Residents Fear Bowery and Rivington Becoming a Violent ‘Open Air Drug Market’

Posted on: August 7th, 2014 at 5:56 am by

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Looking east down Rivington St.

Earlier this week, we learned about the anti-gay hate crime on Delancey Street last Friday night, in which one woman was slashed across her face. The alleged perpetrator, 32-year-old Takeam Brison, has an arrest record dating back to the 1990s and was reportedly staying in an unnamed homeless shelter on the Bowery.

In response to the resultant media coverage, a Boogie reader tells us that the corner of Rivington and the Bowery has seen an uptick in violence the last six months. The tipster alleges that the increase is attributed to an influx of new “street people” in the vicinity. According to the dispatch, many of the shopkeepers eastward on Rivington “have either been accosted or threatened in their stores, and hotel owners have complained that their guests are fleeing” due to attacks by “these very aggressive street people.” Apparently people have even been attacked in Freeman Alley for the first time in years. We reached out to store owners on the block for comment, but have yet to hear back.

In addition, the area has also become a so-called “open air drug market,” with both dealing and using transpiring in plain sight. Police have reportedly informed residents at recent 5th Precinct community meetings that many are consuming bath salts, which aren’t deemed a criminal substance. “The dealers appear to come from east of us,” the source tells us. Transactions are completed via bicycles. We can confirm this, having seen a deal happen just the other day outside the Bowery Mission.

Our tipster quips, “For the first time in 24 years, I am crossing the street when i see certain people ahead of me.”

Are the oft-romanticized “bad old days” returning here? What are you seeing?

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