Off-Duty Cop Mugged in Forest Hills Near Precinct Stationhouse
QUEENS — An off-duty cop was assaulted and robbed by a group of five men on Sunday night on Austin Street in Forest Hills just blocks from the 112th Precinct — the second of two robberies that occurred in the neighborhood this weekend, cops said.
The cop had just left work at the 112th Precinct stationhouse on Austin Street and was walking to the nearby train station just before midnight when he was hit on the back of the head and knocked to the ground in front of a nearby Barnes & Noble book store.
Sources said one of assailants claimed the cop had bumped into him. During the ensuing struggle, the officer managed to pull out his service weapon and announce he was a cop.
The group then scattered, but not before one of them grabbed the officer’s backpack.
The officer, whose name was withheld, managed to hold onto his gun and NYPD shield, sources said. He suffered minor injuries to the back of his head.
The two robberies in Forest Hills come on the heels of a string of burglaries in the area.
Overall crime, however, is down this year about 4 percent in the 112th Precinct, which covers the area, and robbery is down more than 20 percent.
The first robbery in the neighborhood occurred Saturday, on Slocum Crescent in Forest Hills Gardens, as three residents arrived home after having dinner at an Austin Street restaurant.
Two men approached them, showed a gun and stole jewelry, money and cellphones, sources said.
Last Thursday, there were also two burglaries in the area that had been plagued by a series of 14 break-ins earlier this year, sources said.
One of the burglaries took place on Manse Street and the second one occurred on nearby 69th Avenue.
On May 1, cops arrested Paul Hisler, 49, whom police described as a career criminal, for a burglary committed in the neighborhood last year. He is being eyed by cops for the pattern that began in February.