpkins on a stable, flat surface with good lighting. Small children should never carve pumpkins. Instead, they can help by drawing faces with markers, while a parent does the cutting. Older children carving pumpkins should always be supervised.
Adults should only give and accept wrapped or packaged candy.
Adults should keep porch lights on and their driveways illuminated.
Homeowners should ensure that their walkways are cleared of debris on which children may trip and fall.
Parents should cut into fruit, such as apples, to make sure they do not contain foreign objects.
If in doubt, throw it out.
Eliminate trip hazards. Remove bikes, toys and garden hoses from your home’s front yard and porch. Sweep and rake leaves.
Replace burned out lights. Trick-or-treaters have a hard enough time seeing through their masks; don’t increase the danger by keeping them in the dark.
Restrain pets. You don’t want your pet to jump on a trick-or-treater, or even worse, bite someone.
Use a flashlight or glow stick to illuminate your carved pumpkin. Lit candles are dangerous, especially around small children or crowds of people.
Practice candle safety in your home. Keep indoor jack-o-lanterns with lit candles, and any decorations with open flames, away from curtains and other furnishings that can easily ignite.
At last night’s 61 precinct community council meeting the 61 Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Georgios Mastrokostas flat out asked for our assistance to prevent another dangerous Halloween in Gerritsen Beach.
As explained at the meeting, the 61 precinct does not want Halloween to go down like it did last year. Councilman Lew Fidler and Property Owners President George Broadhead echoed that call and asked the Deputy Inspector to start forming a plan together. The Deputy Inspector did explain that the precinct has a finite amount of resources and that if the 61 was to deploy 6 cops to our area it would be a big deal. Although he has no problem doing that it would be taking away a decent amount of police resources and deploying them to our relativity low crime area, and secondly how effectively can those cops police the area without assistance from parents or a plan for the weeds?
Deputy Inspector Mastrokostas is asking for ideas: any idea. One idea is that some parents step up and police the area with the officers naming names and knocking on doors. The Deputy Inspector also going to request Sky Watch but the equipment could be in use else where in the city. He may also request a photo/video team to capture pictures and video on the police end they may be actionable.
There are meetings scheduled, plans are in the works, I wont go into much detail but they will be making arrests this year if it comes down to it.
The Gerritsen Beach Property Owner’s Association closed its normally public monthly meeting to the press and non-members last week, making good on a promise it made in the wake of a local blogger’s unflattering coverage of the neighborhood.
At last month’s meeting, outraged parents demanded the meetings be closed after local blogger Dan Cavanagh reported on their children’s Halloween rampage on Gerritsen Avenue, where a city bus, several cars, and passersby were ambushed by egg and potatoes.
“Cavanagh’s unscrewing the community,” said Renee Cullen at the meeting. “He makes the community look like garbage. He has all of us arguing with each other, and he just sits behind a computer screen and laughs at us.”
It was that attitude that led to this months lock out.
But the move didn’t sit well with association president George Broadhead, who said he couldn’t attend the meeting because he had a previous engagement, but who nonetheless was against the restriction.
“I’m all for transparency,” Broadhead told this paper. “But there is an executive board and it was their decision to close the meeting to members only. They’re within their rights.”
On paper, perhaps: because the group, which dates back to 1922, has never received public funding, it can legally close their meetings to the public. In fact at one time residents had to show membership cards before being allowed entry.
But meetings have been open to the public for at least the last decade — ever since the group began asking elected officials and the NYPD to attend so they can discuss issues of concern in the community.
Last week, the Association took a draconian approach to their invite list: the executive board wanted to lock out everyone who wasn’t consider an ‘A’ member, or a homeowner. The Association considers Gerritsen Beach residents who rent ‘B’ members.
Yet according to Gerritsenbeach.net — the blog who’s posts about the neighborhood prompted the Association to circle their wagons — the board ultimately opened the meeting to all members.
Gerritsenbeach.net was not allowed inside, noted Cavanagh, even though he’s a resident.
“Groups like this should do their business in public unless there is a compelling reason not to,” Cavanagh wrote in his post. “And an inability to be open when people are watching is no such reason.”
Speaking anonymously, a person claiming to be a member of the Gerritsen Beach Property Owner’s Association member said he expects the meetings will be open to the public in the near future.
“Many of the residents want to keep things to themselves, but they have to realize that with all the information that’s on the Internet, it’s impossible to do that.”
Besides, a meeting just isn’t a meeting without a visit from Councilman Lew Fidler!
“I don’t know if [keeping the meetings closed to the public] is a permanent policy change … at least I hope its not,” Fidler (D-Marine Park) said. “When you close your meeting room and say you don’t want videotaping inside, it means you say one thing in public and another in private.”
Halloween in Gerritsen Beach is always bad, but in years past the police at least attempted to show up even if it was a lacking response. This year the teens ran unchecked by police and terrorized a neighborhood all day and night.
50+ teens held their ground at Gerritsen and Florence Avenues and Seba Avenue Park for a better part of Halloween. They formed a firing line on both sides of Gerritsen Avenue. They were throwing eggs, shaving cream cans, potatoes, rocks, at anything that drove past and anyone who dared to confront them. They even started throwing eggs at people, parents with young children and strollers. One parent said “I saw them jump a delivery car with kids banging on it, eggs getting slammed into it and some ran on the car”
Everyone was calling 911. There was not one person on Gerritsen Avenue who was not on the phone with 911, or the 61 and 63 Precincts desks. No police responded.
