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Not the kind of thing you want to read here

So … Bed-Stuy just got a little sketchier for us at the MYNT.

Yesterday, I was just chillin’ eating some apple jacks and assembling my thoughts and some furniture when I heard something at my door.

I went to check it out through the peep hole and some seemingly smashed out drunken dude was just walking from door to door trying the handle on each one. I opened the door (with the chain/slider thing in place) and said, “Did you need something?” to which he replied “Sorry, wrong apartment.”

My initial reaction to what he was doing was that he was casing the place, checking out each door to find one that was unlocked. I saw that he was drunk and so I didn’t think much more about it. Someone new was moving in yesterday so I thought this might be a drunken friend trying to get back to that apartment.

Unfortunately this was not the case.

Later I went out with some friends and noticed a comb on the floor of the lobby. I had a ‘WTF?’ moment, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. It was only when I came back that I realized that the two events were related. Allegedly the alleged intruder’s comb and seventy cents.

This intruder, rapist, crazy or whatever you want to call him had come into the building, and apparently given the same treatment to every floor. He even got into one apartment, which is when the police were finally called. Luckily they would be here within fifteen minutes.

I’m sorry, but one hour twenty minutes, when the police actually arrived, is not exactly in the same ballpark as fifteen minutes, I don’t care what neighborhood you live in.

Our normal night-man had come on duty and was the first MYNT employee to be alerted of this situation. He brought (forcibly) the man back down to the lobby and kept him there until the police arrived.

At some point between the time I saw the guy and he ended up in the lobby, his pants had ended up near his ankles. There they remained until the police arrived.

Did I mention that it took New York’s finest one hour twenty minutes to respond? In case I didn’t, after an emergency 911 call, NYPD took one hour twenty minutes to respond to a call at Myrtle and Nostrand near the Myrtle-Willoughby G train stop. I can make it from the MYNT to the NYPD station in Times Square in well under one hour twenty minutes, even on weekends. Simply hop on a Queens bound G train at the Myrtle-Willoughby, transfer to the L at Metropolitan/Lorimer, get on the Q at Union Square and you’re there. Alternatively, you can take a Smith-9 St bound G train to Hoyt-Schermerhorn (which houses yet another location of the NYPD) and hop on a Manhattan A train and ride that baby for all she’s worth straight to 42nd Street Times Square.

I hope that last paragraph was clear enough, particularly for the search engines out there, you know, the ones that disseminate this information to the general public. Of course anyone reading this is free to write some content associating the terms NYPD and one hour twenty minutes and see how long it takes before the right people start to notice. Maybe my tone will be inflammatory enough to end up on the Neighborhood Watch of nymag.com. Indeed, it may even be some sort of cosmic dramatic irony, with God as both director and audience, that this is precisely the kind of event a ‘neighborhood watch‘ is supposed to prevent.

I would also like to note that the blame for this can not possibly be laid upon those officers who actually responded. They came, they saw, they took that guy away. Awesome. But who decides where stations are? Why isn’t there a response time calculator on the NYPD’s website? Is the city too big to respond promptly to each 911 call?

In any case, this is my announcement of suspicious behavior. The guy was casing the place. It’s as simple as that. I don’t know how long he will be incarcerated or if he will be at all, but he has one phone call, and that’s all an accomplice would need.

It is in this unfortunate circumstance that I must encourage those living inside the MYNT to lock their doors, in the daytime, when they’re home, when they shouldn’t have to.

8 Comments

  1. This is the cost of living in a neighborhood with a sizable population that is economically disadvantaged. You have to lock your doors and anything left unattended for more than 7 minutes will be stolen. I’ve always lived in high crime neighborhoods, but it was mostly high white collar crime, so I never paid it any attention. I had a break in a few days after I arrived in Bed-Stuy (before my security system was installed). You can read about my adventures here in this Brooklynian thread: http://www.brooklynian.com/~brooklyn/forums/viewtopic.php?t=32206&highlight=

    I hope this experience at the MYNT doesn’t shake anyone up. It’s just a small downside of living in a big city.

    Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 10:50 am | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    I’m not sure I can characterize the magnitude of this disadvantage as small =) but there is a sense, all things considered, that makes it insignificant by comparison.

