Brooklyn Heights

84th Precinct’s interim commanding officer shares positive crime stats at first community meeting

‘Promenade slasher’ ID’d

October 18, 2023 Mary Frost
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BOROUGH HALL — Attendees at the 84th Precinct Community Council meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall Tuesday night got a chance to meet the precinct’s new acting commanding officer, Captain Steven Hyland, and also Special Operations Lt. Peter Behan, who joined the precinct in May.

Hyland will be in charge at the 84th Precinct, which includes Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Vinegar Hill, until a permanent replacement is appointed. Former commanding officer Det. Inspector Adeel Rana was recently promoted to commanding officer of NYPD’s Public Security Section, under the Intelligence Division.

“I love being here and getting immersed with the community,” Hyland told the Brooklyn Eagle. “I’ve been all over, mostly in Brooklyn North Patrol Borough, so I’m familiar with Brooklyn — it’s where I started.” He added that he “worked alongside Det. Inspector Rana,” so he was up to speed.

Hyland shared the good news that index crimes (major crimes) in the precinct were down 11% since the Council’s last monthly meeting, and that arrests in all categories were up. “I thank all the hard work our officers are doing,” he said.

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He also addressed some ongoing problem areas the precinct’s neighborhoods have been experiencing, including “a little out of control” e-bikes and scooters. “Some people are abusing the new regulations” put in place in 2020, Hyland said.

“We’ve done at least two or three operations every month on the main corridors, including Flatbush, Atlantic, Tillary and Jay streets, and overall year-to-date have confiscated 123 e-bikes, scooters and motorcycles,” many of them stolen, he said. “They roll up, there’s two of them, they see a scooter sitting there on the street that’s not chained up, they see a target and they take it.”

The precinct has written 631 moving violations on these vehicles, he added, “So it’s definitely on our radar.”

Progress on ‘Promenade slasher’ and other crimes

Hyland said progress has been made on identifying the Brooklyn Heights Promenade slasher. The suspect had been harassing and threatening visitors to the Promenade for weeks during the summer before the shocking daytime attack on a 21-year-old man in the oval at the north end of the walkway on the afternoon of August 1.

Hyland said the attack had been classified as a bias incident. (As the Brooklyn Eagle has reported, the vicim and others threatened by the man were perceived to be gay.)

Lt. Behan added, “Just this week we were able to get facial recognition in order to identify the perpetrator,” adding that the detective squad now had a positive I-Card, which would allow the suspect to be arrested “within the next couple of days.”

Another incident took place at Hoyt and Livingston streets recently, Behan said. The victim was walking along when an unknown man struck him with a small cane on his nose. This case has also been assigned to the detective squad. Through the use of facial technology, “An I-Card was dropped and the perpetrator was named, so now we have probable cause to arrest him as well.”

Numerous members of the audience asked the new commanding officer questions and aired complaints regarding issues about commercial establishments ignoring noise complaints, dangerous intersections, illegally-oversized trucks getting stuck on local streets (and the impossibility of having them ticketed), unsatisfactory treatment at the precinct house, the lack of police manpower on local streets at night, and recent assaults on or near Montague Street.

Assaults on Montague Street and nearby

Kim Glickman, representing the Brooklyn Heights Association, asked about several assaults in the neighborhood, “One in front of Saint Ann’s; a 12-year-old girl who was pushed into an iron railing on Montague Street; and an issue at the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange that happened on Sunday … Maybe we have been living in a bubble, but the assaults seem to be really prevalent in our neighborhood recently.”

“Between the patrol units and the Detective Squad, we have 85% of those are closed,” Hyland responded. The incident “with the younger child was random,” he said. “The Detective Squad was able to get some video and a snapshot, due to facial recognition. They do have a Wanted flyer as of five days after the incident,” he said, adding that CrimeStoppers was putting out the information.

Progress has been made on identifying the Brooklyn Heights Promenade slasher, the 84th Precinct’s Captain Steven Hyland reported. Photo: Courtesy of a Brooklyn Heights resident

Councilmember Lincoln Restler said he was “very pleased to hear some progress has been made identifying the person responsible for the slashing on the Promenade, that was a very scary incident. Hopefully we’ll get some positive results on that soon.”

Restler added, “We’ve been very concerned about the upticks in incidents we’ve seen on Montague Street over the last couple of weeks. I hope that with help from the NCOs and the precinct we’ll see a more sustained presence there … There was one individual in particular who we know is responsible for a number of different incidents. We’re working closely with Breaking Ground and the precinct to try to get immediate responses when people see them.”

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