Park Slope

Adams gives safety tips to Park Slope senior citizens

Visits local center after woman is robbed

March 15, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Borough President Eric Adams shared crime prevention tips with members of the Park Slope Center for Successful Aging. Photo by Erica Sherman/Borough President’s Office

In the wake of the shocking assault and robbery of an elderly woman in the vestibule of her Park Slope building, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams paid a visit to a local senior citizen center to offer tips on how to stay safe.

Adams, a former police captain, told members of the Park Slope Center for Successful Aging on March 8 that knowledge is power and that alertness, awareness and preparation are the keys to safety.

“The best weapons to combat crime against seniors are education and preparation,” he said.

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Adams came to the center, located at 463A Seventh Ave., at a time when senior citizens are still reeling in shock over the armed robbery and assault of a 91-year-old woman in their brownstone neighborhood.

On March 2, a man armed with a gun robbed and assaulted the victim, Elizabeth Gioino, in the vestibule of her apartment building on Ninth Street near Prospect Park, according to police.

Gioino was coming home at around 1 p.m. after a visit to a local library when the suspect shoved her into the vestibule and then choked her repeatedly. A 50-year-old neighbor tried to come to her aid, but the suspect pointed the gun at both of them and robbed them of approximately $370, police said.

The robber escaped and is being sought by police. He is described as a black male, 40-50 years old, 5-foot-10 to six feet tall, approximately 250 pounds, wearing a dark colored hooded sweater, black jacket, black wool cap, light colored pants, dark shoes and black gloves.

Shocked by the violent incident, Adams personally put up money for a $1,000 reward for information about Gioino’s attacker, adding to the $2,500 the NYPD has already offered.

Adams wrote a personal check to cover Gioino’s financial loss from the incident.

Police are also investigating a second troubling crime in Park Slope, a home invasion that took place on Feb. 11 in which an attacker reportedly pistol-whipped a 71-year-old woman in her Sixth Avenue house and demanded money from her.

During his visit to the Park Slope Center for Successful Aging, Adams also discussed his broader effort to reach out to senior citizens across Brooklyn and said safety tips for home, travel and banking can be accessed on his website,

Brenda Westphalen, the center’s director, said the borough president’s visit went a long way toward calming the frayed nerves of her members.

“Given Borough President Adams’ background as a member of the NYPD, it was very reassuring to have him present specific actions that our members can take to remain vigilant and safe while at home and when they are out and about,” she said.

Anyone with information on the Park Slope robberies is asked to call the NYPD’s Crimestoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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