Friday, August 8, 2014

Roosevelt Island Sikh Resident Assaulted Near Blackwell House 8 PM Last Night - NYPD Investigating Possible Hate Crime Says RIOC

 Image From The Sikh Coalition

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Report listed today:
8/7/14 - 2015 - 500 Main St. - Assault - PSD/NYPD responded. NYPD report filed.
A NYPD spokesperson reported that a group of 12 - 13 year olds punched a male victim in the head at approximately 8 PM last night in front of 500 Main Street.

 Image Of Area Surrounding Blackwell House (500 Main Street)

The victim suffered minor cuts and bruises, was sent to Cornell Hospital and then released.

This evening, I received the press release below from the Sikh Coalition:
A Sikh resident of New York City was attacked and injured on Roosevelt Island last night in an apparent hate crime. The attack occurred just days after another suspected hate crime, in which Sandeep Singh—a Sikh American—was run over and dragged on a public street in Queens by a driver in a pick-up truck. The Sikh Coalition is calling on the NYPD to investigate both attacks as hate crimes and urges witnesses to come forward.

The target of the Roosevelt Island attack was treated at a local hospital and is recovering from his injuries. Although he has chosen to remain anonymous, he issued the following statement:
I am a physician scientist living and working in New York City. My mom and I were walking to dinner last night on Roosevelt Island. Both of us wear turbans and maintain uncut hair in accordance with our Sikh religious beliefs. As we passed a playground around 8:15pm, we were confronted by approximately 10 teenagers. They called us “Osama bin Laden” and told us to “go back to your country.” They called my mother a “bitch with facial hair.” I told them to stop, but they surrounded me. One of them punched me in the face. Another one punched me in the back of the neck. Another one tried to throw a filled soda bottle at me. As they ran away, I tried pursuing them but was dizzy and felt a lot of pain. I called the police and was treated at a hospital.

I want the New York Police Department to investigate this attack as a hate crime and arrest the people who attacked me before they hurt someone else. I want witnesses to come forward and contact the police immediately. My mom is visiting me from India. She thought that Americans respect religious freedom and that the police and the government here do everything in their power to prevent violence and arrest criminals. I don’t want her to lose faith that justice will be done.
The Sikh Coalition urges witnesses to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. The attack occurred at approximately 8:15pm on Thursday, August 7th near a playground on the Queens side of Roosevelt Island. The attackers consisted of approximately 10 teenagers. Of these, one was a white male on a small bicycle who initiated the hate slurs; the rest were black; and three were female. The Sikh Coalition has requested the intervention of the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force and urged investigators to preserve surveillance footage that may have recorded the crime.

“We’re tired of being targeted again and again by bigots, but Sikh Americans aren’t afraid and aren’t going to let a small group of narrow-minded individuals get us down,” said Rajdeep Singh, Director of Law and Policy at the Sikh Coalition. “We look forward to working with the New York City government, including the NYPD and Mayor de Blasio, to arrest the attackers, stop hate crimes in New York City, and make all of our communities safe.”

Headquartered in New York City, the Sikh Coalition is the largest Sikh American advocacy organization in the United States. For more information, please visit our website at
In response to my inquiries, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Director Jack McManus said:
The NYPD 114th precinct is investigating and treating the incident as a possible hate crime.
RIOC President Charlene Indelicato added:
In our very diverse community on Roosevelt Island, hate crimes are unacceptable and RIOC will work diligently with the NYPD to make sure Roosevelt Island is a safe community for everyone.
UPDATE 8/11 - Statement from members of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association.

UPDATE 5:20 PM - A NYPD spokesperson confirmed today that the incident is being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force.

The Huffington Post has more on the incident:
Doctor Jaspreet Singh Batra came forward on Monday as the victim of an alleged Sikh hate crime that took place in New York City...

... As he continues to process what happened, Batra said he hopes for justice -- but not for vengeance.

"I know that these kids live in my neighborhood," Batra said. "I know they're teenagers, and they're still in the process of making sense of the world. For me to have closure, I would prefer that these young people come forward and accept their fault, and that we take a positive approach to involve them in the community."

As part of a long lasting path to justice, Batra said he would like to see a mandatory diversity education program in schools and colleges that teaches young people about the value of all faiths and ethnicities.

"I think there should be a school program where a diversity education course is mandated to make sure all youngsters attend because that's the age you start making opinions. That's the right time to catch these young minds, to make them explore the beauty that lies in diversity."
Click here for the full Huffington Post article.


CheshireKitty said...

I am horrified by this violent hate crime committed against a member of our community. Information needs to be disseminated by the school, or the churches, teaching brotherhood - dispelling prejudice.

