To some Gerritsen Beach residents, the blame for last week’s egg-throwing Halloween hooliganism falls squarely in one place: on the out-of-neighborhood businesses that sold the kids the eggs in the first place.
“No store in this community sold eggs to minors before Halloween,” one member of the Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association declared proudly at the group’s public meeting last Wednesday. “[The children] went to Food Basics [on Coyle Street in Sheepshead Bay] to get the eggs.”
Thus began the dance where Gerritsen Beach residents sidestepped responsibility for the violent Sunday afternoon where local teens threw eggs, potatoes and rocks at cars, buses and pedestrians up and down Gerritsen Beach Avenue.
While same gave lip service to “bad parenting,” many who attended the meeting seemed accepting and almost nostalgic of the bombing raids, with some in attendance admitting they, too, threw eggs and shaving cream when they were kids.
When contacted, Food Basics refuted the claims of parents. A assistant manager said it’s their policy not to sell eggs to children.
But now that the holiday’s behind them, Gerritsen Beach residents apparently want everything swept under the rug. The community, made up largely of blue-collar families, have clammed up when asked by investigators to identify the mischief makers.
Sergeant Kerry Carty told Association members that six people called 911 as teens indiscriminately unleashed their arsenal of projectiles. Hundreds more voiced their outrage on a Gerritsenbeach.net posting of the incident.
But as of Nov. 3, no one has come to police, claiming to have witnessed to the attacks — leaving detectives at square one, Sgt. Carty said.
“How many of you said ‘I eye witnessed the egg throwing,’ yet made sure to file a [complaint] report with us?” Carty asked the two dozen Association members. No one raised a hand.
Three people were taken into custody on Halloween, police said. Two of the detainees received criminal court summonses. The third, a minor, was released to his parents. Five more people were stopped and frisked, then sent on their way, Carty said.
Yet once the eggs and shaving cream were cleaned off Gerritsen Avenue, no one wanted to pursue the matter further — not even the few who showed up at the station house to complain, Carty explained, adding that the MTA hasn’t filed a complaint either, even though a vandal busted a bus window during the wilding spree.
“One person came to the station house to voice their displeasure about Halloween and he sat down and talked to us, but he didn’t file a complaint,” Carty said. “He stated that he didn’t want to air Gerritsen Beach’s laundry.”
The sergeant then pushed the community to go on the record when they see crimes happening.
“If you want this to stop, you need to cooperate with us … It has to be a partnership,” Carty told Association members. “We need you to say, ‘that’s the person who caused this mischief’ then put your name to a piece of paper.”
Apparently, the only help police received this year was from Gerritsenbeach.net, who posted Facebook pages of local teens admitting to their Halloween shenanigans. Yet Carty said these would-be confessions cannot be used as evidence because no one will corroborate their actions.
Residents listened to the police, but it didn’t seem that Carty’s words sank in. Instead, many disputed police claims that only six 911 calls were made. Others refuted Carty’s assurances that police responded every time they were called.
“I called 911 four times… I even called the station house,” said one Association member, who only identified herself as Doreen. “Over eight 911 calls were made by the people in this room alone.”
©2010 Community News Group
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