An older man in his late 60’s was driving along Gerritsen Avenue when his car was hit by eggs, when he exited the vehicle he was pelted by dozens of eggs, rocks were thrown, chucks of brick, and someone tossed a hammer. Parents and community members stepped in to protect this man and started to chase the kids to away.
As the Vollies were investigating a possible weed fire. Fire Chief John Czapp’s jeep was pelted and he was hit in the face with an egg. No police responded.
NO POLICE SHOWED UP TO RESPOND. Let’s let that sink in. After possibly dozens or more 911 calls over a two to three hour period NO ONE SHOWED UP.
If you thought the kids behavior was disgusting, the police behavior was incomprehensible. Everyone felt helpless as the neighborhood was terrorized by the teens
After a few hours the 61st Precinct did sent one marked car which was pelted. But as soon as it pulled up the kids ran back weeds and the patrol car left. The kids cheered in victory. The officers did not exit their vehicle nor speak with anyone. They simply left.
The 63 did send two community affairs officers who were also pelted in their unmarked car. They did exit their vehicle and pursued the teens by walking on foot to see if they can catch some of the kids. The kids being locals – immediately ran to the woodchips and exited at channel.
They put out of commission three buses. Shutting down the B31 line. The bus operator and bus supervisor called 911 – No response.
They pelted a deliveryman on a moped assaulting him – No police response.
In a classic hate crime approach the teens also chased two hasidic jewish men throwing rocks at them
They covered cars on Gerritsen Avenue with shaving cream.
GerritsenBeach.net has been covering Halloween for years now. This was by far the worst Halloween. It was not even this bad when the previous 61 Commanding Officer Captain Stella neglected the neighborhood. At least he sent marked patrol cars and supervisors down at the last minute. However Deputy Inspector Mastrokostas seems to have abandoned Gerritsen Beach letting criminals terrorize the neighborhood, leaving residents to resort to vigilante justice. Shame on them.
We’ve decided to keep the orginal post “as is”. No pictures, screenshots or names will be taken down. The pictures in question were in taken in plain sight on the street, where there is no expectation of privacy no matter what the age.
Screenshots were available publicly therefore submitted to the public domain.
Comments or pictures containing names cannot be verified. Their level of involvement has not been determined or proven. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. There has been no comment by local authorities.
Halloween is usually trouble for any car, bus, city worker or delivery driver, and any store front on Gerritsen Avenue. Gerrtisen Beach is so notoriously hazardous on Halloween that the MTA refuses to allow the B31 bus to continue past Ave U through the line of fire.
The 61st precinct has been actively asked store owners not to sell eggs or shaving cream to anyone under 18 and also for parents to be aware of what their children are doing. They do not want to arrest your kids but will if they have to.
It’s been so fun to post about the trick-or-treaters going door to door. Here are out past posts:
Although Halloween had its up’s and downs this year the majority of the day was great. In part thanks to the efforts of groups like GBCares who ran their family day event this year on Halloween. The GBCares event was great, it was just like ocktoberfest, only this time there were more family’s and most were in costume! Family commented saying it was very eat to stop by as they were trick or treating.
Gerritsen Beach once again lived up to its reputation as one of the worst Halloween Mischief neighborhoods in Brooklyn. It was an evening of: Â Eggs, Shaving Cream and Toilet Paper.
Since this Halloween fell on a Saturday, neighbors and trick or treaters alike didnâ€™t know what to expect, but were very glad to see the 61st precinct out very early confiscating eggs and shaving cream from local teens. The officers (above) patrolled for a many hours stopping kids on the avenue and courts confiscating shaving cream & eggs, and searching bags whenever they could.
Just like years past, Â the usual large groups formed in front Victoras and across from New Dutch. Â Some of the stupider, braver, older, kids (21+), when â€œrearmedâ€, would make their way across the street to the softball fields every now and then in preparation to egg traffic. The softball field provides a very quick getaway into the weeds if confronted with police or angry John Q citizen.
This same group pelted a NYPD Auxiliary van as it drove by causing a chase between Auxiliary and 61st Precinct officers. The chase did not result in any apprehensions.
State DEC Vehicle
Later in the evening everything was getting hitâ€¦. from random cars, FedEx trucks, buses, deliveries, even a State DEC (investigating ETO?) marked car was pelted with a few eggs, Â they threw on their lights and sirens which dispersed the crowd.
One woman did confront (rightly so)teens she believed to have hit her car with a pumpkin and eggs.(above)
Shut down at Cryus Avenue
As far as we at GerritsenBeach.net know the B31 was not shut down. However, one a few buses did bring themselves out of service because they couldnâ€™t see out of their windshield, due to eggs.
The 61st precinct did a good job this year considering the attitudes and youth they were up against.
This Saturday is D-Day in Gerritsen Beach: Halloween! Halloween is usually trouble for any car, bus, city worker or delivery driver, and of course, any store front on Gerritsen Avenue. Gerrtisen Beach is so notoriously hazardous on Halloween that the MTA refuses to allow the B31 bus to continue past Ave U through the line of fire.
The 61st precinct did a good job last year but they could have reached the trouble spots much sooner. However it was a much more proactive approach than the year before, which was a disaster. Iâ€™m going to guess they will be equally proactive this year. If theyÂ aren’tÂ asÂ aggressiveÂ in preventing the â€œmischiefâ€, then Gerrtisen Avenue will continue to be a mess on Halloween.
Last year they responded last year with the classic â€œIâ€™m your friend approach,â€ and would politely tell the kids to move on. Which they did, only to Victoriaâ€™s, but would start egging again as soon as the cops pulled away.
This year the precinct promised to keep a watchful eye on Gerritsen Beach. We will see if they live up to that and if our community lives up to their expectations.