In addition, Public Safety needs to reassure the public that our streets and parks are safe to walk in day or night. PSD could hold a Town Hall meeting to discuss security on the island and the status of cameras. If there are not enough PSOs available to ensure safety, more should be hired. Until enough PSOs are available to ensure safety, their ranks should be supplemented by NYPD.

NotMyKid said...

Absolutely terrible. Unfortunently...the residents who are against public safety, the rioc president and director of public safety caused this by making PSD an essential security outfit with absolutely no pro active policing.

Damn if PSD summonsed, arrested or even just moved the youth. Immediately it would be "y'all just picking on them".

To the victim. Sorry you had to go through that. Your only blame is the rioc president for caving in and PSD for having a less than stellar police force protecting you.

From one citizen to another. My apologies.

NotMyKid said...

Ms endelicato, frank farance and the director of osd want absolutely no activity or pro activity from PSD officers on the street.

Just read the incident reports. Every job is no magically, as we call it... "Shitcanned".

Magically the perp disappeared, magically the condition is corrected.

When I was an officer, we were never told to go arrest or summons everyone we saw. There was plenty of incidents to go around for the full force.

This is despicable. Nonsense.

Hutch said...

This is so upsetting. Someone must have seen something. I hope they have the courage to speak up.

Frank Farance said...

NotMyKid: Not so, I have reported problems in that area of problematic kids to PSD, including chasing them to snap photos of them, which I reported to PSD. It's a mixed bag: some stuff PSD is doing better (like having portable lights distributed to react to any impromptu gatherings), and some stuff PSD seems ineffective. So I agree with you on some points.

One of the points that I disagree with you is: just banging up and arresting people is the solution approach to law enforcement on the Island. If your performance metric is Higher Number Of Arrests, well then you'll get a lot more people arrested (and many unjustly). If your performance metric is Lower Number Of Noise Complaints, then you'll see many incidents resolved without arrest.

But the reaction to a bad incident CANNOT be: Gee, we need to arrest more people in anticipation of crime.

Although this might be imprecise, my sense is that PSD is not really good at pursuit scenarios that span more than 100 feet. For example, if I report something that happened in Blackwell Park next Blackwell House, and the kids run northeast towards the back of Eastwood, well Public Safety isn't going to catch them with their present practices. And that kind of hit and run seems to be part of their tactic.

With all the supposed security cameras mount around the Island, PSD has no strategy towards that escape tactic? Really, I think that is a contributing factor to these kinds of events.

NotMyKid said...

Escape tactics?

If the group runs.. Why are they running? We cannot just engage in a foot pursuit for no JUSTIFIABLE reason. If it's a radio run for a group is kids running.. That's lacking reason for a pursuit. If it's a robbery or other serious crime, then yes, it's a reason for a chase.

ENFORCEMENT is needed to be done.

What do you want PSD to do if they catch a group of adults smoking weed or doing some other illegal activity in the courtyard?

Just tell them to beat it? 30 minutes later or the next day... Same routine.

It's easy for you to say do this, don't do that without police experience. Dealing with the same problems over and over with just warnings does not fix a thing. Some adults need to be punished, just like children, for their actions.

Did you tolerate your kids behavior for doing the same bag thing over and over after telling them NO for the 100th time? Or did you take away their gadget or sent them to their room?

Same exact principal applies with LAW ENFORCEMENT.

Cops can only give so many breaks to someone.

Lack or respect kicks in as well as "they ain't gonna do anything" rumors spread around. Next thing you know.. Here we go... Assaults on officers go up, resisting arrests go up, injuries go up.

It's bad enough they are unarmed and look like security guards with an unknown name or meaning behind PUBLIC SAFETY. Now you want them to just soho people along all day.

At what point in time is proactive and not reactive policing allowed?


divedetox said...

Shame on us.. this is terrible and should not be condoned..Please , if any one has seen anything, please speak up ..and lets reach out to this young man and his mother who were treated in this terrible way..

Shame , Shame

Frank Farance said...

NotMyKid: For example, something illegal happens at Blackwell, the person immediately calls PSD, which means about a 10-15 minute wait, the people involved are described, PSD looks around, drives through the 510 breezeway, doesn't see anything, and then the incident is closed. It happens again, and again, and still happen. And that's because, in my opinion, PSD does not have or does not use appropriate tactics/etc. to address this. It's been happening a long while. So I've called this Escape Tactics.

Now let's compare this to a merchant (not necessarily on RI), who has kids come in the store. A kid steals merchandise and runs out the store. With only one person behind the counter, the merchant installs camera. Next time the kid comes in, the kid knows that he/she is being videoed, and with the proper placement of the cameras, it is likely that the kid will be photographed and, possibly, apprehended. Which means it serves as both a deterrent and a crime tool.

