Top five most dangerous parks in New York City

July 8, 2013 2:46:15 PM PDT
Summer means more time outdoors, but before you take your family to the park Eyewitness News has a list of the most dangerous ones.

From muggings to rapes, there are serious crimes being committed at these popular spots.

One of the most dangerous parks is located in the Bronx.

On a hot summer day, kids find no shortage of fun on a playground and a cool fountain, while not far away parents keep a watchful eye.

For these parents, and others, there are rules.

"I come early for my son to play in the park and that's about it. I am not going to come after 5 o'clock," said Jewel Stephens, a parent.

In Crotona Park 12 days ago, police say they were investigating the claims of a teenager that she was sexually assaulted by a man as she walked through the park late at night.

It draws new concerns from Geoffrey Croft with NYC Park Advocates.

"The number one thing is public safety. And if you don't feel safe and you're not safe, that's a bad sign," Croft said.

Crime statistics over the last four years from the NYPD and compiled by the Park Advocates revealed the five parks with the highest number of incidents:

Central Park had 649 serious crimes, including 13 rapes and 415 grand larcenies.

Flushing Meadows had 387 serious crimes including five rapes and 40 robberies.

Prospect Park had 192 serious crimes including two murders and 92 robberies.

Riverside Park had 194 serious crimes including five rapes and 95 robberies.

And, Crotona Park had 102 serious crimes including 14 assaults and three rapes.

"All these numbers are way too high and we need to dedicate more resources," Croft said.

Parks officials say they are hiring 81 new enforcement officers, doubling the force city wide.

They added that they work closely with police addressing criminal activity and create a safer environment.

"I don't feel safe because there are not too many cops walking around here," said Jessika Santiago, a parent.

"When I do come I feel fairly safe. Half an hour I have been here the cops have passed already twice, but it's this time of the day," said Ana Garrido, a parent.