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Mayor Murray: My Concerns on the Roxen Road Assault

Mayor expresses anger over attack; says he won't tolerate this behavior in RVC.

This was a letter written by RVC Mayor Francis Murray.

On June 18, two residents of our community, a husband and wife, had a violent exchange with a pack of teenagers who also live in our village.

I have received hundreds of phone calls and numerous letters about this incident and I am stopped on the street every day by residents who want to talk about it. All are outraged; they are demanding answers and justice.

I try to be a calm and reserved man, but I must admit that this outrageous assault has my blood boiling. I am infuriated that such a thing could happen in our village.

While I don’t have personal knowledge of the events, and the facts could become the subject of legal proceedings, it is my understanding that a mother of three was out walking her dog, minding her own business, when she was approached by these out of control young men and made the recipient of a disgusting verbal onslaught.

Later, her husband came to the aid of his shaken wife and the two of them went looking for an apology. What these men delivered instead was a brutal, undeserved, bone-breaking beating.

I will not tolerate this kind of behavior and this level of disrespect for our community while I sit in Village Hall as your Mayor. All our residents should be able to feel safe to go out at night, to take a walk or put out the garbage or walk a dog.

People have said I have been quiet about this case. I assure you that it has not been brushed aside. It is a major priority of our Board and our police department. The police commissioner briefs me daily about the progress on this investigation. It is on my mind 24/7.

As I said in the press last week, the Village Board and I have directed our police commissioner to pursue this case aggressively and I believe he, with the help of outside agencies, has been doing so.

I want to thank all those neighbors on Roxen Road who saw something and said something and those who came out of their houses to directly intervene and stop this horrific attack.

My fellow residents: You elected me to this office a year ago. Since then, the Board and I have guided this Village through some trying and troubling times. I know from experience that no one can do this alone. So far, I have been able to count on you to stand up for our community and together we have solved the problems that have come our way. I am asking for your help again.

We will soon be putting new emphasis on organizing neighborhood block watch programs in our residential areas. These groups can be a huge help to our police and can have a very positive effect on our neighborhoods. Please watch for further information on how you can participate in these efforts.

I will also be writing to all school officials in our area, including South Side High School and Middle School, St. Agnes Cathedral School, Chaminade, Kellenberg, Sacred Heart, Holy Trinity and others, inviting them to Village Hall at the end of August to discuss what else we might do to address our community’s concerns about this incident and about the behaviors that can lead to others like it.

I believe that together we will be able to preserve our sense of community and make Rockville Centre an even better place to live.

