At the Village of Manorhaven's July meeting, Captain Edward Dooley, 6th Precinct, Nassau County Police Department attempted to quell the fears of Manorhaven residents who were shaken and concerned over the recent suspected gang activity in their village.
Captain Dooley advised that gang activity exists in "isolated pockets" in Nassau County. Reportedly, about 40 gang members currently live in Port. Typically, they're young adults, in the early twenties, of Hispanic origin, who perpetrate crimes against their own people (i.e. coercion, intimidation, assault, essentially things "designed to give themselves a name," according to Dooley).
He then reviewed the incidents of the week of July 6, in which four arrests for menacing, assault, weapon possession and resisting arrest were made. In addition, five drug arrests were made. Reporting some very good news, Captain Dooley advised that the police believe that they arrested the "ringleader" of the group, who will now be deported.
Despite these assurances, some residents said they still don't feel safe. One Graywood Road woman reported that on Monday, July 6, a group of 20 young males were chasing their neighbor, a man holding a baby, and throwing bottles and rocks at them. The woman reported that her husband called 911 and was put on hold. She claims it took 20 minutes for the NCPD to arrive on the scene.
Captain Dooley said he didn't know about this incident, but said he would look into it. Later on, he noted, that some assaults, coercion, etc., go unreported to the police because the MS-13 gang often targets and preys upon illegal aliens, because they know these victims won't report it, fearing that they'll be exposed.
Vincenza Burns told Captain Dooley that she's witnessed drug-related activity and found screwdrivers filed down to ice picks, beer bottles and condoms near her home. Adding to the report of the woman from Graywood Road, she informed the police that these alleged gang members also exposed themselves to the mother of the baby. She implored the police "to be visible," and said that everyone has to respect the police, starting with the village administration.
Captain Dooley noted that even though men in blue may not be around, plain clothesmen and undercover police are in Manorhaven.
One man reported that a youngster of a friend of his had been harassed at Manorhaven Park by about 20 boys. The father of the boy told this man that he now has a loaded gun and that he's "taking matters into his own hands." Captain Dooley cautioned against this kind of response and asked that the gentleman call the NCPD instead.
Marina/Restaurant owner Guy LaMotta said that Nassau County does have gangs. He urged that a countywide task force on gangs be formed, with a coordinator, to help deal with the problem.
One resident asked about instituting a curfew for youngsters. Captain Dooley replied that legally this can't be done.
Ellen Tomlinson, the mayor's wife, recalled speaking to former Mayor Gary Pagano last March. She says that the then mayor told her that youthful activity, be it gang-related or not, is going on all the time in Manorhaven. People in the audience disagreed however, shouting and murmuring that it had not been this bad before. One woman cited the fact that an empty jug of wine was thrown at the young man with the baby in his arms. "This never happened before," she said.
Dooley concluded his visit by telling the audience that the NCPD and PWPD are continually monitoring and policing gang activity through their own departments and also jointly.