Did Security Ignore Shooting Warnings?
Co-op City residents claim management is ignoring drug dealing, violence
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 21- A man was shot in the head on a public basketball court in Co-op City and one resident claims the Department of Public Safety was warned of the impending violence.
The FDNY reports EMS was dispatched at 9:17 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, to the basketball courts across the street from 100 Bellamy Loop for an arrest-- but discovered a male victim in his 30's had been shot in the head.
The victim was rushed to Jacobi Hospital in critical, but stable condition.
Shortly after the gunfire, police were looking for the suspect or suspects, who reportedly fled in a silver Toyota Corolla.
One resident who declined to be identified, said he heard the shots less than two hours after residents had called the Co-op City Department of Public Safety, who patrols the massive complex, that violence was about to breakout.
The source continued, "There was a group of about five or six people and they had two pit bull dogs, so we called public safety and told them it looked like something was about to go down."
The resident could not say if officers responded, but explained how the River Bay Corporation, the management office for the complex, has been slow in responding to complaints about the escalating drug sales in front of the building.
"We've been asking for more security," the resident continued, "They would come out for about a week," before the patrols would stop and the drug dealers would return.
The resident also claims that River Bay objected to residents holding a prayer vigil outside the building last summer.
The source fumed, "The drug dealers could come and go as they please, but we couldn't gather and pray outside our building."
Under the watchful eye of Councilman Andy King, residents held their prayer vigil on the sidewalk. Days later River Bay installed one surveillance camera in the back of the building.
The resident concluded, "The summer's coming back and it's starting up again and now their selling the drugs in plain sight. They’re not even hiding it anymore."
A second resident of the building was unaware when she said, "I never heard of a problem here, that's why I'm a little shocked when I heard Bellamy Loop." She believed that most of the problems in the area was centered on Benchley Place around the corner.
Police have no motives or suspects at this time, but continue to investigate.
An inquiry with the Co-op City Department of Public Safety was referred to the River Bay Corporation management office.
A secretary at River Bay said that Vernon Cooper, the Riverbay Executive General Manager would return the call for comment, but hadn't respond before the publication of this article.
Co-op City is the largest co-operative housing complex in the United States, if not the world and consists of 35 high-rise buildings that house about 50,000 residents. Co-op City opened in 1968.