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Midtown Sees Steep Spike in Assaults

By Alan Neuhauser | September 4, 2013 6:55am
 The NYPD's Midtown North Precinct has seen a sharp rise in felony assaults, stolen cars and misdemeanor sex crimes.
The NYPD's Midtown North Precinct has seen a sharp rise in felony assaults, stolen cars and misdemeanor sex crimes.
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Getty Images/Spencer Platt

MIDTOWN — Incidents of violent crime have risen sharply in Midtown — with felony assaults up by nearly 50 percent compared to last year, NYPD statistics show. 

In the Midtown North Precinct — which covers the heart of Manhattan between 45th and 57th streets, from Park Avenue and the West Side Highway — there were 109 felony assaults recorded through Aug. 25, compared to just 74 during the same period last year, CompStat figures show.

The number marks an increase of more than 47 percent over last year, and more than 53 percent compared to two years ago.

Police sources said they haven't identified a pattern contributing to the spike, but noted that fights or attacks involving multiple people like a recent violent incident outside an Eighth Avenue bar lead to more than one complaint being recorded.

"There was an incident at a bar on Eighth Avenue, a guy was intoxicated and refused entry to the bar because he was intoxicated, so he picked up a piece of wood and started swinging and hit a bunch of people," the source said. "Each person struck is another number."

Another police source acknowledged that felony assaults yield "a lot of arrests" and that "arrests are definitely up" in that crime category.

Misdemeanor sex crimes were also up by more than 26 percent over last year, and 71 percent compared to the same period two years ago, the precinct's figures show. Auto thefts have jumped by more than 21 percent and 40 percent over the one- and two-year periods, respectively.

The spike in assaults, sex crimes and stolen cars has contributed to a 3.5 percent overall rise in major crime in Midtown North, the data show. The jump also comes in the wake of a wave of robberies recorded earlier this year.

That rise in robberies — a 5.1 percent jump compared to last year — spurred precinct commanding officer Inspector Timothy Beaudette to assign extra officers as well as the precinct's Cabaret Unit to confront issue last month.

The approached worked, leading to 11 arrests for the 12 robberies recorded between July 31 and Aug. 25, sources said.