Manhattan’s Upper West Side: Mass exodus of residents fleeing the city as NYC defunds police (op-ed)

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This editorial is brought to you by a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

NEW YORK CITY, NY – U-Haul trucks and various other moving company trucks were seen in abundance on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It seems the “mass-exodus” for this troubled part of Manhattan is in full-swing.

Allegedly, the decision made by many to leave the Big Apple comes after thousands of homeless people were put up in luxury hotels in the neighborhood in a controversial attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 amid the ongoing pandemic.

Now, not only are many residents in the area are planning to leave, but they are also planning to sue the city.

Daily Mail reported that natives of the typically up-scale neighborhood are claiming that moving in these large numbers of homeless people have caused an increase in crime, random violence, drug use, public urination, and open prostitution.

Some local residents also claim that several sex offenders have also moved onto their streets. Other reports detailed that there were long lines seen outside of a number of U-Haul stations, with moving vehicles lining residential streets and discarded furniture stacked on the sidewalks. 

It is not uncommon for residents of the Upper West Side to move at the end of the summer, but Guardian Angels Founder, Curtis Sliwa said that this time is different. He said he believes the “mass evacuation” of Upper West Siders from NYC is now in full effect.

Sliwa lives on West 87th Street and said that he directly blames the city’s decision to house hundreds of emotionally disturbed homeless people and recovering addicts into neighborhood hotels as the main catalyst for the mass exodus.

Sliwa, a mayoral candidate, often leads Guardian Angels patrols of the area and said that he saw numerous moving trucks “stacked up” down his street. Each time he was out patrolling the streets, he stopped to ask the residents where they were planning to move. Many of who he spoke with confirmed they were moving out of state.

Sliwa also said that in his building already nine out of the 12 units are currently sitting vacant. He said that he has seen eight moving trucks on his block alone over the last week and a half.

Sliwa said:

“The moment I walked out on my block, near Central Park West, there was a moving truck. I asked, ‘where are you going?’ and they said, Virginia.”

He added:

“They told me, Curtis, first the pandemic hit us and now the quality of life is so bad.”

He said that the woman was almost in tears as she told him that she had lived in the area since the crime-ridden days of the 1970s. Sliwa spoke to three other residents and they confirmed they were moving to New Hampshire, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Sliwa said that another one of the moving trucks was for a young family with two kids. He said:

“They say in the last month, there have been so many disturbed people in the streets, aggressively panhandling, defecating, urinating. They leave the hotels and have no bathrooms to use.”

He added:

“These are the people who elected de Blasio, who live here. It’s a progressive, liberal neighborhood and now there’s a visceral hate for him. The feeling that he has virtually singlehandedly destroyed this city.”

According to reports, more than 13,000 homeless people are being housed in 139 hotels across NYC, including in three luxury hotels, The Belleclaire, The Lucerne, and The Belnord, which are on the Upper West Side.

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Check out another article from Law Enforcement Today about de Blasio moving convicted sex offenders into luxury hotels:

New York City, New York – There’s nothing more unwanted in a community than someone convicted crimes related to pedophilia – yet it seems that New York City has housed six convicted pedophiles in a Manhattan hotel that lies just under 1000 feet away from a elementary school playground.

According to state law, the aforementioned is a violation of law in and of itself via issued court opinions on what it means that convicted sex offenders cannot enter or be near schools or other areas primarily designated for children.

The Belleclaire hotel at Broadway and West 77th Street is located near the playground for PS 87, which the state’s Sex Offender Registry still shows the six to still be housed there under their primary residence.

As of August 7th, a city rep noted that the listings were inaccurate and claimed that the six mentioned pedophiles on the registry “are not at that location.” When pressed on whether the six men have ever been housed at said location post release, no further comment was provided by the city rep.

As of August 8th, Law Enforcement Today confirmed on the registry that the men are still being listed as living at the addresses afforded to the Belleclaire hotel.

Here are the six pedophiles still listed at the address:

Twenty-six-year-old Devron Vernal was convicted in March of 2015 under the charge of sexual contact with an individual less than 11-years-old. His victim, who his relationship status was cited as being “non-stranger”, was a 4-year-old girl. His criminal acts were described as “sexual contact” and “deviate sexual intercourse”. Vernal was sentenced to 4 years in prison for the offense.

Manhattan's Upper West Side: Mass exodus of residents fleeing the city as NYC defunds police (op-ed)
Devron Vernal – New York Sex Offender Registry

Twenty-nine-year-old Jonathan Evans was convicted in October of 2010 under the charge of criminal sexual act in the first-degree of a victim less than 11-years-old. His victim, who his relationship status was cited as being “non-stranger”, was a 6-year-old boy.  

His criminal acts were described as “sexual intercourse”, “sexual contact” and “deviate sexual intercourse”. Evans was sentenced to 5 years in prison for the offense.

Manhattan's Upper West Side: Mass exodus of residents fleeing the city as NYC defunds police (op-ed)
Jonathan Evans

Fifty-one-year-old Anderson Stuckey was convicted in December of 2005 under the charge of course of sexual conduct against a child in the second-degree against a child under 11-years-old.

His victim, who his relationship status was cited as being “non-stranger”, was a 10-year-old girl.  

His criminal acts were described as “sexual intercourse”, “sexual contact”, “sexual contact attempted”, “kidnapping/unlawful imprisonment” and “deviate sexual intercourse”. Stuckey was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the offense.

Manhattan's Upper West Side: Mass exodus of residents fleeing the city as NYC defunds police (op-ed)
Anderson Stuckey

Thirty-five-year-old Orlando Velasco was convicted in July of 2011 under the charge of course of sexual conduct against a child in the first-degree against a child under 11-years-old.

The exact details of the relationship to his victim or the victim’s exact age were not reported.

All that was cited was that he’d spent 42-months in prison for the convicted offense.

Manhattan's Upper West Side: Mass exodus of residents fleeing the city as NYC defunds police (op-ed)
Orlando Velasco

Sixty-two-year-old Ronald Butler was convicted in June of 2013 under the charge of third-degree rape of a victim under 17-years-old with an offender over the age of 21-years-old.

His victim, who his relationship status was cited as being “non-stranger”, was a 16-year-old girl.  His criminal acts were described as “more than once sexual contact” and “more than once sexual intercourse”.  

Butler was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison for the offense.

Manhattan's Upper West Side: Mass exodus of residents fleeing the city as NYC defunds police (op-ed)
Ronald Butler

Thirty-seven-year-old Rafael Medina was convicted in September of 2015 under the charge of course of criminal sexual act in the third-degree with an offender over 21-years-old and a victim less than 17-years-old.

His victim, who his relationship status was cited as being “non-stranger”, was a 15-year-old girl.  His criminal acts were described as “sexual contact”. Medina was sentenced to 3 years in prison for the offense.

 

Manhattan's Upper West Side: Mass exodus of residents fleeing the city as NYC defunds police (op-ed)
Rafael Medina

 

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