By Carla Zanoni
INWOOD — The recent mugging of a 44-year-old man, who was allegedly attacked by three teenage boys on Park Terrace West, is pushing some to ask for increased security, new lighting and cameras on the quiet and desolate stretch between Isham Park and Inwood Hill Park.
The victim told police he was attacked on Tuesday, Dec. 28, at approximately 7 p.m., when he was approached from behind and knocked to the ground by the teenagers, who then took money from his pants pocket and fled on foot.
Police said the victim had minor bruises and cuts, but did not request medical attention.
Before the alleged attack, a resident who lives nearby said he had called 911 to report three suspicious looking teens who were wearing ski masks covering their noses and mouths standing near the corner where the assault took place.
Shortly after making the call, a 911 operator called him back to ask for details, the resident said, because a robbery had just taken place with suspects matching his reported description.
"The only way to keep the criminals out is if they fear getting caught, and that means calling in suspicious behavior to 911," the resident wrote in an e-mail, requesting that his name be withheld. "Better lights, security cameras and other measures would help, but ultimately it's a combination of Jane Jacobs eyes-on-the-street and squeaky-wheel-gets-the-oil that protects and enhances a neighborhood."
Twitter user Linnie_Inwood also warned residents that a neighbor had encountered three teens fitting the same description in Isham Park, but said his dog scared the young men away.
Residents in the area said they would continue to take self defense classes, such as the one organized by Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat’s office in November, to prepare themselves in the case of an attack.
"Remember — we need to learn to defend ourselves," wrote one resident on an Inwood parenting e-mail list after hearing of the recent attack, saying she and her children planned to take further classes in January. "Saying no and being prepared to defend yourselves will make them run most of the time. Walk with confidence so they don't decide you're a good victim."
Residents in Inwood have been on high alert throughout the year after several flare ups of car break-ins and vandalism, assaults and muggings.
The incidents caused a group of residents to begin the Inwood Safety Patrol, a crime watch group, as well as new patrols initiated by the Guardian Angels. The two groups are now patrolling Inwood together.
Police increased patrols after several muggings were reported in the same area as a reported sexual assault in Inwood Hill Park in February. But weeks after the police surge, residents resumed complaints of an insufficient police presence in Inwood.
Earlier this month, the 34th Police Precinct Community Council passed a resolution recommending that the NYPD maintain extra cops who were assigned to the 34th Precinct back in October, and expand patrols to Inwood.