Woodhaven rally calls for crime crackdown

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Forest Park Co-op residents held a rally against violence Monday after a woman from the development was carjacked Sunday.

Nick Comaianni, a member of the Forest Park Co-Op board of directors and state Assembly candidate, said the co-ops along 98th Street between Park Lane South and Woodhaven Boulevard have had problems with cars being broken into and tires slashed, including 30 such incidents last week.

“We should have a proper police presence here,” said Comaianni, who organized the rally. “Let’s get out proper police protection.”

A man at the event said the woman’s family attended the rally, but they did not want to be identified out of fear.

Comaianni said the 102nd Precinct told the co-op it was located in a “low-crime area” and that stepped-up patrols were unnecessary.

A Forest Park Co-op resident who asked to be identified only as Don said three men approached him recently and one sprayed him with mace, but they did not steal anything from him.

Don said his cars had been broken into seven times in the 25 years he has lived in the co-op and had four batteries stolen and three broken windshields.

“There’s been many problems with break-ins and broken car windows,” said Bill Grosso, a 13-year resident of Forest Park Co-op.

Grosso said the rash of incidents has so far not led to shareholders putting their apartments up for sale.

“There’s hope that things are going to get better. In order to protect their investments, they want more police protection,” he said.

But one resident, who asked not to be named, said his neighbors were blowing the incidents out of proportion.

“I think they’re making it more than it is,” he said.

Assemblyman Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven) said in a statement that he alerted authorities to problems at Forest Park Co-op.

“Working with the 102nd Precinct, I will continue to address this and other public safety concerns,” he said. “Upholding public safety is my utmost concern.”

State Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica) also said she would talk to the precinct.

“I think we need to increase police protection to make people feel safer,” she said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 6:28 pm, October 10, 2011
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