Southern Brooklyn

Police Say Thanks, But No Thanks, To Would-Be Vigilantes In Gerritsen Beach On Halloween


An offer to help keep Gerritsen Beach safe from a redux of last year’s teenage Halloween hooliganism was rebutted by neighbors and police, as the community made last-minute plans for the holiday.

Speaking at the 61st Precinct Community Council meeting, a leader of a local volunteer neighborhood improvement group in Gravesend offered to drive around the neighborhood and take photos and video of mischievous teenagers during the holiday, but both the deputy inspector and the head of the Gerritsen Beach Property Owner’s Association said they had it covered.

“I will do everything in my power to make sure that the shenanigans that went on for years, particularly last year, will not go on this year. It’s the wrong message to send when we talk and talk and talk and don’t do anything about it,” said Ron Greenberg of the Coney Island / Southwest Gravesend Vandals Task Force, an all-volunteer group that cleans up graffiti in Gravesend and Coney Island. “This Halloween something’s going to be done about it. I will be out there, I will be taking pictures, I will put those kids on videotape. Something will be done.”

That offer went nowhere with the precinct commander.

“I say thank you, but let the police do the policing,” said Deputy Inspector Georgios Mastrokostas, to chuckles from the meeting’s attendees.

“I hate to tell you, but the kids in Gerritsen Beach would make mincemeat out of you,” said George Broadhead of the Gerritsen Beach Property Owner’s Association.

Broadhead said the community has been working hand-in-hand with both the 61st and 63rd Precincts since preparations began in September with Mastrokostas urging parents to be more involved.

Last year, teens were caught on film by throwing rocks and potatoes at pedestrians and motorists. The hooliganism became a citywide story, and many parents in the community were vilified for expressing more outrage against the blogger who exposed the violence, calling him a pedophile, than over their children’s behavior.

This year, in addition to cross-communication between the precincts and the community, the organization has made its own plans. And instead of one man in a car, they’re bringing in an army – or at least a bunch of former service-members.

“The word is out. We have a patrol. It is non-confrontational,” Broadhead announced. The patrol is made up of several armed service veterans and current servicemembers, as well as parents. They’ve also been spreading the message that no free pass will be given to kids this year.

“We have told the parents that [misbehaved teens] will be arrested for felonious assault if someone gets hit,” Broadhead said. “We know in the beach now, we’re starting to point out who these people are.”

Aside from identifying the kids involved, the patrol will be eyes and ears for the precincts, with commitments from the NYPD to send more manpower if needed.

“We have the assurance that there’s going to be backup wherever possible,” Broadhead said.

Comment policy


  1. I think that if they temporarily reassigned police who have been keeping Wall Street safe from a bunch of protesters to Gerritsen Beach there might be a difference. If nothing else, they can set up a barricade so that the stupidity doesn’t spill out into the neighboring areas.

  2. Ohhh May this Halloween be a lot Safer then Last year!!!

    I Hope cops won’t be a bunch of Wussies like last year.

  3. Speaking of which….

    Since all the kids and parents probably will be out trick or treating (or throwing eggs) anyone wanna meet up at Wheelers and go Egg Gerritsen Beach houses?

    you know, Give them a Taste of their homebrewed medicine.   

    Ohh no! now i sound like a Bad Parent from GB! 🙁

  4. The only vigilante this city needs is Batman. And boy do we need him. Now more than ever. Well…more than ever since about 1991. 

  5. It’s easy to tase “troublemakers”. But these are just kids doing exactly what their parents did, some of whom are now cops. What’s a little vandalism and assault on Halloween anyway? Aren’t there traditions anymore.

    They’ll probably tell the kids that get the caught “Johnny, it’s not vandalism that’s a crime. It’s being stupid enough to get caught at it”.

  6. “I say thank you, but let the police do the policing,” said Deputy Inspector Georgios Mastrokostas.
    Last year, all the police didn’t police, they just ran away (remember “Run Away!” from
    Monty Python and the holy grail?  That is how our 61 ‘POLICED” last Halloween.
    I nearly pee’d my pants laughing when I read what the royal and worshipful DI Mastrokostas said

  7. “I hate to tell you, but the kids in Gerritsen Beach would make mincemeat out of you,” said George Broadhead of the Gerritsen Beach Property Owner’s Association.

    OMG – all of these “intelligent” quotes are killing me!  HEY GEORGE – WAKE UP!  First of all, why are you so proud that these little bastards will “make mincemeat” out of anyone?  You are on the property owners association.  It’s up to you and your group to take some responsibility and do somethething about this.  Why have a property owners association if you’re going to do NOTHING to help protect the area that you live in?  LOSERS!!!!

  8. Stupid parents let children do stupid things. If their kids are caught engaging in vandalism, they should also be held responsible.
    Sometimes Gerritsen Beach residents act like they’re in their own little world. YOU’RE NOT, you are part of a broader community.
    Act responsible and your kids will act responsible. Act like jerks and so will your kids!

  9. So if all the cops are going to be in Gerritsen where will the punks be?
    Canarsie? Marine Park?
    They need to be reminded what a Gerritsen Buckle is if they choose to act up again.
    That’s how we make minced meat.

  10. I used to hang out a bit with a group of friends from Gerritsen a long time ago, back in high school (class of ’95).  Individually, they were each awesome people.  It’s only when they got more than three of them together in the room at the same time that they started acting nuts.

  11. “I hate to tell you, but the kids in Gerritsen Beach would make
    mincemeat out of you,” said George Broadhead of the Gerritsen Beach
    Property Owner’s Association.

    I hate to tell you this George, but if we lived in a society where our hands weren’t bound by a bloated and corrupt legal system that favors the criminals over the innocent, a lot of Gerritsen kids throughout the years would’ve wound up dead and in the hospital.

  12. MTA making services changes to avoid Halloween revelers

    (10/31/11) BROOKLYN – The Metropolitan Transit Agency (MTA) says it plans to make some services changes tonight to avoid Halloween revelers.

    Officials warn that the B31 bus line may skip some stops in
    Gerritisen Beach. They say the extent of the disruptions will depend on
    the behavior of those out celebrating the holiday.

    The B31 has been shut down in the past due to vandalism.


  13. You hit the nail on the head.  If more than half the population of GB weren’t cops or firemen, alot of these kids definitely would have been “taken care of”.  It’s a shame that this has been going on for so long.  These kids go after everyone – children, mothers wheeling carriages, elderly – what’s wrong with society in this day and age.  The majority of kids who I see today, have no respect for anyone.

  14. I’ve posted this before, but I will again. I’m really befuddled by all of this. I walk Gerritsen Avenue quite often in the winter (heading for the library). I stop in the pizza place, the ice cream. People are nothing but respectful to me and others. The kids, teens seem well behaved.  And it’s such a closed neighborhood that they must know I’m not from the neighborhood, especially carrying a backpack.
         Is this behavior only on Halloween or is it all year round.If it’s just Halloween, it’s unfortunately become a tradition, probably from the parents, that somehow needs to be broken.

  15. perhaps, it’s cause they are told from movies, school, and books that on this one night the Ghouls come out!

    Subliminal Messages overtake the human mind.

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