UES Electeds Promote Vigilance, Calmness after Noteworthy Crimes

Police Line on the Crime Scene
Photo Credit: iStockphoto

Manhattan’s Upper East Side is one of the safest neighborhoods in the whole city, but some recent noteworthy crimes may make it feel less so.

Late last month, a user of the Citizen app reported a stabbing on Lexington Avenue and 90th Street.

Just a few weeks earlier, 24-year-old Alex Ray Scott of Tulsa, Okla. was arrested for brutally killing antique dealer Kenneth Savinski, 64 in his apartment on 83rd Street and Park Avenue. It was the neighborhood’s first murder in several years.

In December, a number of locals’ apartments were burglarized. The suspect utilized their fire escapes to enter the homes.

Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright
Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright

Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright (D-Upper East Side, Yorkville), expressed horror over the crimes. “I am outraged by these latest incidents — including a horrible homicide of a senior citizen,” she told New York County Politics.

“I want to know whether our police are getting the resources they need to do their job. We need all the facts and data to attack the problem now! If I have to convene an anti-crime task force, I will. Our community is among the safest in the city, and we intend to keep it that way.”

Still, data from the New York Police Department’s 19th Precinct, located in the neighborhood, offers reason to hope. The greatest uptick in violent crimes on the Upper East Side have been robberies. However, most of them take the form of verbal threats to drugstore security guards from shoplifters — far from the most extreme variety.

State Senator Liz Krueger
State Senator Liz Krueger

Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Upper East Side, Gramercy, Murray Hill, Midtown) took this information to heart. “”As the NYPD’s own analysts have made clear, there is not enough data yet this year to claim that crime is trending up, nor that bail reform is correlated to the types of crimes showing some early movement,” she said.

“New York City continues to enjoy some of the lowest crime rates in its history, and continues to be far and away the safest big city in America. If it turns out that crime is up relative to recent historic lows, I am confident that the NYPD will be able to continue their successful, data-driven and community-informed strategies to stay on top of it.”