Residents Fear Bowery and Rivington Becoming a Violent ‘Open Air Drug Market’

Posted on: August 7th, 2014 at 5:56 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Looking east down Rivington St.

Earlier this week, we learned about the anti-gay hate crime on Delancey Street last Friday night, in which one woman was slashed across her face. The alleged perpetrator, 32-year-old Takeam Brison, has an arrest record dating back to the 1990s and was reportedly staying in an unnamed homeless shelter on the Bowery.

In response to the resultant media coverage, a Boogie reader tells us that the corner of Rivington and the Bowery has seen an uptick in violence the last six months. The tipster alleges that the increase is attributed to an influx of new “street people” in the vicinity. According to the dispatch, many of the shopkeepers eastward on Rivington “have either been accosted or threatened in their stores, and hotel owners have complained that their guests are fleeing” due to attacks by “these very aggressive street people.” Apparently people have even been attacked in Freeman Alley for the first time in years. We reached out to store owners on the block for comment, but have yet to hear back.

In addition, the area has also become a so-called “open air drug market,” with both dealing and using transpiring in plain sight. Police have reportedly informed residents at recent 5th Precinct community meetings that many are consuming bath salts, which aren’t deemed a criminal substance. “The dealers appear to come from east of us,” the source tells us. Transactions are completed via bicycles. We can confirm this, having seen a deal happen just the other day outside the Bowery Mission.

Our tipster quips, “For the first time in 24 years, I am crossing the street when i see certain people ahead of me.”

Are the oft-romanticized “bad old days” returning here? What are you seeing?

Recent Stories

I May Survive Coronavirus, but My Friendships Won’t [OP-ED]

While I may survive the COVID-19 pandemic, some of my friendships won’t. As xenophobia grips the masses, racist attacks and harassment against Asians are on the rise at home and abroad. While many would condemn attacks or harassment on social media platforms, how many would intervene when it involves friends? Sadly, my guess is probably not […]

Tenement Museum Faces ‘Extraordinary Crisis’ Amidst COVID-19 Shutdown

The Tenement Museum is struggling to stay afloat, as the COVID-19 shutdown eliminated foot traffic and steady funding. Since closing to the public on March 14, the Lower East Side museum laid off 13 full-time employees (out of 66) – mostly from marketing, visitor services, and gift shop – and told another 40 not to […]

Grindr Date at Baruch Houses Gone Awry as Man Robbed with Taser, Amidst COVID-19 Crisis

A man was threatened with a taser and robbed in the Baruch Houses this week after a Gindr meetup gone awry, police said. The victim had been corresponding with another man on the Grindr dating app, and arranged an early-morning meetup at the Baruch Houses on March 23. (Nevermind, COVID-19.) At 7:30am, the victim arrived […]

Bowery Mission Serving Daily Meals to those in Need, Rain or Shine

While thousands across the city are isolating at home, there are others who don’t have many – if any – options for food or shelter during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Bowery Mission is helping to curtail that by handing out meals to people at their Bowery site. Earlier this week, staff and volunteers distributed “to-go” […]

In Memoriam: Big Steve of East 3rd Street

A fixture on the Lower East Side for decades, Juan “Stevie” Guzman passed away last week of heart complications. He was kind, gentle and hilarious. Affectionately known as “Lil’ Steve,” and later, “Big Stevie,” he and his family lived on East 3rd Street and First Avenue since the 1960s. Many of of his relatives still […]