7th Precinct Steps Up East River Park Patrols, Asks For Cameras and Lighting

Captain Joseph Simonetti.

Captain Joseph Simonetti. File photo.

Recent events in East River Park have prompted the 7th Precinct to focus more resources on safety in and around the recreational area. At this month’s community council meeting, Captain Joseph Simonetti detailed steps that have been taken since a crime spree in the park August 21.

As previously reported, several suspects robbed victims in two separate incidents that took place shortly after midnight that evening. Police believe the same group also robbed a man at Cherry Street and Rutgers Street the previous night.  The four suspects, who were caught on surveillance video at a McDonald’s restaurant, have not been arrested.

At last week’s meeting, Simonetti said patrols have been stepped up in the park. Cops are enforcing a midnight curfew and monitoring who is coming in and out of the park late at night.  He said 20 arrests have been made in the past month.  Simonetti added that he’s been talking with officials at the Parks Department about installing security cameras. There’s also concern about lighting on Delancey Street, from East River Drive and Pitt Street, as well as lighting on the Williamsburg Bridge, which he called inadequate. Simonetti noted that lighting is much brighter on the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.  The captain said conversations are also taking place with the Department of Transportation about the lighting issue.

Here’s video of the suspects posted by Gothamist: