A friend of mine was assaulted and robbed this Sunday (May 22, 2011) at around 2:30 a.m.
The crime took place on Avenue F, between East 5th Street and Ocean Parkway. (He was walking along the north side of Avenue F, from Dahill Rd towards his home on Ocean Parkway.) Some guy, without any warning, hit him in the face with a baseball bat and THEN asked for his wallet. My friend, bleeding from his face and eye at this point, threw them the wallet. Amazingly he was able to get up and make his way home.
He never got a good look at the attackers; he thinks there was a second guy there, but isn’t sure. The perps actually called to him to come back, but didn’t follow after him.
My friend went to the hospital. He had a burst eyeball and ocular fractures. At first we were expecting that he would lose sight in his left eye, but he’s recovering relatively well and will regain at least some sight in the damaged eye; it’s too early to tell. He’s still in the intensive care unit.
The perps made away with his wallet which had all of $20, and 10 euros inside. They didn’t make any attempt to use the credit cards. The criminals were not caught. There don’t appear to have been any witnesses, since this was late at night.
I always thought of Kensington as a safe neighborhood. It was quite shocking to hear that these criminals are ambushing people at night, inflicting serious bodily harm before they even ask for your valuables.
Needless to say the next time they swing a bat at someone’s head they can very well put someone in a coma, blind or kill them. The $20 isn’t going to satisfy them for long. I also find it hard to believe that someone from outside the neighborhood would come to Avenue F and East 5th street to ambush people, so chances are they live not too far away. Always be aware of your surroundings at night and if you see unsavory types loitering at night call the police.
Our first priority was the medical treatment, but now I’m wondering about the law enforcement aspect of all this. I’m not sure how much investigating the police do after a crime like this. I know they talked to a local religious anti-crime group, Shomrim I’m guessing, but that didn’t yield anything.
If anyone here lives in the immediate area please let me know if you saw/heard anything that night. It’s not clear if they followed him from Dahill Road or were waiting around on that block. It’s also not clear how much longer they stood around after the crime or in which direction they left. They may have thrown out the wallet or baseball bat somewhere in the area. If you know of any security cameras in the area which might have captured the crime or the perps walking around me know.
It’s a very densely populated area, and even though it was late at night, I think there’s a chance that somebody may have noticed two guys walking around at night with a bat or a security camera recording them walking by. There are also lots of businesses just a short block away on 18th Avenue, including the 24 hour Ocean Mini-Mart. They may have come from that direction or might have gone there after the crime.
On another note, we keep hearing how much crime has gone down in New York. That may be true for murders, but this is actually the second serious assault within the last 10 months among people I personally know. I’m not sure how accurately assaults like these are reported in the crime statistics.(The other assault happened to an acquaintance of mine who was jogging along the East River Bikeway when two thugs stole his IPhone. In a bizarre coincidence, they also hit him with some sort of rod or stick and ruptured his eyeball. Is this some sort of new trend among muggers of hitting people in the face with rods/bats/sticks? Those two criminals weren’t caught either.)