A recent exchange on the Brooklynian.com Crown Heights forum.
ChristinafromBklyn: Ugh... A friend of mine who lives in the building of the victim told me that around 9:30 last night [Monday April 7] her neighbor(a man)was attacked in the station. She said that he was bloody and in shock...she didn't have more details about who did it or what they took(if anything)...
bropook: I know the victim. He was walking back from the subway at about 9:30pm, on EP between Franklin and Classon. The sidewalk was not empty; people were walking home and it felt safe.
A man walking towards him on the Shuttle overpass smacked him in the face with a very sharp elbow and then demanded his wallet and backpack. He was apparently aided by another man. A witness approached the victim and gave him his phone number and said that he could identify the attackers.
The victim's injuries were/are fairly serious. Several bones were broken in his face. He required reconstructive surgery and several nights in the hospital. A full physical recovery is expected.
daver: how many times have we heard this same story at this same stop? This one is a bit later than usual, but otherwise, very similar. I would need multiple hands to count the number of times someone has gotten hit in the head between say 5pm and 10pm coming out of this station in full view of witnesses.
Are law enforcement tracking this? I have yet to see cops standing around there. And I'm not disparaging the police or saying they don't, I'm just saying that I haven't seen it. Have you?
I have seen a LOT of cops at the Nostrand exit. Commonly three to six or more standing around within a block or so. And I don't hear about these muggings there. I realize there are limited resources, and perhaps we are looking at a shell game, cops move to this station, robbers move to that one.
guest: would say 3 out of 5 weeknights there are police officers directly outside the Franklin Ave. subway exit between 5pm and 8pm. On almost every night, I walk past an officer or two between the subway and my apartment on St. Marks and Franklin Ave. I would venture that these dudes have figured out the patrol patterns of the beat cops on Franklin and strike when they are farthest away (i.e. all the way up towards Dean and Pacific).
In addition, while Franklin is very well patrolled, the side streets can be a different story. Think about it. As a beat cop, you have almost a straight line of vision all the way up and down Franklin and can probably identify when a commotion (mugging) is occurring. But if a cop is on Park for instance, and a mugger hits someone on Prospect, you are a full block away and cannot see/hear anything.
Anyway, these are things I would think about if I was to plan to mug someone and didn't want 5-0 to catch me. As a civilian, I don't really know what the solution is, if there is one.