The 114th Precinct's Osvaldo Nuñez holds informational meeting Manhattan Park’s Theatre Club
On Monday evening, the New York Police Department's 114th Precinct Commander, Deputy Inspector Osvaldo "Ozzie" Nuñez addressed Islanders at Manhattan Park’s Theatre Club about the recent shooting, and our crime statistics. He also offered tips for Islanders to stay safe.
According to Nuñez, three apartments were hit by gunshot, across the river at luxury high-rise, One East River Place, on 72nd street. One apartment was hit on the early morning of Saturday, August 18, and the second two apartments were hit early Saturday morning. The 911 call made by 30 River Road staff took place the second night, as did the video that NYPD released to the public. There was a 911 call the first night from a tenant in the first apartment hit that went to the 19th Precinct across the river on the Upper East Side.
On August 24, a week after the shootings took place, 22-year old Island resident Farris Koruma surrendered to authorities with an attorney present. He is currently out on bail. Nuñez said Koruma has an “extensive arrest history,” with 17 prior arrests, some of them for violent crimes, that include one period of incarceration. He also said Koruma is a “crew member.” Crews, explained Nuñez, are “interchangeable with gangs,” but he clarified that “gangs are bigger. Crews are more local, they only cover a couple of blocks.”
“There is one crew we track on this Island,” Nuñez said, “it is largely inactive, but he is a member of it.” The crew has 15 members in total, 14 of whom live here. It was been almost a year since the last arrest of a crew member. Four of the crewmembers have been arrested with firearms.
The police executed a search in Koruma’s apartment but they did not recover a firearm.
They used video and social media to find Koruma. “Anytime a crime occurs, we do a video canvas,” said Nuñez. “We got the video from a building and that video led us to an arrest.” The other person pictured in the video circulated by the NYPD, Koruma’s girlfriend, did not get arrested and she has cooperated with the police.
How it Works
The 114th precinct, located in Astoria, Queens polices Roosevelt Island. Yet the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of violations of New York state laws that occur here. “Until they give the 19th precinct a helicopter, I’m the only one with land access,” explained Nuñez.
In general, Nuñez said, “Fighting crime is a partnership. Each officer is here eight hours a day. You people live here so you see a lot more than we do, and you hear a lot more than we do.”
He suggested to always call 911, and let them investigate. If there is something additional you can offer the 911 operator perhaps about the person's appearance or a pattern of activity you have noticed, that helps them narrow down their search. “It gives us legal authority to stop this person and starts us at a higher level of suspicion,” explained Nuñez. He gave the example of telling the 911 officer that the suspect has a pink bandana hanging out of his left pocket.
Additionally, Public Safety Chief Jack McManus and his team know the crew members on the Island and work with NYPD.
The NYPD has a crime prevention officer who is available to survey your apartment or business for breaks in security. They will assist with locks or alarm systems.
There are two neighborhood coordination officers, that Nuñez calls “my liason to the community,” Officer Joseph Esposito and Officer Keith Mathes. They should be contacted for long-term, chronic, quality of life issues that you wouldn’t call 911 for, for example noise, traffic, public drinking.
McManus said that the blue light alarm phones that encircle the Cornell Tech campus will soon be extended to the rest of the Island. They are towers with a blue light on top, and a call button. Once a call button is pressed, the phone instantly connects to the Public Safety Department.
For Islanders who want to be more involved with Island safety and security, or feel they have something to add, McManus suggested they attend Public Safety Department Committee meetings “it’s an actionable committee,” he said.
Crime on the Island
According to Nuñez, Roosevelt Island is the “quietest part of the 114th precinct.” He explained that of the seven major index crimes tracked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, over 1000 have occurred in 2018 in the precinct. Of that 1000, only 21 have taken place on Roosevelt Island.
He said there was a pattern of burglaries late last year, and they arrested someone who is part of Koruma’s crew for the crimes. Because he was out on parole for burglary, he received a 14 year sentence. “That is the last significant crime issue we had here.”
Where Koruma himself is concerned, citing all of the media attention this crime received, Nuñez said, “I don't think you’ll have any trouble out of this gentleman in the near future.”
The last incident of gun violence on the Island took place four years ago. McManus said, “Two residents via social media met up with a guy presumably to buy marijuana and they attempted to rip him off. In the process he got shot, and one of the perpetrators got shot. We know a lot of the players. That was the last firearm related incident. We don’t take a lot of firearms in.”
To Stay in touch with the 114th Precinct:
Follow them on twitter
Follow them on Facebook
Check their website for information about their community council monthly meetings
Contact Our Neighborhood Coordination Officers Joseph Esposito or Keith Matthes