Charles Bronson July 14, 2012 at 08:52 PM
No cans yet, maybe the kids got the message, but the weekend is not over yet.
joe thrapp July 15, 2012 at 02:03 AM
@Johnson, We have more police than Freeport or Hempstead. We don't need more police, we need less police sitting in headquarters and more police patrols placed strategically around the village. The solution is not to pay police more for an inadequate patrol response. The solution is to start a dialogue with the police and demand that more of the existing RVC police are put on patrol. I would not sleep well living in this village thinking police did not respond to reported crimes because they want more money or are waiting for a raise above 185K for the current police chief. Lastly, I do not believe that the Roxen road incident is any reason for the village to be in a state of panic. My wife and I feel safe to walk this village anywhere, anytime night or day and feel safe.
Concerned July 15, 2012 at 06:16 AM
@joebush, if you were to do some research before posting, you would know that the Rockville Centre Police have about half the cops of Freeport or Hempstead. Obviously from your posts here on the Patch you continually post false information without any facts. From their website - "The Department a sworn strength of 52 police officers and a support staff of 41 civilians, including dispatchers, neighborhood aides and 20 crossing guards." You seem to complain a lot about the police. Whenever I have called them for an emergency (I had to call them twice in all the years I have lived here), they have always done a great job.
joe July 15, 2012 at 08:11 PM
In my opinion Mayor Murray along with the Police Commissioner have been dealt a tough hand in this horrible senseless crime. But I believe they are handling the it best they can and in the right way. My only question in concern to this horrible night is why haven't the hosts of the party where these kids all were drinking that night been arrested? What are we teaching them if they are not arrested. Obviously the parents didn't teach them how to respect women. These kids leave this party and go out and abuse a women walking her dog then brutally beat up her husband? The hosts lawyered up quick after the son was involved. But he has not been arrested yet? Then this moron who is a young adult posts on twitter how tough he was that night when he and his boys beat up the victim and using a horrible racial term to describe it in his post. Newsflash for the real smart punk who posted on Twitter. You live on Overlook lane you spoiled brat not in the "hood". You can delete all the posts you want but things on the internet never go away. Hopefully you and your boys can prove how tough you are in jail. If I am a betting man I will say your crying within 3 hours in the orange.
Charles Bronson July 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Will tomorrows town meeting be televised? I will be out of town for a gun show. I can't wait to see this. Good luck Mayor.
Johnny Rack truck July 16, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Well said Joe, I am hoping to read about that arrest soon also. This whole incident was way, way out of line. It literally hits home in a sickening way. No respect for women, no respect for their elders, no respect for the law. Period. This is un-acceptable at any level. Chances are good that alcohol was not the only substance abused that night. They bragged about that too. These families have no idea what they have on their hands.
joe thrapp July 16, 2012 at 05:17 AM
@concerned, Yes Freeport and Hempstead have more police because their population is much larger than RVC. RVC has a higher ration of police per thousand people than Freeport and Hempstead.I know how many police are in Freeport and Hempstead and what their crime rates are do you? So before you start correcting people get the facts straight and start helping get the RVC police out of headquarters and out on patrol where they belong. I never said the RVC police don't do a good job, I've always said we have enough police and they can do more.
G Lantern July 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Dear Mr. Mayor, Over the past several years our Police and Auxiliary Police have pushed these kids from one location to another to another and then to another. What happened to taking down the names of these kids and or issuing them appearance tickets so that our officials can give them community service and or inform their parents. I've seen the officers disburse the kids from the foot bridges, rear of seven eleven, rear of the movie theater, etc... They don't take names, they don't take kids home, all they do is push them from the area of the complaint which fails to address the problem. Community Watch Programs are a start, Maybe change the Auxiliary Police to a Police Reserve, so that they could issue appearance tickets. The Village of Malverne seems to do more with there Police Reserves then we allow our Auxiliaries to do. What happened to our Police Youth Officer, how many appearance tickets has he/she made to our youths, what about our judges...are they taking this problem seriously ? I understand your frustration, and suggest you make changes. The current rules that our official have been using are not working. Thank You!
joe thrapp July 16, 2012 at 02:02 PM
