NEW UPDATE: from the Town of Hempstead:
Working with the Nassau County Police Department, the town has posted the house located at 241 William Street with a “notice to vacate.” Tenants who reside at the house must leave the premises within 72 hours of notice based on a determination that an overcrowding condition existed at the site. The Town of Hempstead has inspected this home in the past based on resident complaints and will continue to be aggressive in responding to resident concerns. We would like to thank the Nassau County Police Department for their assistance in this matter.
Close to 150 North Merrick residents took the Town of Hempstead’s Code Enforcement, Nassau County’s Child Protective Services and Nassau County’s First Precinct to task for what it called a lack of coordinated and effective response to the deplorable and dangerous living conditions at 241 William Street in North Merrick, which culminated in a husband shooting his wife on Sunday night.
While the woman survived and the husband has been charged with attempted murder, several residents in the vicinity of William Street and Fraser Avenue demanded that Robert Musetich, first deputy commanding officer of the First Precinct – who attended the meeting – put a patrol car there 24 hours, seven days a week until the danger to residents from the large family living there subsides.
‘We will take our neighborhood back!” shouted one resident, an educator – who did not want her name mentioned – to the cheers of many attendees. “This is a broken system” if they can’t respond to our many calls and complaints, she continued.
Meanwhile, a woman on Maeder Avenue, around the corner from the William and Fraser intersection, said she was contemplating moving away because of renters who have made it difficult to live in her home while the town and First Precinct police – among many agencies she called – have done nothing to help.
The meeting, called by county Legislator Dave Denenberg just that morning, started with Deputy Commanding Officer Musetich saying that crime is down 10% all across the county, and is at it’s lowest in 30 years. He told this website that isolated pockets or acts of crime spike at times but are not indicative of a new wave of crime.
But his comments didn’t sit well many in attendance who came to get answers about renters in the neighborhood who appear to be terrorizing families who live along the streets and who have begun to live in fear for their children.
A mother who identified herself only as Jessica told this website that a large family consisting of the grandmother, grandfather, aunt and uncle, mother and father live there with four children. “No one works, because the cars are always there. No one watches the children because they are out all times of the day” running around the neighborhood and in everyone’s back yards.
The meeting filled up quickly to close to 150 at the North Merrick Fire Department on Camp Avenue in North Merrick.
Another woman told of seeing the children weaving their bicycles in and out of traffic on Meadowbrook Road. “I’m just waiting to witness, not a dog getting hit but those two children getting hit,” directing her outrage at the deputy commander.
She said the children are ‘stealing from us, are in everybody’s property” and they are bullying the children of North Merrick. “We are going to call and call and call and call until you understand that we … are taking our town back!”
Laura, who lives on Fraser, said the seven-year-old from the home has been seen riding away with property that doesn’t belong to him.
Another attendee brought with him a list of houses the landlord of the property on William Street owns. Someone spoke out that he appears to be the primary resident of the homes, moving Legislator Denenberg to say, “But that can’t be, that’s against the law.”
Legislator Denenberg briefs attendees on how Nassau County evictions are processed, something many in the neighborhood want to see on William Street.
One father said that what the neighborhood wants to see are arrests or ticket summoneses written on this family when the neighborhood is forced to call the police. He was widely cheered and applauded.
Museitch remembered a call to the property, where there was a harassment charge. “You may not want to hear this, but with an harassment charge it’s like going through a red light, you have to see it first” before charges can be brought.
One woman said that so long as these children ( a seven year-old, a five-year-old, a two-year-old and a two-month old) go to Old Mill Road School “my children will not attend that school.”
A woman identifying herself as Susan said she and her husband, a detective in another police agency, “have had it.” She said that last week “the five-year-old “slapped my child in the face.” She said that last year the kids from the William Street location had no clothes and would attempt to come into her home.
Denenberg promised to form a committee comprising neighbors to help get to the heart of the issues facing the neighbors around William Street and Fraser Avenue, which could force the town to enforce its code restrictions while forcing Child Protective Services to look once again at the tenant situation on William Street.
Denenberg also called it a possible violation within the county Department of Health.
And First Deputy Commander Musetich also promised stepped-up patrols around the neighborhoods, along with plainclothes policemen to survey the neighborhood on a regular basis.