By Suzanne Chronowitz
April of 2022 was a rough month in Queens County.
On Saturday April 30th, delivery man Zhiwen Yan was shot dead at a traffic light in Forest Hills, Queens. This tragedy capped off a month that set records for increases in crime in our borough. Two weeks earlier on April 16th, the same neighborhood in Forest Hills was shocked by the news of the brutal stabbing murder of Orsolya Gaal at her home by an allegedly undocumented man. On April 10th, a bouncer was shot at the Lowkey Garden Lounge on Austin Street in
Forest Hills. The New York Times reported that the number of robberies, shootings, and thefts in the 112th Police Precinct so far this year has driven crime nearly 50% higher compared to the same time last year. Yan’s killing made the second homicide so far in 2022 for the precinct, which had not seen a homicide since 2016.
Unfortunately, Forest Hills was not the only neighborhood in Queens affected by rising crime. On April 8th, two Chase banks were robbed- one on Union Turnpike in Fresh Meadows, and one on 73rd Avenue in Oakland Gardens. On April 16th, 60-year-old woman Caroline Bonacci was robbed and beaten in the parking lot of Key Food on 73rd Avenue in Oakland Gardens. She sustained a head injury and was brought to North Shore University Hospital in critical condition. On April 25th, a 24-year-old man was fatally shot during a feud inside of a Queens subway station. Marcus Bethea was blasted several times in the torso by a male suspect at the Jamaica Center subway stop on Archer Avenue and Parsons Boulevard. On April 27th, a 14-year-old Queens girl was shot in the neck. Kaitlyn Lau was caught in the crossfire when a gunman opened fire in Fresh Meadows. The shooter also struck two other teens, one in the hip and one in the leg.
There has been an increase in non-violent crimes in Queens as well. Queens is being hit hard by a dramatic surge in thefts this year- almost topping levels not seen since the NYPD started compiling statistics decades ago. This includes shoplifting, car thefts, catalytic converter thefts, and mail packages being stolen from outside of private homes. Storefronts in Elmhurst, Flushing and Jackson Heights are reeling from the losses during the pandemic and this wave of shoplifting and are struggling to stay afloat. Non-violent crimes fall under the bail reform law where the criminals are released back onto the streets with only an appearance ticket.
The voters in Queens need to realize that our County is not immune to the spike in crime in New York City. Some residents may feel that they live in a safe neighborhood, and they have nothing to worry about but unfortunately this is no longer the case. This year we have the opportunity to vote for Governor of New York, State Assembly, State Senate, as well as representatives in Congress. These elections can effect positive change for Queens County and for our state at large. In the upcoming primary elections, and in the November elections, we need to vote for candidates with conservative values who will uphold the Constitution, will be tough on crime and will stand up for repealing the harmful bail reform legislation that has led us to this situation.
Pull Quote: “The voters in Queens need to realize that our County is not immune to the spike in crime in New York City. Some residents may feel that they live in a safe neighborhood, and they have nothing to worry about but unfortunately this is no longer the case.”
Suzanne Chronowitz is candidate for Republican County Committee (26 AD / ED)