Memorial Day Marred By Beach, Subway Mayhem
And, what many see as the beginning of a long, hot, violent summer on Rockaway’s beaches.
The action began on Wednesday, May 26. With the temperature in the 90s and the surf running high, Rockaway beaches, from Beach 80 Street to Beach 118 Street, were under siege by a few thousand teenagers who apparently cut school to have a few cold ones on the beach, rampaging and getting themselves in trouble in the water.
There were a number of arrests and more than a few water rescues despite the fact that the lifeguards were not yet on duty.
The trouble later spilled over into the subway system, as the thousands of teenagers headed home early in the evening, with several fights and at least one assault reported.
The violence was repeated on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, when the beaches from Beach 90 Street to Beach 116 Street were again jammed with teens and young adults looking for a day of fun, sun and drinking on the beach.
There were a number of rolling fights on the beach, gaining momentum like a rolling stone as they moved up and down the beach.
At one point, local police had to move everybody off Beach 116 Street to stop the continuous action.
Again, the violence spilled over into the subway system.
A subway train packed with people returning from the beach was rocked by violence when a fight broke out, leaving one man with knife wounds to his stomach.
Police sources say that the fight had begun on Beach 116 Street and was carried over onto the subway train.
The train was halted and police swarmed the subway cars, looking for the assailant. One unidentified man was taken into custody, but was not charged on the scene.
The wounded man was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was reportedly treated and released.
In late May of 2009 a Bronx man was stabbed on Beach 116 Street.
On June 8, 2008, several shots were fired on the crowded beach at Beach 116 Street, but nobody was hit.
On June 13, 2008, a man was stabbed and killed after a fight on the beach at the Beach 98 Street subway station.
At the time, police said that the mayhem was a dispute among members of three Hispanic gangs, that led to a brutal stabbing that left a 17- year-old teen lying dead on the Beach 98 Street A-Train subway platform.
At about 3:50 p.m. on June 13, 2008 two transit police officers patrolling the Beach 98 Street station were alerted that there was a fight on the A-Train coming northbound from Beach 116 Street.
The fight, which involved more than a dozen teens, was so violent that the two, Police Officer Theresa Boeninghaus and Police Officer Corey Hayes, the transit district’s crime prevention officer, called for help. Numerous units from the two local precincts and the detective bureau responded.
The fight spilled out onto the platform and responding police found a man, later identified as Ariel Pena Rodriquez of Manhattan, with several stab wounds to his neck, right leg and groin.
Officials have beefed up police presence on the beach with the inclusion of a summer detail made up of more than 20 police officers from other Queens precincts.
Transit police sources say that they have beefed up subway patrols on hot summer days as well.