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The Civic Scene: Alcohol and quiet streeets do not mix in Fresh Meadows

At about 3:30 a.m. on the morning of July 23, some 25 shots rang out on the corner of Union Turnpike and 193rd Street in this quiet residential neighborhood.

Apparently, a group of men tried to gain entry to a private party in the Porterhouse Grill. When they were refused entrance, they stormed over to their van, picked up some weapons and started shooting, police said.

Five people were shot. There were so many shots fired that one of the assailants was also apparently hit. Three were arrested and police were searching for a fourth suspect.

Bullet casings could be seen on the sidewalk in front of a corner all-night store, which sells beer, just a few feet away from the restaurant. The area was cordoned off with yellow police tape for hours. Residents stood in groups talking. One bullet went through the front side windows of a car parked in a driveway on 193rd Street. It bounced off the stoop of the next door house and another car door.

This area of Union Turnpike is represented by the West Cunningham Park Civic Association, whose president is your columnist. In a four-block area are two restaurants which sell alcohol, two bars, two all-night stores which sell beer, and a liquor store. Further down Union Turnpike, to the west, are more all-night stores which sell beer, restaurants and bars. Along Union Turnpike, near Utopia Parkway, is St. John

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