Thursday, December 3, 2009

Maspeth Principal Warns Students After Robbery

By Conor Greene

The principal of a local school recently sent out a warning to parents after a student was mugged on Maspeth Avenue and threatened with a knife.

The e-mail, sent out on November 24 by Sister Rose Torma of St. Stanislaus Kostka, informed parents and students that a member of the school’s upper grades was mugged the prior day. While no weapon was brandished, the perpetrator told the student he had a weapon during the robbery.

“It is distressing to realize that not only do things like that happen, but they happen ‘so close to home,’” wrote Sister Rose. Teachers planned to discuss the incident with students, and the principal reminded parents to encourage children to travel home from school with friends and leave the school grounds immediately after dismissal “so that there are many people on the street at the same time, thus limiting the ‘alone time’ that students who walk home from school would have on the street.”

“It took the occurrence of an unfortunate incident to reinforce safety precautions that all of our students should be reminded of,” wrote Sister Rose. “We are grateful that our student who was as approached on the street was not seriously hurt and I count on you, as a parent, as well as our teachers, to reinforce that there is safety in numbers and that it is not wise to stay behind the group after dismissal time.”

After the e-mail was sent out, it was forwarded to other individuals in the community along with a message from a parent claiming that officers at the 104th Precinct refused to take a report from the victim on this incident.

In response, an officer from the precinct’s Community Affairs Unit told The Forum that the stationhouse was especially busy when the victim and his mother arrived to file a report. They were told they would have to wait and ended up leaving before an officer could assist them. Officers followed up with the victim this week so that a report could be filed, according to the Community Affairs Unit. The precinct confirmed that a robbery occurred, but was unable to immediately provide specific details about the crime.

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