Cops Disperse Large Crowd of Teens as Fights Break Out on Anderson Walkway and New Roc City in Downtown New Rochelle

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New Roc City.jpgNew Rochelle Police responded swiftly and effectively last night to disperse a crowd of an estimated 250 young people that had gathered in the area in front of the Marriott Residence Inn and Town Pizza at the corner of Anderson Street and North Avenue after fights broke out among several youths.

Over 100 youths were gathered in the area around New Street in New Roc City at 9:30 PM. The first fight occurred at about 9:50 PM. By 10:20 PM the police had secured the entire area.

With the two year anniversary of the Easter Riot this weekend and warm weather coming, New Rochelle police have been expected to increase their presence at New Roc City and along Anderson Street soon but the immediate need for large patrols has now been made apparent.

The incident began in earnest in front of Town Pizza where a group of African-American students had gathered and were confronted by a group of mostly white students. After mostly milling about and staring at each other, a white adult male in a black cadillac drove his vehicle West on Anderson to the corner of Anderson and North. The man was attempting to get the attention of one of the white youths. Failing to do so, the man pulled his car out onto North Avenue, double-parked his car in the middle of the street, put on his hazard lights and exited the vehicle. He then joined the group, talking to the white youths and listening to the black youths.

Suddenly, the entire group of youths and the man moved east from Town Pizza towards Key Bank where they stopped. Youths came running from New Roc City, attracted by the crowd that had begun to gather so that soon an estimated 100 students had formed almost an amphitheater, some youths standing on the wall at the bank, others on the small hill which is planted with ivy and trees. The view was partially obstructed but within a minute punches were being thrown. Many of the youths that had gathered around began screaming and ran away, many dialing their cell phones as they went.

Just as suddenly, a small group of white youths, led by the older man, walked away from the group and back towards the Cadillac on North Avenue. A much larger group began moving towards New Roc City, ending up in and near the parking lot at New Roc City, in close proximity to the New Roc NRPD police station. Fights were breaking out among the youths in the large group. Meanwhile, back at the Cadillac, the older man was confronted by several black youths who began banging on his vehicle. There was a brief confrontation. Then the man and several of the white youths entered the vehicle, closed the door and sped away from the scene.

At least nine police cards responded to the scene. An NRPD SUV took up a prominent position on New Street in front of the Marriott. Police and New Roc City security guards moved barriers onto New Street and began pushing the crowd away from New Roc, telling them it was closed and that they should go home. Inside the barrier, small shoving matches broke out with one adult woman dragging what appeared to be her son down New Street yelling that she was going to sue someone and pointing back at a youth who she claimed and assaulted her son. Tensions were very high but police responded calmly and efficiently broke up clusters of youths, directing them away from the area, telling them to go home. Most complied.

The entire incident last about 20 minutes. Police were on the scene in less than 10 minutes and very quickly took control. No arrests were made and there were no serious injuries reported. Police continued to patrol the area until midnight without further incident.

Said one witness, "it's going to be a long summer".

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

WolfWithTheRedRoses on Sat, 04/03/2010 - 21:54

Funny how The Journal News and News 12 didn't pick up on this story. It certainly made news during the Easter riots a few years ago when Capelli was trying to close the Ice Rink at New Roc. Now, with more empty space than rented, the last thing the city wants is negative publicity for New Roc City.

Yes, at one time, there was a rink which housed hundreds of kids who skated, exercised and had a good time. It was the safest place around, ask any New Rochelle Police Officer. Why? Parents were around, too.

The City saw it fit to let Capelli close the rink. Why not re-open the New Roc Ice Rink?

AWasson301 on Sun, 04/04/2010 - 14:20

One thing I've been thinking a lot about lately is to what extent does New Roc City help or hurt downtown. I tend to think it actually hurts downtown (now) but might have been necessary (then). I did not live here before New Roc City so I really can't speak to that, but I suspect that it was a necessary measure at the time. I'd be interested to hear what other people think about that. At this point though, I'm not sure that New Roc City is good for New Rochelle -- and I'm not speaking from a safety standpoint -- I'm speaking from a city vibrancy standpoint.

