By Carla Zanoni
INWOOD — Police and the Parks Department are ramping up their safety efforts in Isham Park days after a victim was mugged by a man holding a BB gun in the early morning hours last week, local officials said.
City Councilman Robert Jackson's office reached out to constituents via e-mail to let residents know that a multi-pronged safety initiative would be initiated over the weekend in response to the attack.
"Councilmember Jackson is deeply concerned about Wednesday morning's gun-point robbery and the safety of all community residents in Isham Park," wrote Martin Collins, Jackson’s assistant legislative and budget director.
According to Collins, the 34th Precinct will do direct patrols in and around Isham Park, "especially during the morning hours."
The NYPD did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Parks Department also plans to increase its Park Enforcement Patrols (PEP) in the park and reinstall the security camera the department had removed for repairs in the fall, Collins wrote.
The Parks' Forestry Division and gardeners also plan to remove overgrown foliage in the park to "open up sight-lines, and reduce the number of potential hiding spaces in Isham Park," according to Collins.
The Parks Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Authorities said the victim was able to escape without injury after having $35 stolen from him while walking through Isham Park to get to the A train station entrance at Isham Street and Broadway at approximately 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9.
Police recovered the BB gun at the scene and are testing it for fingerprints and DNA evidence, according to Captain Jose Navarro of the 34th Precinct.
The man who was robbed told DNAinfo that he still walks through the park, although takes care to make sure that other people are nearby.
"If you have the chance to go out in a group go for it, these people most likely aren't going to attack a group," he said.
And despite the incident, he said he still loves living in Inwood and its many parks.
"Day one since we moved to this apartment I have loved living where we live," he said. "I love being surrounded by parks and will continue to enjoy them. It's in my soul to be around trees."