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Parents Concerned After Shooting and Street Fight in Carroll Gardens

By Nikhita Venugopal | September 19, 2013 12:36am | Updated on September 19, 2013 2:20pm
 Parents expressed concern after a shooting and a fight broke out near Carroll Park, Sept. 18. 
Parents Concerned After Crimes Near Carroll Park
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CARROLL GARDENS — Parents are on edge after a shooting and a fight broke out in and around Carroll Park within hours of each other on Sept. 16.

A fight involving several teenagers broke out about 3:30 p.m. on Monday in the park, and left two injured with one receiving a blow to the head, according to police sources.

Police said they don't know if the teens used weapons during the brawl.

Later that day, at about 7:50 p.m., gunshots were fired near Court and Carroll Streets just outside the neighborhood park, police said.

No injuries or damaged property were reported, police said.

But the fight frightened some neighbors.

“It’s always felt incredibly safe,” said Julia Fierro, founder of the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop who described the crimes as “terrifying.”

Fierro said she has considered asking her babysitter, who watches her two young children while she is at work, to avoid Carroll Park.

“Now it will be a little harder to concentrate at work," she said.

Police were investigating both incidents, which were first reported by neighborhood blog Pardon Me For Asking, although it was unclear whether they are related, police said.

Additional officers were posted around Carroll Park, police have said.

Beginning Thursday, an officer will be stationed in the park from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., according to Assemblywoman Joan Millman who has spoken to Capt. Jeffrey Schiff, commanding officer of the 76th Precinct, regarding the incidents, she said.

Despite the flare-up, dozens of parents and children were at the park Wednesday.

“I thought it was safer now,” said Violaine Lenoir who visited the park with her infant daughter, Leanna.

Other parents brushed it off.

Michelle Fernandez, a mother who has lived in Carroll Gardens for 10 years, said she considers Carroll Park to be “a safe space to come with family."

“You don’t worry about leaving your stroller for a minute,” said Fernandez, who has two children, ages four and two years old.

When older children hang out at the park, Fernandez said she and other parents often ask them to move away from the younger kids' play area, she said.

The park is located between Court, Smith, Carroll and President Streets – just across the street from pre-K and elementary school P.S. 58 at 330 Smith St.

P.S. 58 diverted calls for comment to the Department of Education.

The Department of Education did not respond to requests for comment.

In a neighborhood like Carroll Gardens, which is teeming with young families and children, the occurrence of shootings and fights is “absolutely absurd,” said Charles Bari, a father who lives in the neighborhood.

But living in New York City, there is always a chance of danger, he said.

“You have to be ready and prepared for it,” said Bari, who has a three-year-old son. Though, he said, the crime spasm has him wishing for life in small town America.

“It’s enough to drive me out of here,” he said.