Western Brooklyn

Teens Terrorize Chinese-Owned Shops On Bay Parkway

(Photo by Rachel Silberstein/Bensonhurst Bean)

A group of young bullies are wreaking havoc on a stretch of Bay Parkway between 60th Street and 86th Street, apparently singling out and terrorizing Chinese-owned shops, according to a police report filed by 13 Bay Parkway business owners.

The kids — who storeowners say often run in packs of five or six and range in age from 13 to 17 — antagonize merchants and customers by pickpocketing, smoking in stores, throwing merchandise on the floor, shoplifting, and destroying property after school hours each day, the Chinese daily newspaper Sing Tao first reported.

“They come in and grab everything they want three or four times a day,” said May Lee, the owner of SYJ Trading, a dry goods store at 6914 Bay Parkway. “It’s terrible. We have to lock the door and customers think it’s strange.”

Dry goods
Teens have thrown nuts, beans, and other dry goods on the floor at SYJ Trading. (Photo by Rachel Silberstein/Bensonhurst Bean)

Storeowners told us police have been called many times, but either the cops don’t show up, or they arrive after the kids have already bolted.

Occasionally, the altercations turn violent. Cheng Hua Yin, who owns a second-floor nail salon on Bay Parkway and 67th Street, said that he has had recurring problems with kids smoking marijuana at the entrance of his store and urinating on the stairs since last summer, but the police never showed up, so he stopped calling them.

Then, on April 19, when he went downstairs to shoo a small mob away, Yin said one youth cursed at him and punched him in the face, leaving him with a nasty bruise under his eye.

Cheng Hua Yin owns a nail salon on Bay Parkway. (Photo by Rachel Silberstein/Bensonhurst Bean)

“I’m afraid because I got hurt, and also for my business. When the kids are on the stairs, the customers won’t come in here,” said Yin.

Police sources said that, based on surveillance footage — which includes a photo of the troublemakers tagging a storefront with graffiti in broad daylight — they could not identify the teens, guess their ages, or speculate which school they attend. However, the NYPD’s 62nd Precinct has increased the number of uniformed and plain clothes officers patrolling that stretch of Bay Parkway between 2pm and 6pm.

Captain William Taylor, the precinct’s commanding officer, told Bensonhurst Bean he is confident the kids will be caught within the next few days and that he is planning to meet with the merchants on Wednesday to glean more information about the incidents.

“Just as we won’t tolerate burglars and robbers, we will not tolerate any harassment of our business owners or any citizen of Bensonhurst,” said Taylor.

While the Sing Tao article suggests demographic changes and ethnic tension are a factor, Taylor said he is not currently treating the incidents as bias crimes.

“I wouldn’t speculate on that until I had whoever it was in here and I actually questioned them,” said Taylor. “It could just be an issue of convenience, because it’s a strip of stores that just happened to be there.”

In the meantime, some store owners have installed electronic locks — though they say the kids persistently try to gain entry by following other customers inside, or by breaking open the locks with a knife.

“They knock on my window and put a middle finger to me and I don’t do nothing. Then they ring my door bell nonstop,” said Katherine Man, who owns a dry cleaner at 6815 Bay Parkway. “Only when I pretend I am taking a picture, they run away.”

Man said two boys who often harass her at the store look “very young” and that she doesn’t think they are bad kids.

“I think they are fooling around. They need guidance,” she said.

Councilman David Greenfield, whose district includes the stretch of Bay Parkway near Seth Low Junior High School, condemned the behavior of the teens today.

“Discrimination against anyone is unacceptable. However, this discrimination against hard-working Chinese-American owned businesses is even more reprehensible,” said the councilman. “Local businesses are the backbone of our community. We are fortunate to have hard-working people come here from around the globe to improve their lives and our communities.”


Update [3:43pm]: Councilman Mark Treyger expressed a similar sentiment, adding that he anticipates Wednesday’s meeting — which will have translators — will help break down some of the cultural and language barriers between local merchants and law enforcement.

“This is very concerning to me. We seem to be hearing about a pattern which extends beyond Bay Parkway and onto 86th Street. I plan to work closely with my colleagues Councilman Greenfield and Assemblyman Colton, our local police precincts, and local businesses to identify a pattern and find out why this is,” said Treyger. “This affects all merchants, because a threat to one business is a threat to all of the businesses.”

Comment policy


  1. Not that it matters, but is there a description of these kids, so that other business owners can look out for these suspects. For example, are the male or female and are they either, White, Black, Latino, Asian or are they a smorgasbord of races.

  2. Get these little pieces of shit out of my neighborhood. These kids are well on their way to becoming criminals in a few years.

  3. According to the “first reported” article the JHS kids were predominately Caucasian, 1 is female, and an African American. One of the store owner showed a photo of the kids to one of her customer and the customer happened to be a teacher at that ‘nearby JHS’. The teacher admit she recognized those kids are troublemakers in school and the school know of their ‘situations’, but couldn’t do anything about it.

  4. It’s attitudes like yours that continue to reinforce their behavior and likeihood of becoming criminals. Instead of condeming them, maybe help and guide these misfits perhaps?

  5. It’s people like you that believe a system like this will rehabilitate these kids.They are already thugs, they will become criminals when they don’t graduate hs and end up terrorizing the streets for the rest of their life. WHY? Because they’re stupid? That and they have nothing better to do.

  6. Actually, it’s attitudes like YOURS that are the contributing factors to such problems. It’s easy to say “Oh, I just want to reach out to these poor souls upon whom misfortune befalls, to aid them and help them develop into upstanding citizens” – it’s another thing altogether when you’re cleaning up their shit every day, getting harassed and abused, having to take a financial hit by installing/repairing security measures, etc. Do you get it? These are business owners. They are community pillars. And the kids? Slap the little wankers around. Shove their noses in it, smack em with a newspaper and say “No! Bad!” – and they’ll move on to bigger and better things. Maybe they’ll even say sorry as they go.

    Yes, of course we all want to help. But we don’t know these kids. Are they really just damaged at the core by parents that are never there and a failing education system? Are they lost souls in desperate need of mentoring? Are they just bored, acting out and looking to prove some semblance of self-worth? Or maybe they’re just a bunch of little assholes with zero respect for anything and a bully mentality, well overdue for an asskicking that they never got which, in turn, would have probably taught them more about respect than some whino who wants to sit them down and talk it out.

    And I’m not saying talking it out isn’t going to work – it will. But they need to be broken before they can be rebuilt. Scared Straight is extremely effective that way. You, on the other hand, aren’t going to get through to a bunch of hooligans. You’ll have to cut the herd, separate them all and work on them one at a time. And if that’s your thing, go right ahead. The people in this article have businesses to run, bills to pay and families to support. Put your opinionated money where your opinionated mouth is and do your part to help them out

  7. NYPD – if you are looking for these little punks they all hang out at the McDonald’s on Bay Parkway and 67th Street between 2-6p daily. I am disgusted to see our community being terrorized by these kids that are targeting our defenseless Asian business owners, elderly and children.

  8. stop playing the blame game, it’s unproductive and a waste of time. typing an essay on here doesn’t help either.

  9. it’s her! i recognize her!! her and her crew were stealing fruits at a market and they had the audacity to hit one of the workers when he tried to catch them. disgusting.

  10. I’ve seen these little shits chilling by McDonalds a few times. They probably attend Sethlow middle school. These kids need a real brutal beating.

  11. Behavior as a teen is not indicative of behavior as an adult. When I was in high school, I was jumped by a guy who came out of a phone booth and shoved me to the ground. As he grabbed at my wallet, I rolled over to see it was one of my junior high classmates. He recognized me and ran off. Some years later, when I encountered him again, he was a successful businessman, and apologetic about that incident 30 years ago. Then there was my neighbor, who was a straight-A, squared-away type in high school, whom my brother arrested when he robbed a case of beer from the 7-11 on New Utrecht.

    We all do stupid stuff in our teens, either because we don’t know any better, or because we’re following the crowd, or just because. Many times, it just takes one person to make the difference in whether we go straight. If you assume no one change their stripes, then you remain as large a part of the problem as they are.

  12. You wouldn’t be so sympathetic if these jackasses were black rather than white. When the perp is black, the “thug” epithet comes out. When the perp is white they’re “just young”.

    This is definitely a racist incident btw and afaik, most white kids in those kinds of areas come from a far higher socioeconomic background than Asian immigrants. This is basically the same as suburbanites bashing Mexicans 5 years ago.

  13. Actually, that’s not true. I pay no attention to race in any form. And, in fact, I didn’t look at any of the photos, so I have no idea what race these kids are.

    If I’m sympathetic in this case, it is toward the storeowners. I’m very happy with the Asian influx in Bensonhurst. My property values have doubled in the last few years because of the improvements my new Asian neighbors have made to their homes, and it’s great to see a bustling business district again, instead of the gated, graffitied storefronts that lined 86th Street in the 80s and 90s.

    I spent my younger years in Flatlands, where I had many black neighbors, friends who insisted that medieval characters in a Dungeons & Dragons game would/could carry switchblades. Good kids, good friends, who were occasionally troublesome, but never “thugs”. They just thought the idea was funny.

    Racism can also be overcome with age and understanding. “Condemn the sin, not the sinner”.

