Lincoln High School Students Terrorize Businesses and Residents on Brighton Beach Block

Entrance to a building, where Lincoln High School students gathered. Courtesy of a resident.

BRIGHTON BEACH – For residents and storekeepers on one Neptune Avenue block between Ocean Parkway and Brighton 3rd Street, being close to Lincoln High School has been an unrelenting disaster.

Massive groups of students, often high on marijuana, wreak chaos, and intimidate the neighborhood every school day, neighbors complain. The large groups of teenagers — often 60 kids or more — block entryways, dance on Dunkin’ Donuts tables, play dice games, and harass residents and store owners to the point that business owners say their commerce is interrupted and residents say it has become unsafe to leave their apartments. 

Businesses Plan for Daily Chaos

The incidents are so regular that shopkeepers anticipate them to occur between 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m each school day.  

“I have to prepare for them coming in the morning, their lunch, the period when school gets out and the time the kids who do detention get out,” said Ralph Perez, the manager of the S&K Pharmacy on 371 Neptune Avenue. “When I open at 9 in the morning, I always have at least four or five of them, sometimes many more blocking my door. No one wants to come here when they are here, they make this place like a ghost town.”

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Recent incidents in front of the S&K Pharmacy include groups of 50-60 students jumping on cars parked in front, damaging them, Simon Field, the owner of the pharmacy said. 

“I’ve been here 20 years, the high school has always been here but it has never been this bad,” said Field.  While neighbors say incidents have happened in the past, this school year has been the worst in recent memory.

“When four or five cops come to police this area, they can’t do anything because there are so many students,” Field explained that elderly customers are often afraid of coming to his pharmacy and they ask for delivery instead of coming in person because of the students.

Neighbors Afraid to Leave Homes

Across the street from the pharmacy is a condo building with noticeable green glass windows: 384 Neptune Avenue. George, who lives in the building and asked us to only use his first name,  said students sit in the entryway refusing to leave and often yell profanities at residents, calling them “motherf—er,” telling them to “suck my d*ck,” and saying other obscene things.

“We can’t leave our building without first checking a security camera livestream of our entryway and making sure the students are not there,” George said.

George saw students smoking marijuana and dancing on the tables at the Dunkin’ Donuts on November 22. Four police cars from the 60th Precinct came to disperse the students. 

At about 3p.m. on Tuesday, November 26,  while Bklyner was interviewing George in the Dunkin’ Donuts, students came in and although employees behind the counter shouted at them to not eat outside food, they used the Dunkin’ Donuts tables to eat outside food without buying anything, ignoring the Dunkin’ Donuts staff. Meanwhile, four police officers were standing guard in the parking lot and a police car came by the block with sirens flashing ordering students to disperse from the area over a bull horn. 

Physical Assault, Harassment, and Destruction of Property

Andrey, an openly gay lawyer also living at 384 Neptune said he fled Russia due to persecution of homosexuals, recounted how on the morning of November 14, students threatened his life and broke the entrance door on his building in an attempt to assault him. 

He showed stills from security camera footage on his phone of himself fleeing the students just in the nick of time. “We have to spend about $4,000 on a new secure door to replace the old one after that,” said Andrey. 

Yet that was not the only upsetting incident. “About two weeks ago, one of them kicked my mom in the butt, she doesn’t like to go out anymore,” said Andrey. 

Footage from a building’s security camera, when students were harassing Andrey.

Police Suggest To Check Cameras Before Going Out

About a month ago, a group of residents from the building with Andrey went to the 60th Precinct to discuss the issue of the students with police officers and the group was told to check cameras and they would be escorted outside each time they wanted to go out if they were afraid. 

“The police want to know if someone got injured or killed when we call 911, if not they can’t do anything,” said Andrey. The lawyer has a lease until February and plans to move if nothing changes.

The ground floor of 384 Neptune Ave. is home to a medical office known as the Ocular Center and the owner said his office fills up with the smell of marijuana from the students who smoke in front regularly. 

“They block our doors, and make a big noise cursing, jumping and dancing – they are a danger to pedestrians,” he said. 

Customers of the Ocular Center are losing their vision and often already have trouble finding the building due to that, the crowds of students make it even more difficult. 

“From the first day of school we have had this problem, one of my employees just yesterday saw the police arresting a kid,” he said.

At the S&K Pharmacy, a woman who would not give her name but said she lived in a nearby building, shared  she struggled with getting her children to daycare, “I have twin four-year-olds, and they blow marijuana smoke in my kid’s faces.” 

She said her husband has tried to be civil with the students but to no avail. One day she saw a group of nearly 40 students cornering a woman and shouting in her face on the street. She captured the incident on video. 

The students did not leave until police arrived.

She recounted how she saw students break into an unrented medical office on the street and spray paint downstairs, infuriating the owner. 

“They used to have the school safety officers posted here in the morning but after they stopped doing that things started to get real bad,” she said. “It is their sheer number that worries me.”

