STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- While crime in New York City at large is down within the past year, Staten Island has seen a surge in felony assaults, driven by attacks on police officers and domestic violence cases.
According to data from the NYPD’s CompStat database, Staten Island has seen the greatest increase in felony assaults among the patrol boroughs of New York City, with a 23.3% increase from this time last year. Since Jan. 1, the borough has seen 735 incidents of felony assault, whereas at this time last year, Staten Island had experienced 596 incidents, the data shows.
During an NYPD press conference on Wednesday, executive officials briefed members of the media on these and other third-quarter crime statistics. Officials shared insights into strategies used to combat crime during the past summer months, and provided statistics and figures on criminal activity across the city.
Despite overall crime citywide being down by 0.5% in comparison to this time last year, as noted by the NYPD’s CompStat database, felony assault and grand larceny auto are the two major sectors of crime that have seen an increase.
Thus far this year, there have been 21,133 reported incidents of felony assault citywide. At this time last year, there were 19,959 incidents recorded, a 5.9% increase, data shows.
On Staten Island, the 123rd Precinct, on the Island’s South Shore, experienced the lowest number of felony assaults, but it also showed the greatest percent change within the past year, an increase of more than 45%. The 120th Precinct saw the greatest number of felony assaults, 352. And the 121st Precinct saw the smallest growth in felony assaults, just 4.1%.
Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael LiPetri, one of the officials in attendance at the briefing, cited the two categories responsible for the spike in felony assaults.
“Our increase in felony assaults are driven by two categories: assaults on police officers, and when we drill down on that, obviously our enforcement is way up, and unfortunately our assaults on our police officers are up,” LiPetri said. “We also have an increase in domestic violence felony assaults. So those are the two categories that basically make up the third-quarter increase, as it does for the year.”
Recently, Staten Island has been no stranger to incidents in which a suspect assaults a law-enforcement officer. Just last month, a 26-year-old man sprayed red paint into the face of a male police officer.
In May, two cops were injured when a Great Kills man became uncooperative in an investigation and eventually resisted arrest. Both officers suffered injuries as a result. One received a mild concussion, while another suffered an arm sprain.
“There is a simple reason that assaults on cops are going up,’' said NYC Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Hendry. “It’s because anti-police activists – many of them on the public payroll – have normalized violent resistance against police officers.
“Charges against criminals who assault cops are frequently downgraded or thrown out, while hard-working cops are having their careers destroyed for using appropriate force to defend themselves or safely make an arrest. Police officers are literally getting beaten up in this environment. It’s another reason that cops are still quitting in droves.”
In addition to violence against police officers, domestic violence cases account for more than 50% of Staten Island’s felony assaults, according to the office of District Attorney Michael E. McMahon.
Just this Sunday, an event was held at Willowbrook Park to kickoff Domestic Violence Awareness month.
The following is a breakdown of felony assault numbers by precinct on Staten Island:
Felony assault cases from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1, 2023: 352
Felony Assault cases from Jan 1. to Oct. 1, 2022: 301
Percent change: Increase of 16.9%
Felony assault cases from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1, 2023: 177
Felony Assault cases from Jan 1. to Oct. 1, 2022: 170
Percent change: Increase of 4.1%
Felony assault cases from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1, 2023: 135
Felony Assault cases from Jan 1. to Oct. 1, 2022: 93
Percent change: Increase of 45.2%