It seems to me that concentrating all of the city's entertainment uses in one place is not a healthy thing for the city. Instead, the healthier way to go about it would be to disperse them throughout downtown. So, if New Roc City is home to a gigantic theatre, mini golf, an Applebees, a Modells, and a pool hall, it may have been better in the long run to have the theatre on one side of town, the applebees on the other, and the other uses sprinkled in between. The net result is the same number and kind of entertainment uses, but with a change in their locations.

The added benefit is that you wouldn't have all these kids congregating in one place -- they'd be more disperse too because the uses would be more disperse. But the real benefit is that the downtown would be more vibrant because there would be a number of draws throughout the city that would increase foot traffic throughout, not just only in one concentrated place. This would make it more attractive to new businesses.

I also have a long-standing issue with New Roc City because it disrupts the flow from the train station to the waterfront. This is besides the point. But in my opinion, it basically serves a barrier to the rest of the town. If you open up New Roc City, it would provide a clearer path to the waterfront if Echo Bay ever gets built. The mall that was there before could have been (and probably was) worse though.

This is obviously all hindsight. Practically speaking, I imagine that this plan would be difficult or impossible to implement. In the first instance, I'm not sure that businesses would have bought in at the time without a large entertainment center concept. Second, even if they did, I'm not sure how the city would (or could) coordinate the various sites. It seems to me, however, somewhat silly that we had to build an artificial city within a city when there is a whole city w/ beautiful buildings, many of which are lying vacant.

Ann Joseph on Sat, 04/03/2010 - 03:14

Has there been any attempt to find out which teen-agers congregate at New Roc, particularly at night and on week-ends? Once there is some data on who they are, especially if they are New Rochelle residents, then some remediation can be sought, e.g. supplying a place for them to socialize, dance, play sports etc. Maybe if the Armory is ever restored one use could be as a place for these teens and young adults to congregate.

QueenCity on Fri, 04/02/2010 - 00:32

I wonder if New Roc continues on this path, how long will it be before the Residence Inn pulls out of New Roc.

Nunya on Thu, 04/01/2010 - 21:10

Did that hurt a little bit not bashing our fine Police Department? I am a little shocked that you did not find something wrong the police did. Now maybe you will stop all that bashing you have dine in the past.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 04/01/2010 - 22:15
Title: As always...

...I call 'em like I see 'em.

If you are so interested in seeing more stories praising New Rochelle police officers then by all means go right and blog away. You have an account and are free to do so. Your right to do so does not prevent me or anyone else from writing a story that is critical of police officers, the leadership, the force as a whole or "all of the above".

At the end of the day, contributors and commenters on this site have to compete in the "marketplace of ideas". If people do not agree with a particular story they can ignore it. If they dislike the site altogether they can stop reading it.

If were to spend more time reading the stories we have done on the NRPD on this site, you would come to see that the vast majority of stories about the NRPD on this site are either positive or neutral. You have managed to become obsessed with one particular topic - the PPFL web site. We obviously disagree. I believe that those involved with that web site have exercised extremely poor judgement, acted in a way that reflects poorly on the department as a whole and raised serious questions about the fitness for duty of a handful of those involved. You think the site is fine "as is", just a few guys blowing off steam and that the stories we ran about it were much ado about nothing.

Fine, we can agree to disagree but to go from disagreement to the idea that views other than yours should not be allowed is not just extreme but profoundly un-American. I would encourage you to contribute more of what YOU want to see on this site -- positive stories about NRPD officers. Feel free to complain and criticize. Maybe even start your own blog / web site.

In either case, we will offer praise or criticism as the situation warrants.

In this particular case, what I witnessed last night was a professional police force which responded in a calm but direct way to diffuse a situation that could have turned into a full-blown melee but did not due to the rapid and effective response of the NRPD.

NewRochelle101's picture
NewRochelle101 on Thu, 04/01/2010 - 16:22

I was in the area at about 7:30pm and noted that crowd was quite large even then. It seemed okay, though.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 04/01/2010 - 20:53

I should have included the time of the incident. It was about 9:50 PM.

thetruthhurtsnr on Thu, 04/01/2010 - 16:05

I'd like to know which officers responded and what their fantasy football team name is.

Funtime's picture
Funtime on Thu, 04/01/2010 - 15:57

This is a positive assessment of police activity for those keeping track at home.