No Consequences? 

At the Metro PCS store on 370 Neptune Avenue, employees Masha and John said they needed to install special locks on their merchandise after an incident in May where students came in and stole airpods, phone cases, and other accessories. 

The employees had security camera footage of the theft but said the police did not catch the perpetrators. The pair regularly call the police when 30 or more students try to come into the store at once making it impossible for them to keep track of their inventory. 

The two were the only employees working recently when they had to protect a student from being attacked by a large number of students. 

“A group tried to attack a guy, with a “leader” [a student instigating others] saying ‘he called me a nigger.’ The guy ran into the store and John blocked the door stopping a bunch of guys while I called the cops,” Masha said. 

The students have blocked traffic on Neptune in the past, causing severe traffic jams, John said, and only cops can get the students to leave. 

From the Metro PCS store, there is a clear view of the Dunkin’ Donuts across the street and John said he has seen students getting into fights in the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot.

At the Kings Hair Salon, on the corner of Ocean Parkway and Neptune Avenue Michael, the owner, said he sees the students walking to Lincoln High School in the mornings. 

“They smoke weed in front of my door and throw dice when I get ready to open at 9:00 a.m., it takes a long time for the police to come,” Michael said. Michael sees the students as a threat to his business, “Customers are afraid to come out when they are in front, that is how they kill my business.”

The NYPD’s public information office did not answer Bklyner’s inquiries about the number of students who congregate on the block, if they have received reports of students arriving stoned to the area, or if there are future plans to enhance enforcement in the area. We will update if they do.

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Comments

  1. Where are your elected officials? Where are the police? Where is the DoE?
    This story is poorly as written as the alleged bad behavior of the students.
    Hello community you need to be organized

  2. the news 12 or abc or nbc should get some of this footage and showcase it on the news so their parents can see because the first thing they’re goin to say its not my child!

  3. Lincoln is a massive school; it would help this to not read as an editorial if you included some context about the 2000 students who are likely not involved with this.

  4. What happened when you went to speak with the schools administration and the local politicians? What did they say?

  5. You can blame mayor de Blasio for all this. Cops have both hands tied behind their backs trying to do their jobs. He is no where to be found when hooligans are running the streets as if it was the 80s. But come out the woodworks to quickly criticize when the police get involved to do their jobs to protecting the community.

  6. It is time for the residents of the local community to fully train in martial arts and handling fire arms .

    Then form neighborhood patrols to take care of these hoodlums and scare them away .

    SAFE STREETS IS A CIVIL RIGHT !!!!!!!

  7. Call Deblasio and see what he can do about it. Probably nothing but you guys and gal should try. NPR every Friday call in mayor.

  8. Are there enough clear photos so that individuals can be recognized? The school, the neighborhood, should post these photos, share them on social media, and try to identify individuals. These young thugs are hiding in the mob, but just finding two or three and prosecuting and/or expelling them, may have a salutary effect on the others. it’s very sad to see a good high school’s reputation damaged by this sort of behavior.

  9. As a student in Lincoln high school, this is a lie yea they smoke and stuff but we give some of these business money to grow..such as Dunkin’ Donuts and so on..and sometimes the pedestrians start with us.

  10. Anyways… did you forget to mention the fact that most of these young kids mind their business and just travel in large quantities? Did you forget to mention the fact that most of these business owners are getting threatened because majority of these kids are BLACK/POCs? Exactly. Stop blaming everything on the kids. These kids travel in large quantities and some may be doing harm but most of them aren’t. Stop getting threatened by people that aren’t the same race as you. They’re young kids. Have any of them ever put their hands on you business owners? Where’s the video of them stealing from Metro PCS? Where’s a Lincoln kids POV of what’s happening? This story is completely bias. Especially when the writer never witnessed any of this happening first hand. It’s an all white perspective of first hand racism. I go to Lincoln and I’m writing this as a student who walks on brighton everyday. Shut the hell up. Oh and NYPD K‼️

  11. Being that Lincoln is a community school this is the effect that the neighborhood has on the surrounding residents not investing in the school. As you ensure your kids go to Murrow, Madison, and schools that are not in your neighborhood the result is an influx of students from various parts of the borough that have their own set of problems that become problems that we have to deal with in the school. You love your neighborhood but ship your students to more desirable neighborhoods similar to what some of the students yearn for when leaving their schools. The lack of enrollment in students from the area then result in this occurring.

  12. Sue the city and bd of education for failing to control their students and for The loss of revenue to businesses and the loss of living in a safe environment from residents. The school should be suspending or expelling these kids.

  13. Yeah this story seems a bit over glamourized. Has the school been told. Have parents been informed. Has the community organized as this seems a similar scenario in other neighborhoods. What have they done to keep teens in control… I mean these are teens.. not the first time in history they have been known to me mischievous. Stop sipping from the cup of hyperbole and get to finding solutions. Those people in that community deserves better like all New Yorkers do !!

