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Police Boost Overnight Patrols to Address Spike in Shootings

By DNAinfo Staff on July 1, 2010 6:49am  | Updated on July 1, 2010 6:47am

Police investigate the crime scene at 144 Street and Lenox Avenue after three people were shot and woman stabbed on Sunday, June 20, 2010.
Police investigate the crime scene at 144 Street and Lenox Avenue after three people were shot and woman stabbed on Sunday, June 20, 2010.
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David Torres

By DNAinfo Staff

MANHATTAN — The police department is putting more officers on overnight patrols in response to a recent uptick in shootings.

The move comes as mid-year NYPD statistics show an increase in nearly all categories of serious crime: murders, rapes, robberies, burglaries, car thefts and assaults, including shootings. Only grand larcenies dropped, enough to push the overall crime rate down slightly.

The department examined shooting data and found that over the last four weeks, more of them were taking place outdoors after midnight, according to chief spokesman Paul Browne. Reasoning that boosting patrols would suppress such attacks, the NYPD put more officers on the street in areas where the numbers had spiked, he said.

Browne would not say where the added patrols were deployed. But it appears to include parts of Harlem, where authorities are concerned about battles between street gangs.

In the 32nd Precinct, which covers part of Central Harlem, there have been 12 shootings so far this year, compared to 8 at this time last year, a police source said. Some of the increase appears to be related to rivalries between gangs in two public housing complexes, the Lincoln Houses, which stretch from 132nd Street to 135th Street between Fifth and Park avenues, and the St. Nicholas Houses, which run from West 127th Street to West 131 Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard.

According to the police source, the feud boiled over on June 12, when 21-year-old Raymond George, a college student, allegedly opened fire on a 17-year-old boy near the corner of Lenox Avenue and 131st Street. The victim was hit twice in the back but survived. The attack was caught on surveillance video, and George later identified himself as the shooter, according to a complaint filed with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

Police have since beefed up patrols in the area, particularly along Fifth Avenue from 129th Street to 135th Street, which borders the 25th Precinct, the police source said.

Another suspected gang shooting took place June 20 near the corner of East 122 Street and Lexington Avenue in the 25th Precinct. In that incident, 23-year-old David Moore, a purported member of the "All About Money" gang, was gunned down after a fight with members the rival "Cash Money" crew, police said. Detectives arrested a 16-year-old boy, but released him after concluding they didn't have enough evidence to keep him locked up.

On the same night in the 32nd Precinct, an argument on Lenox Avenue near 144th Street left a 15-year-old girl shot in the back and two others shot in the chest, face and arm, police said. Another woman was also slashed during the incident.

In a statement on the city-wide crime increase, Browne noted that New York hit record lows in 2009, and that this year's 11 percent increase in murders was still lower than 2008's mid-year numbers.

"Still, we focus resources every day in combating any spikes in crime we see," Browne said.