A crew of skateboarders is making the life around Bartel Pritchard Square a living hell.
So say some outraged citizens who plan to speak out against the teens at a meeting next week organized by City Councilmember Bill de Blasio.
“We have a big problem with underage drinkers, drug dealers and skateboarders. It’s ridiculous,” explained Prospect Park South West resident Jim Rallis, who says he has been driven crazy by the kids who have turned the western entrance to the park at 15th Street into an all−night hangout spot. “You wouldn’t believe the amount of noise they make.”
Rallis told this paper that he is one of many people who have filed complaints with the police and 311 about the unruly kids hanging out in the parking lot near the park entrance, which he believes are a crew of Carroll Gardens teens who knew Sharif Abdallah.
Abdallah, a student from Xaverian High School, died of a heart attack during a brawl inside the park on March 8 when he and his friend defended a girl being berated by another teen. Abdallah collapsed near the Bartel Pritchard Square entrance, officials said. His friends erected a makeshift memorial there in his honor.
Rallis said that on the night of June 13, the noise made by the teens was so bad that he called the police. When they didn’t respond quickly enough, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
“I went down there to tell them to be quiet and one of them pulled a box−cutter out and put it against my body,” Rallis said.
When cops arrived, they took a report, but the teen −− who admitted being from Carroll Gardens −− said he had no ID on him.
“They let the kid go,” he said. “I just want the police to do their job.”
The problem could be right where the kids are hanging out. While Prospect Park is covered by the 78th Precinct, Prospect Park South West is protected by the 72nd Precinct.
The teens hang out near the entrance to the park, right on the borderline, he explained.
“You call and one command thinks the other command is responsible,” Rallis said. “But I just want a cop responding.”
While the teens could be responsible for affecting residents quality of life, no violence has erupted from their presence since Abdallah’s death, according to officials.
Cops from the 78th Precinct said that they have responded to Rallis’ complaints and handed out summonses.
In most cases, the teens are doing nothing illegal, they said.
“We address activity in the park, but there’s not a lot you can do about kids riding on skateboards,” a high−ranking officer at the 78th Precinct said.
While Rallis has taken his complaints to the police, others have taken them to Bill de Blasio’s office.
Their calls for help have prompted de Blasio to hold a meeting where cops, community board members and members of the Windsor Terrace Alliance to speak on “issues on and around Bartel Pritchard Square, Prospect Park West and Prospect Park South West.”
The meeting will be held at Bishop Ford High School, 500 19th Street, on July 1 between 6:30 and 9:30 pm, organizers said.
“As the weather gets warmer, Prospect Park gets busier,” de Blasio explained in a statement. “We want to ensure that all Brooklyn residents can enjoy the many attractions the Park has to offer while respecting the needs of our community.
“This town hall meeting will help residents and law enforcement communicate so the needs of the community are heard,” de Blasio said.
©2009 Community News Group
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