Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Further News, While Mayor Bloomberg Contemplates New Yorkers' Salt Intake

NyPo again:

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday described the Easter Sunday gang rampage through Times Square as "wilding" -- a loaded term that strikes fear into New Yorkers who remember the bad old days when packs of marauding youths roamed the streets.

A law-enforcement official agreed, saying, "it was something out of the late 1980s and early '90s."

The violence left three people hit by bullets -- one of them near the doorstep of The New York Times building -- and one shot with a BB.

As of yesterday, cops had charged 33 people with crimes ranging from gang assault to disorderly conduct. Another 23 got summonses for lesser offenses.

"The mayhem in Midtown appears to be a bunch of gang members wilding and it certainly has nothing to do with terrorism or anything else," said Mayor Bloomberg, who was asked if the city had pulled too many officers from the streets to fight terror.

"This is just a bunch of people who shouldn't be on the streets if they behave this way, and we're not going to stand for it," he said.

The word "wilding" entered the city's lexicon in 1989 during the NYPD investigation of the brutal rape of a jogger in Central Park.

Several youths questioned in the attack had used the term to describe their activities that day.

This weekend's bedlam came as the city struggles with an upswing in crime and budget cuts that reduced the ranks of the NYPD.

About 1,000 youths began filling the sidewalks along West 42nd Street Sunday evening, some coming from the New York Auto Show at the Javits Center. The car show on Easter Sunday has become a gang magnet.

"I was shocked. I've been here 25 years and I can't believe anything like this can happen in Times Square," said Gary Babb, 53, who owns a business on West 40th St. "I don't like to use the word scared, but this is very unhealthy for the city."

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