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Graffiti and a gang assault on April 11 have tenant leaders worried that gang violence is on the rise at the Frederick Douglass Houses.

Tenant leaders at the Frederick Douglass Houses say turf conflicts among gangs are on the rise, after an altercation involving a gunshot earlier this month.

DNAinfo reported on Friday that four teens were arrested for disorderly conduct and a fifth on an outstanding warrant on April 11 at 95th Street and Columbus Avenue. The article said that the warrant was from a previous conflict between a group from the Frederick Douglass Houses on West 100th Street and a group from the Wise Towers on West 91st Street.

Police confirmed Sunday that there was a gang assault at the location at 11:05 p.m. on April 11. No arrests were made, but it is possible that summonses were issued.

“A 19-year-old was struck in the face by a group of unknown males. They struck him with a scooter. An unknown perp fired one shot at the victim,” a police spokesperson said.

The incident came as tenant leaders in the Frederick Douglass Houses say tensions are rising among gangs in the area.

“There seems to be a little gang war,” Carmen Quinones, a tenant activist who lives at Frederick Douglass, said on Saturday. “There's been a feud for a long while, and it's starting to really come in these buildings. They've been coming from 94th to Douglass.”

Quinones said that there was graffiti in Frederick Douglass buildings on Thursday night, though police said that there were no reports of graffiti.

“My lobby two days ago was painted in black. They spray painted the whole lobby,” Quinones said about her building, 840 Columbus Ave. “In 825 they painted the lobby red, and then they put a black cloth over it. The glass to the lobby door was painted outside, you couldn't see in or out.”

Neither Quinones nor Madelyn Innocent, a Community Board 7 member and resident at Frederick Douglass, said they knew details about the April 11 fight. Still, they expressed concerns about the larger trends of teen violence they have been seeing.

“What we have now are lost teens and young adults with no direction. Mayor de Blasio has to step up for the teens and young adults, or this summer will be a disaster. These kids are suffering, but no one seems to want to help,” Innocent said, advocating for increased after-school programs and ways to engage youths. 

On Easter Sunday, parents and children were gathered at the buildings' playground areas between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues, with no indication of any unrest.

“I don't know what happened. I heard about it,” Quinones said about the April 11 attack. “I'm quite sure there is going to be more sooner or later.”  |  @EvaKalikoff

Frederick Douglass Houses Public Housing NYCHA New York City Housing Authority City Housing Police NYPD gangs
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