2018-05-03 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

• Were you aware that a gang of kids on bikes came down Hubbards Path to Park Avenue on Sat., April 21 and proceeded to cause chaos? While the Village Code Enforcement officers tried to stop them, as did the Suffolk County Police, they were not successful. As you can imagine it is difficult to catch bike riders when you are in a car.

There were about 40 kids of varying ages on bikes. They rode in and out of traffic, stopping numerous cars whose drivers were trying not to run these kids down. They also were kicking parked cars and terrorizing people. One youth donned a hood and stuck his head in a car window, yelling obscenities and threats at a young disabled child.

Village Code Enforcement and the Suffolk County officers worked together and are continuing to do so. They were able to seize a bicycle and identify one of the participants. Police officers on bicycles patrolled the Village this past weekend. I spoke to them briefly as a friend had given me a description of one of the youths. Police said they had photos and had been able to identify most of the bicyclists, which is wonderful.

At the Village Board meeting on April 24, concerned residents spoke up about the bike incidents. At first they were angry because so few Village officers were on the scene. But Mayor Ralph Scordino called on Bill Whittier, who supervises the Village security force, who explained that the Village has a rather small force and that all three of the officers on duty on Saturday were immediately dispatched to try and prevent the riders from continuing their shenanigans. They were aided by patrol cars from the First Precinct.

A supervisor from the First Precinct was at the board meeting and described what happened. He emphasized that residents should NOT confront such groups. Instead, he suggested that people use the camera on their cell phones to video as many of the bicyclists as they can so they can be identified. He also suggested that you do this without being too obvious. Do not exchange words with them and avoid them as much as possible.

He explained that a number of the bicyclists were minors and the law places a lot of restrictions on officers when minors are involved. If you do not have time to video them, try to recall tattoos, physical characteristics such as hair color and style, as well as clothing as much as possible. Call Crime Control at the First Precinct (631- 854-8127), and give them your information.

• In last week’s column, I talked about the possibility that the Signal/Red Lion Building may yet be saved from the wrecking ball. I talked earlier this week to owner Ken Rogers, and I am encouraged by our chat. As Ken said, this issue affects Village residents and Village government, as well as the preservationists and the owner. It presents a difficult problem, and all those affected by it should try to resolve it. Understandably, Ken doesn’t want to be the bad guy here. If you have a suggestion as to how this problem can be resolved fairly, I suggest you email him through his website at www.rogersdevelopmentcorp.com. I am feeling very hopeful that this historical building will be saved!

• In spite of the damage caused by the recent fire, South Shore Paddleboards helped to set up and participate in the Earth Day cleanup. I hear that there is a Go Fund It page on Facebook for those who want to contribute to the Paddleboard shop cleanup and renovations. The owners have done a lot for the Village, and I hope some of you might want to help out, no matter how small a donation.

• Happy birthday to Muriel Vershurren who celebrated her 90th birthday this past Monday. If you know Muriel, you are probably as surprised as I am by her age. She is a wonderful woman and looks and acts as though she is much, much younger! Many happy returns, Muriel!

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