Neighborhoods

Is the East Village Facing a Return to the Bad Old Days of Crime?

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In today’s East Village street-crime round-up: a string of wanton mayhem and violence over the past two days, including a drug-related shooting that left three injured, a stabbing that left one dead, and a cell-phone robbery that left one perp in tears. And on Wednesday, an attempted kidnapping. The ’70s are back, baby. Well, not exactly.

The Lo-Down reports that three bystanders were wounded last night in a shooting on Stanton Street, which the Daily News and New York Times suggest may have been related to a drug deal gone bad (although local blog Bowery Boogie theorizes a “turf war”).

Then there’s Monday morning’s grisly discovery of a body — eventually ID’d as 21-year-old Christopher Jusko — who was allegedly stabbed to death on 7th Street after he “got into a fight over a woman and money,” per the News.

As if that weren’t enough, EV Grieve says police responded in droves last night to an attempted cell phone robbery in Tompkins Square Park.

But the rash of crimes seems to have the NYPD on alert, at least. Local crime stats appear to be up (at least compared to the same period last year), and while the overall number of robberies for the year is still down, felonious assaults are also up! (Yay!):

According to the crime stats from the 9th Precinct, there were seven robberies reported the week of Oct. 11-Oct. 17, up four from the same time period last year. The number of reported felonious assaults increased from three to six. For the year, however, the number of robberies has decreased by 3.2 percent over last year while the number of felonious assaults have increased by 3.3 percent. (Compared to 1990, the number of robberies in the East Village is down 80 percent.) [ via EVG]

Fortunately, the NYPD seems to be at least aware of the surge. They’ve installed a “mobile command center” on Avenue A and, according to the Post, recently convened an “emergency summit” to address the robbery spike.

The NYPD hasn’t responded to a request for comment about the strange string of East Village crimes. In the meantime, pack some pepper spray with that bug repellent: bedbugs are the least of your worries! Or are they?

[shernandez@villagevoice.com]