@concerned, I have never complained about the police and I do believe we have good police patrol officers. What I have always said is we have more police per thousand people than high crime communities like Freeport and Hempstead and Nassau County, with a support staff ratio of almost one support staff to every police patrol office. My point has always been we have to many RVC police compared to other communities, we could do less with more. If the RVC police patrol was managed strategically and not randomly and more police were out on patrol than hanging out at Headquarters and sitting in patrol cars place strategically around the village, this would cut down on response time,and catch more criminals, I also do not believe paying RVC police an average salary of 145K more money is justified to get better service. I believe pay will not improve their already good police skills. In these times of government overspending and budget deficits, we need to make smart decisions on managing government departments were there are opportunities to reduce costs.
Frank July 16, 2012 at 02:32 PM
@ G Lantern. Well Written and Succinct. You should draft that onto letterhead and mail it to the Mayor.
opinion-ated July 16, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Sign on Village Hall today says "139 Person Capacity Limit will be strictly enforced" So I guess they are expecting a big turn out! ....Better head over early if your going!
opinion-ated July 17, 2012 at 01:24 PM
The police do bring kids home from the bridge. It happened to a friend of mines son. The police do what they can with the system that is in place, we just need more of them and more of a constant presence everywhere in town. I remember when the house burglaries were happening, people wanted more police patrols. Its the obvious answer. A foot patrol along Park Ave would be nice too.
Frank July 17, 2012 at 04:19 PM
@ opinion-ated. Great idea. I think an upgrade of the RVC Auxiliary is a good idea too (G Lantern mentioned Police reserve...).
Anonymous July 18, 2012 at 01:59 AM
This is for joebush. Have you ever thought that even though there are 52 patrol police officers, its hard to manage all of RVC? While you are sitting here dissing the mayor and police, they are trying to help. In some eyes, a brutal beating does make RVC unsafe, becuase there are alot of younger kids in this town, and as a parent, I wouldnt want one of my kids getting hurt.
Anonymous July 18, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Hi resident, It probably could be instilled, but, i dont believe it should be a mandatory course, becuase for example, my kids do not drink, so why should they have to sit through this class, while they want to take a different elective?
Anonymous July 18, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Hey Frank, Even if the man was trying to be chivalrous, wouldnt it be common sense if they verbally abused the wife to call authorities? I understand that he didnt want the disrespect of his wife to just dissapear, but trying to confront a GROUP of teens under the influence of alcohol is just stupid. Its obvious they wouldnt be thinking straight and something might go wrong.
Resident July 18, 2012 at 04:09 AM
The police are too busy patrolling the rec center parking lot and the alley behind the building. At almost any given time you can find a cop resting and hiding out by the rec.
Elle917 July 19, 2012 at 04:58 AM
First, it starts with the parents. Stop wearing blinders to the behaviour of your kids. Talking back to parents, disrespecting authority and vandalizing property is NOT okay and it is NOT a phase they are going thru - it is the beginning of a troubled teenage life and a ticket to future rehab or prison. Next, if RVC local bars, restaurants, delis, supermarkets, bodegas, and liquor stores would be fined heavily for serving or selling alcohol to minors, you would see less of the drunken, out of control disgraceful behaviour including falling on your face drunken young ladies and public urination, vandalism and pranking among young men. If these behaviours would not be excused, ignored, dismissed, denied or laughed about, the RVC teens would stand a chance of growing up without a police record or an alcoholism or drug problem. Let ALL stop wearing blinders and face the truth - RVC teens need our help - from parents, schools, churches, temples, the entire community - before it is too late and RVC becomes a graffiti-ridden, lawless suburban ghetto. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Let's stop blaming others and start fixing the problem - it starts at home.
J Inglima July 19, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Although I'm relieved that this horrific situation is being addressed in an aggressive manner, I must respectfully suggest that the RVC police spend more of their time OUTSIDE of their headquarters. Intoxicated teenagers wreak havoc in this village, particularly on the weekends. My own property has been vandalized, as well as my neighbor's, which resulted in costly repairs for both. It's simply not right. Many of these teenagers cut through the dead end of Sherman Avenue, and they leave a trail of debris and empty beer cans in their path. The residents are then forced to clean up their mess, and there is absolutely no recourse. The police need to be hypervigilant with their patrol, particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings. Individuals have called the police to complain repeatedly, incidents are noted, and little is done. These kids do not perceive the officers as formidable, and they know they can get away with their debauchery. Kids are kids, and they will try to transgress. It is up to the police to be a VISIBLE presence in our community so that these teenagers are intimidated. Most of the youngsters in our community are wonderful, but there is a core group of them who have been used to violating the rights of their neighbors. I am utterly convinced that if these officers were spotted all around town, driving up and down residential streets, these troublemakers would get a very powerful message. It's time that we take back control of our community!
