Feb. 23, 2016 By Michael Florio
Local officials will discuss the reported rise in knife slashings across New York City at a town hall meeting scheduled for next week.
The crime of slicing someone with a knife has been on the rise in New York City, according to NYPD stats that have been reported over the past month.
The 115th Precinct is no stranger to these slashings.
Earlier this month, a 19-year-old woman was sliced in the thigh while jogging near the intersection of 25th Avenue and 79th Street. In December, a man was slashed during an attack in front of La Escuelita Nueva Bar Lounge on Roosevelt Avenue.
In response, slashings and self-defense will be on the agenda at an upcoming town hall meeting hosted by State Sen. Jose Peralta.
The meeting will take place March 3 at 6 p.m. at the Renaissance Charter School, located at 35-59 81 Street.
Peralta said different measures to help residents protect themselves would be discussed. Those measures include remaining alert and aware of surroundings.
“Nowadays a slashing seems to be almost an everyday occurrence,” Peralta said. “Residents need to know how to protect themselves.”
Representatives from the 115 and 110 Precincts will speak at the meeting, as well as some of the Guardian Angels, a volunteer group that has been patrolling the subways lately in an attempt to prevent slashings.
The first half of the town hall will focus on student safety measures, following an incident in January where a man followed a 10-year-old girl and attempted to lure her to him.
Jaminton Carela, 29, allegedly saw the girl walking across the street from him along 81st Street last month and motioned for her to come over to him. When the girl ignored him, Carela crossed the street and followed her along 81st Street and reached his hand out to her. The girl ran from Carela and yelled for help.
A nearby school crossing guard responded and confronted him at 37 Avenue, causing him to flee the location, according to the NYPD.
“I’m pretty sure this little girl was trained or informed on how to avoid the situation,” said Peralta, who has a child of elementary age. “If she wasn’t there’s no way she’d know to run to the crossing guard and her escaping this individual.”
Peralta is looking to share the best practices from the police departments and experts, such as the NYPD Queens Community Outreach Division and the School Crossing Guards Union (Local 372), with parents and children to avoid any tragedies.
“We want to educate parents who can talk to their children and teach them how to handle these situations,” he said. “We all assume our children are going to be safe, but we need to make sure they are street savvy.”
He is unsure if the little girl who escaped Carela and her family will attend the town hall, although he hopes they will.
Peralta is expecting over 200 residents to show up, as fliers have been distributed in schools through Jackson Heights and the surrounding communities. Peralta’s office has also mailed the fliers to over 5,000 people in his district. If the crowd becomes too large the meeting will be moved from the schools auditorium into the gymnasium.
Assemblymen Michael DenDekker and Francisco Moya are co-sponsoring this event along with Peralta.