    In almost any other circumstance, time, place or location this would be a deal breaker. That said, for me at least, this disadvantage is acceptable.

    I’m not worried about this guy or people like him. He was a very strange, seemingly crazy person. I have my doubts that he lives anywhere close to this neighborhood. In that sense Bed-Stuy is kind of like Vegas, outsiders are like “Hey while I’m here I might as well go nuts!”

    This is analogous to discovering that the rude people you meet in NYC are mostly tourists.

    What I am more concerned about is the police latency. I know stuff is gonna go down, it happens in Texas, it happens everywhere. There are just too many people in this world that are interested in no common good except that which is common to them. But when stuff goes down, it would be nice for the police to have a fighting chance to arrive on scene as it’s going down.

    Thanks for your comment and commiseration. Going through things together is always preferable to going through things alone. Except for maybe Anthropophobia, it may be better to go through that one alone. *Almost* always =)

    Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 11:29 am | Permalink
  3. Ahhh, the slow police response. I’m not sure what to make of that. I’ve never had a slow police response and I live very close to you and I used to call the police quite regularly (mostly for quality of life issues). Usually there are cops around the Myrtle-Willoughby subway station, so I’m surprised that it took them more than 90 seconds to show up at your building. The slow police arrival will make your post interesting to a lot of people who would assume that Mynt-dwellers have the police at their beck and call.

    Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 6:09 pm | Permalink
  4. admin wrote:

    By ‘quality of life issues’ do you mean noise complaints and such? I’m unfamiliar with the local laws as far as that is concerned.

    After your comment I was a little worried that I got the story wrong and had actually been told ‘twenty minutes’ instead of ‘one hour twenty minutes’, but fortunately for my credibility I had heard correctly.

    It’s possible that the difference might have been that they needed to bring a blue and white, but it still seems a little slow to me.

    I’m glad to hear other people’s experience with this here in Bed-Stuy, but that’s one of the things you do best. =)
    While I agree it’s quite presumptuous to assume that the police are at your beck and call, a prompt police response time is necessary anywhere.

    Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 8:33 pm | Permalink
  5. anne wrote:

    i am somewhat amazed that anyone living in new york city would think they shouldn’t have to keep their apartment door locked in the daytime. are you folks the same ones who walk the streets late at night listening to your damn ipods and can’t figure out how you got mugged???

    Monday, December 3, 2007 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
  6. admin wrote:

    I never thought I didn’t have to, I just think things would be better if I didn’t have to.

    Won’t it be nice the day when locking your door will seem sillier than not locking it?

    Monday, December 3, 2007 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  7. Sarah wrote:

    Hey there ANTBED -I am also a resident of the Yuppie Spaceship to which you dwell (to be honest, if we hadn’t found your blog prior to visiting the place we too would have fallen victim to the historical negative feedback about the area -rather than visiting a community that we now LOVE).

    We too had the pleasure of having our (locked) door handle rattled by the well dressed drunken white guy -who delivered (slurred) the same “Sorry -wrong door” line to us. We assumed that it may have been a neighbour or guest thereof (well dressed drunken and relatively polite gay man -sounds like the majority of our pleasant neighbours here on Level 2) as there had been really loud music next door for the first time just prior to the handle rattling incident.

    It wasn’t until about an hour later that we discovered the man lying on the floor of the reception area held down by the doorman while he cried like a baby in the fetal position with his pants round his ankles. At that point we were thinking that it could still be a resident -albeit not a popular one..

    Was this guy really casing the joint or was he truly just wasted and lost within the labyrinth of the MYNT (yuppie womb) corridors??

    Although I believe that you should always keep your doors locked -big city or not- how good is our 24 hour doorman security system?

    Wednesday, December 5, 2007 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  8. Sarah wrote:

    Hay ANTBED, I heard from the Yuppie Womb manager who said that the door handle guy from the weekend IS actually a resident from the 5th floor who got a weeeee bit too intoxicated and really COULDNT find his apartment door hehe. He has apparently been given a friendly warning letter from the building management -and is probably somewhat embarrassed! So we can announce that the only threats of security to the MYNT and Bed Stuy from its yuppie residents! :-D

    Thursday, December 6, 2007 at 7:19 pm | Permalink