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Residents, PD React to Roxen Road Assault

More than 200 residents attended Monday's Village Board meeting to speak on recent gang assault.

It takes a village to raise a child, and a change on how the village handles rowdy, drunk teens is needed now.

That was the message delivered by the hundreds of residents who attended Monday night's Village Board meeting to speak on the June 18 . Nearly 150 residents packed Village Hall with an additional 50-60 who stood outside because of fire code regulations on over occupancy.

RVC resident Katie Schumacher, who organized the gathering of residents via email, read a prepared statement to the board that the attack was not an isolated incident, that a change is needed now and it starts with the parents.

"We need a renewed focus on parental control and create stricter guidelines for the youth of Rockville Centre," she said.

Schumacher referenced other incidents that have occurred around RVC, from the on Nottingham Road to other unreported cases where cars were pelted with beer cans, houses defaced by teens and empty beer cans strewn across residential property.

"We are here because a change is needed," she said.

Several residents like Roger O'Donnell said the community needs to band together to try and stop the growing trend of out-of-control drunk teens roaming the village. "All of us can play a part in it and we need to do more," he said. "The police department needs to step up when they need to. Everyone here would echo what Katie said."

He added that Mayor Fran Murray's assuaged some of his concerns that village wasn't concerned with getting justice for the victim.

"We all really do care," Murray said. "We're here with you. We're looking for solutions. We want to make a change."

The mayor added that he is meeting with local principals on how they could work with the village to develop a strategy to combat this growing problem.

Charles Gennario, commissioner of the Rockville Centre Police Department, dispelled several rumors that his force didn't respond quick enough to the assault, that suspects weren't arrested because they were related to officers or that they weren't doing their job because arrests weren't made quick enough.

He explained that the gang assault, as well as the Nottingham Road robbery, are still under investigation, and the RVC PD have the full support of the Nassau County Police and county detectives bureau. He detailed the information he needs to make an arrest — evidence of a crime, a victim and suspect — and that his department cannot rush to judgement.

"I am very confident more arrests will be made," he said. "The rumors are wrong. I will arrest anyone I have evidence for."

He noted that the rumor it took RVC PD 20 minutes to respond is untrue. Police responded to the call within 1.5 minutes, he said. Gennario said that though two people came to the aid of the assault victim, several neighbors saw the attack, but no one has come to him to detail what they saw.

That information could help with their investigation, he said.

Gennario added that parents are the "arbitrators of discipline" for their kids. "I don't have enough police officers to babysit your kids," he said. "We don't get paid to babysit...I can't put armed guards on every corner."

Out of 16,000 incidents last year, Gennario said 476 were youth related and arrests are up 14 percent this year. "It's tough hearing the bullets thrown our way, but [his officers] are out there doing a good job. I'm proud of them."

joe July 23, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Yes. Overlook Lane
Reallystrictmom July 23, 2012 at 07:36 PM
If these kids wanted to drink together and that's all, they should have stayed off the streets, they were hanging out looking to victimize anyone that came by. They deserve to get the punishment that fits the crime. If other drugs did not play a role in their behavior, then one has to wonder where does such violent, horrific behavior come from? There had to be signs that such violent behavior was possible. My kids do not hang out in large groups drinking and victimizing others. They must let me know where they are and who they are with, and they are over 19, as long as they are living in my house and we are supporting them, they are expected to act appropriately and responsibly. We do punish them if their behavior is not appropriate, they respect others, are kind, considerate, popular and can converse and enjoy the company of people of all ages. They work, were not given cars, and are expected to help at home. They have a great life, summer house, vacations, and lots of love and support at home. My son has played team sports with one of the kids arrested and can't understand why he and his friends would act in such a violent way. I am thankful that my kids understand the seriousness of this incident and that they feel really bad for the victims, but I have no answers for them when they asked why did these kids act this way.
tom kane July 24, 2012 at 01:15 AM
hey really strictmom.... where is your summer house, im in westhampton beach maybe we can get our fams together I have the boys every other weekend let me know.....Ciao
Teddy B July 24, 2012 at 09:03 PM
@joemush HAHAHAHAHA....nice try sparky! The point is that you are dead wrong to label the residents of Roxen Rd as left wing,right wing,Dem,Rep,etc and you know it now that I called you out. There is no need to drag this discussion into that area.It's just too bad that you can't admit it when you make a mistake. Oh well,par for the course from you.
joe thrapp July 24, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Tebby B, Tiger, it's not important for me to be right. I like sharing my ideas about current RVC events. It's also good to hear your thoughts and ideas about RVC. Look forward to speaking with you on the issues, goodnight.

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