The Blackwell Park area, include behind Blackwell House, seems to be a common spot. What Public Safety has done is put up a couple cameras, many pointed in the wrong direction (e.g., into trees) or too far away. Public Safety doesn't use these tools, either. In a department store, the cameras are used hand-in-hand with the patrolling. Here on RI, it's just mindless television that PSD is not paying attention to.

NotMyKid, for all your purported experience, you seem to be out of ideas, other than: (1) you think we need to bang up and arrest more people, and (2) your techniques aren't addressing the problem at hand - there isn't anyone to arrest because PSD didn't make full use of their equipment.

Really, what's the purpose of installing all the security cameras if they don't help law enforcement?

CheshireKitty said...

Are there stats to back up your allegation that it would take PSD 10-15 minutes to respond to an emergency call for help at Blackwell Park? Isn't there a dispatcher at the PSD - the equivalent of 911 - that will direct patrol cars to the emergency? And, given the size of the island, shouldn't any call be responded to within a few minutes at most?

Also, how you know that camera streams are not being monitored in tandem with actual patrols, information is not being relayed to those patrolling from those monitoring the cameras, and footage is not being used to identify perps?

If response times of PSD are that pitiful - 10-15 minutes for help to arrive at Blackwell Park although PSD itself is about a block away - then we, island residents, and the building owners who pay monthly fees to RIOC to keep PSD going, are all under the false impression that we are receiving basic police services from PS.

Frank Farance said...

I am reporting actual personally experienced PSD response times: 10-15 minutes for PSD to arrive at incidents.

For example, on Saturday, June 21 around 8:40 PM, I witnessed a bunch of youth destroying a bicycle outside Blackwell House. They were creating a ruckus for a while, just jumping on the bicycle and trashing it while people walked by. They then started throwing some metal bar at it, they would throw with full force, the bar would bounce off randomly towards others nearby. I'm guessing the bicycle was stolen because none of them had interest in it, they just trashed it.

At that point, they seemed dangerous to others, so I called Public Safety and started taking photos. Well by the time Public Safety arrived, they had gone far away. One of them seemed easy to identify by the shirt he was wearing.

About a half hour later I ran into these guys again near Al Lewis Park, they saw me and ran, I didn't catch up to get another photo.

A couple days later, I checked on the status, little was done, and the Blackwell Park area is just as vulnerable to hit-and-run. And what about the bike (which looked like a nice bike)? It disappeared, too ... it seemed that this would have been someone's lost-n-found (albeit damaged), right?

Anyway, give the proximity of Blackwell Park, it seems that we should have had a better response time ... maybe that camera down there is pointed in the wrong direction (among other locations). Here is the PSD Blotter summary:

6/21/14 - 2045 - 500 Main St. - Disorderly Youth - PSD responded. Condition corrected.

When I see "Condition Corrected", I think PSD did something to affect a change. Here they did nothing. And there was an opportunity to reunite someone with their lost bike, but it disappeared too because PSD just left it at the scene.

In the attached photos, the first photo is of two of the youth who were destroying the bike; the second photo is the bike itself; and the third photo is the metal bar they were throwing around and almost hitting people.

Frank Farance said...

Here's the first photo again. Rick, this Discus commenting system is such crap, photos have to be re-posted, copy-paste is all messed up. Comment deletes don't actually delete the comment.

NotMyKid said...

10 to 15 minutes response is a bit absurd. I do not believe that one bit.

Now, since you, the residents and clueless rioc president want to keep PSD unarmed targets. If it's a group out there, a single PSD officer should not approach the group alone. If there is an officer dealing with an aided or some other situation, well... You know.. It's gonna have to wait because safety is priority.

You guy destroyed the officers moral and duties. Should be ashamed of yourselves.

NotMyKid said...

My purported experience???

That's laughable that you, a civilian who never ever walked in a cops shoes, is attempting to call me out on MY EXPRRIENCE.

Very amusing. An expert you are not.

No one said banging people up. You obviously have a difficult understanding of the obvious. People resist arrest with PSD because A)they don't believe they have police powers B) what the hell does PUBLIC SAFETY mean? It's. It defined to the public, whereas POLICE is. C) the teens on the island have to respect for PSD as they are not allowed to do their job.

Saying NO NO NO 100 times does not help.

OldRossie said...

Echoing other comments, attacking a Sikh with those names and accusations is pure ignorance, and attacking anyone in that manner is juvenile and disgraceful.
That said... we all know who these kids are and where they come from (roughly). If they get arrested/charged don't they lose the privilege of section 8? If so, isn't that an easy way to get them off the island and prevent yet another incident?

I watched PSD officers confront a bunch of pot smoking teens, and just disband them. At the time I agreed - it's a stupid crime to get on their record and would ruin their chances with school, work, etc... But now that these (likely) same kids have become violent, the glass is officially broken. Can't we pull out all of the stops?