Brooklyn Heights

Cops hunting for Brooklyn Heights Promenade slasher

Hate Crime Task Force investigating; suspect still on the loose

August 4, 2023 Mary Frost
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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Police are looking for an unknown person who brutally slashed a man who was sitting on a bench on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade Tuesday afternoon.  

An NYPD spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle that police responded to a 911 call of an assault in progress at roughly 2:37 p.m., August 1, on the Promenade near the intersection of Columbia Heights and Orange Street in the 84th Precinct.

This is the northernmost terminus of the historic esplanade, lined with benches encircling an armillary sundial sphere. 

Upon arrival, officers found a 22-year-old man with multiple slash wounds to his right hand. EMS responded and transported the victim to NYU Cobble Hill on Atlantic Avenue in stable condition.

The police spokesperson said that the preliminary investigation revealed that the unknown perpetrator “may have made anti-gay statements to the victim prior to the assault,” and the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force has been notified. 

The suspect is still on the loose, police said, and the investigation remains ongoing. Police did not supply a description or photo of the suspect.

Several hours after Tuesday’s slashing, the crime scene tape was taken down. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

A local resident named Jennifer (she does not want her last name used) who lives near the Promenade, observed police installing yellow crime scene tape around a bench and speaking with youth who were seated in the area. She provided several photos of the happenings to this paper. 

“I later talked to some young men who said a homeless man had stabbed someone,” Jennifer said. She added that the young men told her the police loaded up the man’s possessions and carted them away.

“There has been a dramatic increase in vagrants in the area that seem to be using hard drugs and are not in touch with reality,” Jennifer said. “I’ve called 311 and the local precinct numerous times to express concern and ask for increased patrols.  My calls have gone unanswered and men who appear to have mental health issues are still living on the Promenade and in [Brooklyn Bridge Park].”

She added, “This is the third violent crime I have witnessed within a block of my home this summer … We are in the difficult position of trying to balance compassion for people living on the street with addiction and keeping the neighborhood safe. Our green spaces should be a place of respite for all, not a place that exposes us to trauma.”

In June, cops arrested Nicolas Giraldo, 25, a suspect wanted in a violent crime wave, including the robbery and stabbing of a 55-year-old man on Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights on June 13. 

In July, a 19-year-old man was stabbed while playing basketball in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

An unknown suspect attacked a 22-year-old man who was sitting in the northernmost section of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, lined with benches encircling an armillary sundial sphere. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

Local crime stats mixed

According to NYPD’s preliminary crime statistics for July, released on Thursday, New York City saw a 35.4% drop in shooting incidents during the month of July 2023, compared to July 2022, and overall drop in index crime (major crimes) by almost 6%. Additionally, hate crimes were down 8%. Felony assault was up slightly citywide, by .4%. And housing crimes were up 3.3%.

The 84th Precinct had mixed results for the month of July compared to 2022. The precinct showed no increase in murder, a 60% decrease in rape and a 13% decrease in robbery — but a 34% increase in felony assault, a 40% increase in grand larceny auto, and a 22% increase in hate crimes. 

News outlets in the 84th Precinct and other Brooklyn precincts can no longer monitor police radio channels, which has raised questions about the future confirmability of crime statistics.

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