J Inglima July 19, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Police officers must patrol up and down the residential streets in order to be a visible and intimidating presence to these teens. This has to be a consistent and cooperative effort - not every now and then. Kids know they can get away with their mischief..
opinion-ated August 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Now that summer is almost over....what changes in the Village have come from this incident? ..... Will I feels safe walking my dog tonight?
opinion-ated August 28, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Well its the end of August. Was there a meeting?? What was decided?? What changes have been made??
joe thrapp August 28, 2012 at 03:59 PM
opinion-ated, Mayor Franny is just like another old Mayor. He was not going to address this situation until the residents sent 200 to village hall and then locked 75 out into the street. Mayor Franny is looking into the attack, no further outcry no further action, possible 7.5% police raises,no further outcry no further action, a 8.0% increase in village taxes breaking the NYS 2% property tax cap,no further outcry no further action, giving away Centennial park to Molloy college, no further outcry no further action. double digit increase to our electric rates,no further outcry no further action. Let one of Mayor Franny's friends (FOF) who does not even live in RVC on Sunrise Highway ask for Planning board approval to make a change to start an additional business to their self storage business,approved. Forget about minimum parking spaces required for the new business, there are none. Mayor Franny gave away 250 parking spots to his main supporters South Nassau Community Hospital and Molloy College, now there are no available spots. Forget about the law where the application requires approval by the Village engineer. Mayor Franny's lawyer on the board approved it. Knowing he broke the law to accommodate one of FOF. Forget about ever other RVC resident who applies for a variance. If the application is incomplete like this one, not a FOF, application rejected. 8 attackers 3 arrested 5 remain free to attack again. FOF ????
joe thrapp August 28, 2012 at 04:16 PM
opinion-ated, have you noticed patrol cars positioned around the village? Have you noticed a police foot patrol on Roxen Road, on North Centre? in the downtown? I haven't. Tick, Tock the clock is running Mayor Franny.
opinion-ated August 28, 2012 at 05:02 PM
FOF huh? cute. Political Favors will never go away. However, maybe you should become Friends with Police Chief Charles ( FPCC) and let him know 5 attackers are free. Do you have real Proof of this?... evidence to share??.... or is just more RVC gossip? We need REAL change. The rumors go round and round the Lawyers make it all go away . NOTHING changes.
opinion-ated August 28, 2012 at 05:06 PM
No Joe B I have not. Maybe we need to assemble at Police Headquarters not the Village Hall. or...maybe a Gang of us could hang out outside the Mayors Home?
joe thrapp August 28, 2012 at 05:43 PM
opinion-ated., The Patch, the Herald and Newsday reported from police reports that there were 8 attackers. If this is not true than somebody is liable for giving a false police report. I believe they could be arrested. I also read that, first Moore was arrested, then DiPerna was arrested and a couple of weeks later Coyle was arrested. If the Police report is correct these three alleged attackers acted by themselves and the other five alleged attackers do not exist and their ghosts have gone off to college. I read a lot and I tried to only deal in the facts. If I misstate a fact for a piece of gossip, I will always admit it and correct it. I think a we should all attend another Village board meeting. The next one is August 30th. I think getting a gang together is how this whole attack business began. I think getting a gang together may not be the best way forward. Good Afternoon.
opinion-ated August 28, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I agree a lot was written as to how many were involved. I don't know where these numbers come. The Police Commissioner himself said eye witnesses refused to come forth. I assume they need more evidence to arrest. So in less those that saw something come forth, or those arrested speak out or others admit guilt, I wouldn't doubt some might escape justice. Perhaps others were part of the gang, but did not actually physically assault? I don't know. Only those who witnessed it know. Sorry, you are right, my gang Joke was not Politically correct. 275 people is a "Large Crowd". Just thought the mayor might need to experience what many of us do on any given night on our streets.
joe thrapp August 28, 2012 at 06:45 PM
opinion-ated, It looks like the RVC PD reads the patch. They just announced an informal meeting at the village hall on September 10th. It would be better if they held the meeting at the REC center so they could accommodate 200 people. See you then.
opinion-ated August 28, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Okay, its about time. I agree The Rec Center would be a better place.

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