Jul 28, 2014
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Concerns About Safety after North Massapequa Police Chase

Residents near where suspects were spotted say street has had past problems.

Concerns About Safety after North Massapequa Police Chase Concerns About Safety after North Massapequa Police Chase Concerns About Safety after North Massapequa Police Chase

Jittery North Massapequa residents where the chase that led to say they there have been problems in the neighborhood before.

A gray Honda that police believed caused a crash that seriously injured an officer from the Seventh Precinct was photographed on South Park Drive was photographed just before the crash. Residents say the desolate street, which runs parallel to the parkway, has long attracted suspicious people from outside the area.

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"It's horrible what goes on here," said Steven Esposito, who lives on the street. "People racing on the street, interlopers, people who walk their dogs and don't even live in the neighborhood."

Esposito, 56, who has lived on the street for 50 years, says he recently saw a driver speeding down the street in reverse. The area is also a magnet for outsiders because there are no homes on one side of the road and a water storage facility makes it difficult to see parked cars.

Police believe the two men who were inside the Honda went to the neighborhood to change license plates.

Esposito said that cars often come into to the neighborhood all the time.

"You don't know if they're up to something or just eating a sandwich," he said. "It's just something that you deal with."

The homeowner, who lives with his elderly mother, said that police are often called to the street. But if residents don't get a license plate number for those who speed or engage in other illegal activity, there's not much they can do.

"We could use some help," he said. "But you can't call for everything."

Esposito said the Town of Oyster Bay recently installed brighter lights on the street.

Another resident, who asked not to be identified, said the town should get more involved.

"This is a problem area, " the resident said. "We'd like to see the Town step in. We'd like to get more lights, maybe a 'No Parking Anytime' sign. Maybe have more patrols. I would like to say at night, but this happened in the daytime."

Currently, parking is prohibited during overnight hours on the side of the street that does not have homes. Residents say that directive is often ignored.

Phyllis Barry, a spokeswoman for the Town of Oyster Bay, said legislation would be required to change the parking regulation and urged the residents to contact the supervisor's office or Councilman Joe Muscarella, who lives nearby.

"I can tell you for certain if residents reach out to us, they'll look into it," Barry said. 

Joe Pollina, another longtime resident, said his thoughts were with the injured officer. "I don't like it, I don't like it at all," he said. "I read in the paper they slammed on the brakes, I hope she holds on."

Esposito said his mother has been very nervous since the incident. "I'm just telling her to stay low and keep her head down at night."

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