2003-01-18 / Front Page

MTA Takes Action Against Vandals

By Gary G. Toms

Workers Erect Fences To Stop Rock Throwers

This week, the MTA placed fences on the edges of the Beach 90 Street (Holland Avenue) station platforms.This week, the MTA placed fences on the edges of the Beach 90 Street (Holland Avenue) station platforms.

On Wednesday, January 15, a Wave reporter was on the scene as employees of the Mass Transit Authority (MTA) began to install fences on the edges of both subway platforms at the Beach 90 Street (Holland Avenue) station. The action was taken in response to a news story that was featured in The Wave on December 21, entitled (Giving New Meaning To The Name "Rock"away!)

The story focused on the plight of Theresa Ingui and her husband, who claimed that Beach Channel High School kids were throwing large rocks from the train station platform, which is adjacent to the Ingui home, after the school day ends. Many of the rocks have become lodged in the side of the house. Others have come dangerously close to actually breaking windows.

"I am so scared. I see these kids throwing the rocks from the platform, and at times it looks like the rocks are going to come right through my window," said Ingui.

"If I happen to be walking around in my house, me or my husband could get hit and seriously injured by the rocks or flying glass."

An upward angle shot of the fence, which was taken from the side of the Ingui home.An upward angle shot of the fence, which was taken from the side of the Ingui home.

The Daily News' Warren Woodberry and Newsday's Merle English, then picked up the story, and the major networks (Eyewitness News and NBC 4) soon followed.

The extensive media coverage prompted a number of local political representatives, such as State Senator Malcolm Smith, City Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., and Democratic District Leader Lew M. Simon, to get involved to try and help the angry and frightened couple.

In a letter to MTA President, Lawrence Reuter, Addabbo requested that the MTA remove the rocks existing on the tracks near the platform located near the Beach 90 Street (Holland) Avenue station.

After visiting the station and surveying the platform with an MTA representative, Addabbo called for fencing to be placed near the end of the platform facing the homeowner's property.

MTA workers begin to erect a second fence on the opposite platform.MTA workers begin to erect a second fence on the opposite platform.

Addabbo further suggested that in the alternative, the rocks on the tracks could be either securely covered or replaced with another substance to alleviate the situation.

"The MTA must do something to eliminate the accessibility of the rocks and make a real effort to stop this criminal behavior before someone suffers a severe injury."

Ingui met with The Wave this week to express her gratitude and inform us that many of her neighbors are thrilled about how the situation was resolved.

"I wanted to come in and thank you personally. If it wasn't for The Wave getting the story out there, I don't think anyone would have taken me seriously, or helped me in the least," said Ingui.

"The Wave opened up the flood gates, and soon all the other neighbors that were experiencing the same thing wanted to speak out. The community came together, and it was great. Everybody was just fed up!"

While Ingui praised the efforts of Councilman Addabbo and State Senator Smith, she told The Wave that equal praise should be given to Democratic District Leader Lew Simon.

"Addabbo and Smith went to bat for me, and they were great. However, it was Lew Simon that contacted all the media and told them about the story in The Wave. After that, everybody wanted to hear my story. Lew was a big help as well, and I want this community to know that."

Addabbo expressed his satisfaction with the MTA's quick response in handling the situation.

"I am glad that I was part of the solution for the homeowners and businesses in the area. I can only hope that the MTA will be as responsive to our concerns in the future. I could not be happier for the residents in this matter."

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