New Crime Today on Roosevelt Island Destroys the Myth


In broad daylight, a new crime fractured RIOC’s insistent myth that Roosevelt Island is the safest community in New York. Far from it. Years long failures in public safety and the lack of leadership under President/CEO Shelton Haynes and Governor Hochul yield painful results.

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The New Crime Today

It’s a little after 9:00, and I’m making my way past the Subway Station, heading for Rivercross. It’s one of those perfect Roosevelt Island summer mornings, sunny, still cool, the deep blue river reflecting the clear sky.

Along the sidewalk behind 455 Main Street, I pass a group of young men talking with a smallish man carrying a skateboard. Seconds later, a marked Public Safety vehicle drives up the West Promenade, lights flashing and stops at Main.

NYPD officers question the young man who’d been attacked. His skateboard is at his feet.

Aware that PSD occasionally fakes activity by driving around with their lights flashing as if something’s going on, I’m not making too much of it until a pair of NYPD cruisers come fast around the curve south of Rivercross, going against the one-way traffic in the direction of the subway.

Something serious. Their lights are flashing, sirens blaring, as they dodge oncoming cars in the one-way street. Both cars stop at the subway station but the officers are signaled back..

Soon, the officers gather around the group of men I’d just passed. Turns out, the young man with the skateboard was mugged at the Subway Station.

I listen to his story until a PSD officer shoos me away, but I hear enough to know that the perpetrator wore either a black face or ski mask, making him harder to identify.

I’m busy and I don’t spend a lot of time on Main Street. But this is the second mugging I’ve witnessed in a couple of weeks. What happens when I’m not there? When it’s not bright and sunny?

Not in my 30+ years on Roosevelt Island have I ever seen so much crime close up over such a short period, not anywhere in New York City. And I spent eleven years making sales calls, mostly in Manhattan, riding subways as many as five roundtrips a day.

Crime is rising in New York and on Roosevelt Island as quality of life issues swell. Officials flash statistics, saying crime is down, but it’s not. Crime is up, but reporting it is down.

With untreated mental illness on the street at higher than ever levels and an economy strangling many New Yorkers, there’s a sense of menace that wasn’t there pre-pandemic.

An hour after the mugging, NYPD was still gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. An ambulance prepared to take someone away.

More That We Don’t Know About Crime Today

One thing we’ve seen repeatedly is NYPD’s 114th Precinct collaborating with RIOC in keeping new crimes out of public view. The recent retreat into secrecy over last week’s fatal shooting matches with over a year of withholding details about the May 2022 drowning in the Sportspark pool, for a couple of high profile examples.

“Yesterday,” a female resident told The Daily after hearing about this morning’s mugging, “when I was coming off the subway, there was this creepy looking young guy hanging around the mezzanine, and he got on the escalator behind me. He was talking to himself and muttering. It made me very nervous. He didn’t exit the subway. He went right to sit down somewhere, and I left.”

We’re aware of two subway platform muggings, late at night, that prompted a professional woman to move away from Roosevelt Island for security reasons. She actually moved into Manhattan because it’s safer.

They, like many others, went unreported.

And I was assaulted myself, for the first time in my life, after boarding an F Train at 63rd & Lex. It happened before I could get off on Roosevelt Island. I was in the conductor’s car, and when I got off, I reported the crime to her, as they suggest. I might as well have been spitting into the wind.

And as one resident noted recently, “Duane Reade is still experiencing almost daily theft from folks running into store and then out to the subway…”

Did any of these crimes leak through the Pct. 114/RIOC PSD firewall where the mantra remains that Roosevelt Island is the the “safest community in New York City?”

It clearly is not, not anymore.

But let’s be clear, RIOC’s most expensive department, PSD, is nearly invisible. That’s part of the problem for an isolated neighborhood. PSOs no longer patrol near the subway – nor much of anywhere else. In the case of the mugging reported above, they failed to go to the victim before NYPD arrived, content to sit in a marked car and wait.

Soon, we will report on how things got so bad here so fast.

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  1. Liberal laws thanks to the liberals if Roosevelt island.stp crying this is what you all voted for.

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