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Crime rate drops in 104th Precinct: Police

The murder rate remained the same,...

By Alex Ginsberg

Overall crime decreased in the 104th Precinct by 4.92 percent over the first six months of 2003 compared with the same period last year despite a slight increase in felony assault, Police Department statistics showed.

The murder rate remained the same, with only a single reported incident both last year and this year, the crime numbers showed.

According to the statistics, eight rapes were reported in the first half of this year, down from nine a year earlier. There were also decreases of about 7 percent in burglary and grand larceny as well as smaller downturns in robbery and auto theft.

Felony assault, however, increased by 6.2 percent, from 112 incidents last year to 119 this year.

Gary Giordano, district manager for Community Board 5, which covers roughly the same area as the 104th Precinct — Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village — said the increase was difficult to interpret, given the widely varying circumstances that can lead to assaults.

But he repeated a frequent complaint among area residents, that the 104th Precinct suffers from inadequate staffing.

“Twenty additional police officers would make a big difference in response time to crime and would increase patrol a lot,” Giordano said. “And response time is very important if you want to catch the criminal and save people from violence.”

Despite the rise in assault, there was only one reported murder in the first six months of the year.

In that incident, Randy Rosario, a 15-year-old student at IS 77 in Ridgewood, attacked a classmate with a baseball bat Jan. 14. The victim, Bryan Rivera, died after lingering in a coma for six days.

Rosario, now 16, is currently serving three to nine years in a secure juvenile facility for the attack after reaching a plea deal with the Queens district attorney’s office.

The crime numbers for the 104th Precinct recorded in the first six months of 2003 vary widely from those of the Patrol Borough Queens North. Those numbers, which include crime statistics for eight precincts, showed a greater overall drop in crime at 8.74 percent. But Queens North also saw a large 46.4 percent increase in rape compared with the slight decrease in the 104th.

Reach reporter Alex Ginsberg by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.

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