  14. I’m also having same issue, I have 2 babies unfortunately we have to smell that shit after those students……

  15. I went to Lincoln and this inexcusable. If I were the businesses I would go to the school find out who the parents are and make the parents pay for any damages their kids make. Seriously where are the school officials and the parents in all this mess.
    Arrest their damn asses. Let them see there are consequences to their actions.

  16. I’m sure Catherine is a school administrator just by her response. She could’ve used that time to provide some perspective. It may not be majority but it definitely reflects the school culture.

  17. If I’m paying for a subscription from Bklyner, I expect your investigative reporting to do some actual investigation. Nowhere is there any comment from the city, schools, NYPD, etc. No statistics to illustrate deterioration or impact. Just the comments of the business owners and residents. What is being done about it? Nothing? Please do a follow-up piece with some info. Why? This isn’t the only neighborhood with issues and little action from the city or NYPD. And in NYPD’s defense, it’s tough these days to end up in altercations that can get the limelight.

  18. These kids are wild/insane…the 303 kids are not much better. Afterschool is the most dangerous time in this area. I have lived here for over 17 years and am raising 2 kids here…something has to change…where did all the school safety officers go? Where is our Community Liaison? Why is the 60th precinct only worried about stuff below Mermaid Ave and cares nothing at all about Warbasse and Trump areas? We are literally on the front lines here…this needs bigger coverage than an obscure local online newspaper.

  19. Officials don’t want to do anything, pretending nothing happens, I see that and confirmed! Thanks for the article!

  20. There needs to be more police patrol and control in the neighborhood. Its a disgrace I know for a fact most of the officers don’t care and could care less. They will only find themselves compelled to do anything if they are forced to otherwise they don’t care!!!! We need a new chief!!

  21. Catherine: It would help you post to not read as apologetics if you included some comment about the dozens of students who are involved in this. They’re, you know, the SUBJECT of the story.

  22. Growing up in Illinois, my schoolmates and I would never have done anything like this. Why do these kids do this?
    Where are their parents? Why do the teachers and admin. allow this?

  23. There are 3 high schools in the neighborhood: Grady, Lincoln, and Rachel Carson? How are you certain they are Lincoln students?

    Have the schools’ administration been contacted about this?

  24. How sad am I to read this on Thanksgiving Day, after not setting foot in New York and especially Brooklyn in 35 years now! I went to Sheepshead Bay High School and things were wonderful then! This is so upsetting and depressing and disheartening and any other world you can think of! What has become of our world?

  25. I GRADUATED FROM LINCOLN I 1966 WE NEVER HAD ANY TROUBLE THERE WERE ARE THE DEANS,TEACHERS ,PRINCIPAL, POLICE AND LOCAL POLITIONS AND DON`T FORGET YOUR SO CALLED MAYER

  26. To Catherine’s comment above: What difference does it make that there are 2,000 or even 4,000 well behaved children that attend Lincoln High School? Why does that lend context to the story? The article is about a gang of youths (no description?) who are terrorizing the neighborhood. They just happen to attend Lincoln High School. The store proprietors can even time these crimes and disturbances to coincide with breaks in the school’s daily curriculum.

    To Mr Morris above: specifically, where are the police? The police in New York City have been neutralized by politicians who stand ready to throw them under the bus. Should an officer get into a physical confrontation with one of these young criminals, nothing much will happen to the offender, but the officer is jeopardizing his career. Open your eyes folks, it’s the voters who are electing the politicians with an anti-police, coddle the criminal mentality. New York City is reaping what they sow.

  27. This is crazy. Police are not doing enough. Stop them before it gets worse. Throw them in jail. They need discipline. Herd and send them to boot camp. Gross disregard and disrespect for decent hardworking people.. Elected Officials, do your jobs. There ought to be a law against this type of disrespectful behavior!

  28. Politicans and School Administration? What are they supposed to do? I doubt they’ll even be interested in getting involved with a real solution. Something horrible has to happen for it to be even considered a problem to the Politicians, School Administration, and
    the Police. The system is a huge joke. If you don’t gear certain impressionable minds toward behaving properly then they just won’t and someone will eventually get hurt. And it all would have been avoidable.

  29. The sad fact is, by coddling these kids and allowing them to to behave like rampaging barbarians, the primary ones hurt are the kids themselves. Why are we so opposed to the idea of giving these kids the attention, discipline and guidance that they need in order to behave, learn and grow into responsible adults? Why is that so horrible?

  30. Some of these comments are appalling. If you condone and excuse what the article describes, you’re a garbage Bklyner. This is crime and the responsibility of the NYPD to stop pronto. And the prosecutors and judges to punish. But the kids have got the message: crime is now an entitlement in NYC, especially if committed by minors. Buckle up Bklyn, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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