Late-night crowds at Queens waterfront park making residents miserable

CeFaan Kim Image
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Residents hire private security to tame raucous park crowds
Residents say fireworks, loud parties, and nearly being run over on the sidewalk are a nightly occurrence -- and they're sick of it.

LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (WABC) -- Residents in a Queens neighborhood say they've been terrorized by boisterous late-night crowds flocking to its waterfront park for months.

People living in Long Island City say they are constantly bombarded by mopeds being driven up onto sidewalks, loud motorcycle races, and large parties featuring booming music blasting from large speakers on top of cars into the early morning hours.

"Fireworks are being launched right outside of our windows. There are residents who had fireworks launched at them," resident Alex Lu said.

Lu says in addition to being concerned about COVID-19 spreading among the large crowds that gather, they're also seeing an uptick in other concerning behavior like graffiti, broken bottles, and open drug use.

"These revel scooters, 3 kids on them joyriding down the sidewalk. Not on the street, on the sidewalk," Lu said. "My wife is pregnant. She's almost been run over 3 times."

"I would just like to get some sleep past 1 a.m. I would like to sleep earlier than that, but that's when the party here starts," resident Glory Lu said. "So finally we have to do something about it."

That something they did was hire private security funded by donations from residents.

They say they talked to the NYPD, but it was a dead end.

"I just don't think they have enough people to help support the effort. I'm sure there are also issues with everything else with defunding the police." resident Yolanda Tristancho said.

But some say residents shouldn't be paying to solve these problems.

They say the city needs to step up.

State Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan is calling for Mayor Bill de Blasio, city and state parks police, and the local NYPD precinct to put together a task force.

"I hope that the mayor will answer my letter from July and I hope that they will respond," Nolan said.

She says it'll take everyone to get this under control.

On Thursday night Eyewitness News cameras caught illegal fireworks popping off.

Nolan says the problem is getting worse.

"Obviously people making money off the park, bringing party buses in from throughout the city literally parking here until two or three in the morning," Nolan.

When reached for comment, City Hall referred us to the parks department.

"Our Parks Enforcement Patrol officers have recently added some night patrols to monitor the park and surrounding area. We are also working with the local police precinct to enforce Parks' rules and address noise and vehicle complaints. Parks has no plans to authorize a private security contractor to patrol Hunters Point South Park," a parks spokesperson said in a statement.

"This is just dangerous at this point. There are a lot of residents up in arms. A lot of very, very angry people that have been dealing with this nonstop for 3 months straight," Nolan said.

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