On Monday evening, April 26, residents from two different areas in Kew Gardens Hills became victims of disturbing crimes. Following a late Maariv at Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim, a member of the Yeshiva’s kollel was headed home along 78th Road between 147th Street and 150th Street when he was attacked from behind by three African American teens in what is believed to be an attempted mugging. The avreich, who was dressed in a jacket and black hat, began to scream as he was clobbered to the ground. Fortunately, his shouting was heard by neighbors who rushed out chasing away the delinquents. The NYPD was contacted and arrived swiftly, but could not locate the criminals. The avreich later went down to the 107th police precinct to deliver a statement.

Residents in the area, many also members of the Chofetz Chaim family, remained on high alert Tuesday. When asked if they were aware of the incident, they all responded affirmatively. “I feel afraid to go outside after dark; I should not have to feel this way in Kew Gardens Hills,” one resident said. When asked when her husband normally arrives home, the young mother, who identified herself only as Chava, said, “I will be on a phone call with my husband when he walks home each night; we have a budding family to think about.” Chava stressed that the episode would not deter her husband from attending normal Yeshiva sedarim, adding that extra caution would be taken.

Adina, another devoted wife of a kollel husband, offered a different approach. “When my husband heard about what happened to his friend, he decided to commit to walking home with a partner until the assailants were caught.” In a separate incident shared on social media, homes on 71st Avenue between Main Street and 141st Street were subjected to unwarranted mailbox searches. The report suggested that the wrongdoers also attempted to enter homes by jiggling on door handles. Neighbors all seemed to be aware of the incident on Tuesday afternoon, but did not seem perturbed. “We keep our doors locked and pay our bills wirelessly,” said a young mother as she wheeled a stroller. “My husband insists on paperless billing since the day we got married.”

It remains of utmost importance to always remain vigilant when outdoors, especially after dark. Never hesitate to call on law enforcement if something feels amiss.

By QJL Staff