BY TRONE DOWD
Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune, commanding officer of the 103rd Precinct, kicked off the first community council meeting of 2018 with some good news for the community.
Reflecting on 2017 statistics heading into the new year, Fortune said that things are going as smoothly as any commanding officer would want them to be. Last year was a record year for the precinct, with a 5.3 percent drop in crime, a total of 86 fewer crimes compared to 2016. With the exception of murders, index crimes were down last year.
“Unfortunately, when did finish up the year with two more murders in 2017 compared to 2016, six versus four,” he said. “The good news is, five of those six murders are close to arrests. The sixth murder has an identified perpetrator who is currently being sought by our warrants division.”
Going into January, things looked equally good for the precinct.
“We have zero murders, rapes are down 25 percent, robberies are flat, with 22 versus 22 last year, felony assaults are down 18 percent, burglaries are down 21 percent, grand larceny is down 7 percent and stolen cars are down 14 percent. Right where I want to be heading into the new year,” he said.
The most significant crime to occur during the most recent 28-day period was a Jan. 1 shooting. As reported in the PRESS of Southeast Queens last week, a 911 call reported that a man was shot at the intersection of Sutphin Boulevard and Jamaica Ave on New Year’s Day. According to Fortune, however, that initial report was not accurate.
“The victim, a 24-year-old white male, was shot in the shoulder,” he said. “That shooting is still under investigation. All we can really say right now is that we’re confident that’s not where the shooting occurred. We’re trying to figure out where it actually did occur.”
The commanding officer said that police were able to conclude that the incident was the result of a marijuana deal gone awry.
“We found the victim in front of the bank of America,” Fortune said. “If you’ve ever been to Jamaica and Sutphin at 8 o’clock at night, you know it’s a bustling location. We have video of the intersection of when the incident happened. We know that we the victim showed up, he was already shot.”
Police are talking to the victim for leads on suspects.