  14. My bad, sorry to misjudge…. The post was also as a warning to those out there who *would* characterize a black kid as a thug but a white kid as merely troubled – something I have heard before far too often…

  15. This is a prime example of media biased reporting. White suspects are left unidentified, black suspects (see any of the crime related stories linked above with a black suspect) are identified. Thus innocent, non-racist readers only ever read about black suspects committing crimes, further perpetuating ingrained systematic racism.

  16. On this site (in other articles) there are endless images of suspects WITH their description.Why must someone go to a highlighted link on another site in chinese?

  17. Don’t ask me, I didn’t write the article lol
    But my guess is that these images you see on this page is all taken by the person who wrote this article, and she didn’t want to use some other peoples photos, mixed in with hers so she linked it to a page that has it?

  18. If this was in the 80s and 90s these kids will get chopped in the streets. Pray for them. It’s not worth it to bully store owners especially when they got triads. Since they are kids they are most likely left alone…

  19. do you mind giving to me the link to the other articles…… because all i saw was this one… and this site and the other one in the article… are the only places i saw this story…

    my tenant text me and said she seen a video of the terrorist.. on cbs news… but of course when i checked cbs website… and their facebook page…

    the story or video… is no where to be found….. and i am not surprised at all…. be blessed.

  20. never mind.. my coworker found it for me on cbs news.com…..but of course still no video or photos…. be blessed

  21. NYPD-Shut some of them down at IS 96 Seth Low ask for an 8th Grader called Star(the Shemale lookin short hair),Shes prob suspended atm

  22. The kids are either racist or just want to make trouble in the streets. Everything they wear or have are probably made from China anyway. So if they are trying to make trouble again, remember to check their tags or something to see if it is made from China. Like seriously, nobody got time to ruin someone’s business just for fun. It isn’t pretty or funny.

  23. Where are the triads when you need them? You’d think the police could identify these kids with video and the high probability of the kids living relatively close by. Asians, especially immigrants are often bullied in the US due to their relatively quiet, non-confrontational nature. Just sad that these punks are harassing people just trying to earn a living. And even if they’re caught they’ll probably just receive a slap on the wrist, if anything. You see Chinese people, not all Americans are nice and friendly, despite what many ignorant Chinese living in China who’ve never met an American in their life, believe. Also I think race does play a part in this harassment but of course the media will never bring that up when it’s an Asian victim and white/Latino/black suspects.

  24. Its crazy more people have been able to identity these kids but yet the police aren’t doing Anything about it. They need to be arrested. Their actions are disgusting. These store owners don’t cause trouble so they pick on them.

  25. Treat them as adults and throw them in jail. Aparrently they have been terrrorizing for a while, not just one time.

    And I say this because eventually some store owner will not stand up for this and beat the fuck out of these little bastards.

    That comment on “we all did stupid things wheb we were young” is just BS. If you don’t know that terrorizing store owners is morally wrong then thEy are one gun away from becoming murderers. Know what the fuck you are talking about before you support these criminals.

  26. Where do we call if we know who they are because I know who they are exactly I know their first and last names and I’m willing to say

  27. My wife was at Bay Parkway and 86th st Bakery. As she walked out, some kids that was riding a bike on the sidewalk SMACK her on the back of the head and rode off. Not sure why kids now a days do what they do and don’t think about the consequences. Luckily my wife was not injured.

  28. This website should not allow any comments or discussions anymore, I feel like it is a platform for all ignorant racist morons to Voice there opinions that no one wants to hear. If you’re fed up, call your congressman, do something, just don’t sit on this website and complain and use racist and ignorant remarks, it just makes you look stupid and ignorant. You talk about children, teens and little kids terrorizing the neighborhood,and it upsets you, so what do you do. You go to the Internet and you post more hate. That is real good. You hide behind a computer, get off you fat ass and do something. Patrol your own neighborhood, I have lived in this neighborhood for over 30 years, and I have done something, I have walked the streets and stopped kids from doing stupid things. I still do it. It is people that post racist and ignorant comments that make this world a horrible place to live in, you are worse than these kids terrorizing the neighborhood because you do nothing to stop it you sit on your fat asses and you let it happen and what do you do, nothing, you feed the fire. Grow up, get an education, your hate is is useless and no one wants to hear it so unless you’re going to do something about it you should delete your account on this website and you should shut the hell up. If you choose to hide behind your computer and just complain then you have no right you should be terrorized by these kids, they should come to your homes and they should terrorize your family and your children because you are a useless piece of crap, you’re worse than every one of these kids that terrorizes neighborhoods. Everyone of you that preach hate should be deported, you do not deserve the right to live in America you are all useless your fingers and hands should be chopped off because you did not give anything back to society, you only take.

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