Loitering youths are still causing disturbances in and around the area of Memorial Park according to Albert Street resident Bruce Hecht.
“They don’t belong there, they don’t live there,” he said during a meeting of the New Hyde Park Village Board on January 2 at the village hall. “I’ve seen them urinate in the park.”
Hecht added that they also urinated on a neighbor’s lawn and that although police respond to his reports of the incidents, “but by that point most people have left or they see the police car coming and they just vamoose.”
Most of the activity saying most activity occurs between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. every night Hecht said, “they’re there all the time.”
He suggested police be there between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. and between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. and a “no loitering” sign.
The park is locked each night, but Hecht said that the youths climb the fence regardless. The only light which is supposed to be on in the park is by the framed building. He stated that between eight and 20 people typically can be seen around the area.
“They have to be more forceful,” Hecht said of the police, “and like I said, I think I need to be there twice a night just to keep moving them and get them out of there.”
Hecht also reported that vehicles double and triple-park “and sit in the middle of the street and you come and you can honk your horn and they don’t move; they don’t care.”
Dr. Joan Germana, a pediatrician at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, felt that much of the behavior might have been due to the influx of college students home on winter break as well as the vacation time for high school students. In addition to police, she also suggested that residents form a neighborhood watch.
Some of the village board members expressed puzzlement at the behavior during the winter months.
“It’s cold weather,” mayor Daniel Petruccio said. “Usually this is the time of the year where we see less complaints like this, it heats up when the weather gets just nicer, this is more concerning.”
Superintendent of public works Tom Gannon said that he would reach out to the Third Precinct regarding increased patrols. Petruccio added that the village will try to get Nick Mosesso, the POP officer assigned to the village, to investigate as well.
“We’re going to scream again and bark and hope they respond to us,” the mayor said.
“It’s one of the few areas of concern in the village that we want added patrols and extra attention,” Lofaro said. “It’s so upsetting to learn that there’s still a problem.”
The village had previously experienced problems at Dunkin’ Donuts on Jericho Turnpike.
“There was some real proactive work done there,” Petruccio said. “I think it’s about pushing the problem to a new location, but we have to move them from our parks because there’s a liability issue for the village as well.”