Monday’s Headlines: Criminal Mischief Special Edition

Check out "Criminal Mischief" on Twitter   and on Spotify
Check out "Criminal Mischief" on Twitter and on Spotify

It was a huge weekend on the criminal mischief beat!

I thought my criminal mischief series on Twitter was dying out, but on Friday, I out of my sick bed (I find I’m literally always sick these days) to undertake yet another one-man crime spree against cops!

On Friday, your irascible old scribe caught so many more law enforcement officials covering or defacing their plate that “criminal mischief” posts filled my Twitter feed (and I racked up scores of listeners to the “Criminal Mischief” theme song on the Spotify page for my “band,” Jimmy and the Jaywalkers).

First, I caught a cop or NYPD employee with a true ghost car on Ridge Street in the Seventh Precinct:

Then, I caught a court officer on Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn:

Then I caught a former NYPD hostage negotiator (really) who now works for Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg — and discovered that he has a sly way of avoiding tickets. (I reached out to the DA’s office, but heard only crickets — and I spoke to the officer in question, which I mention in the video below.)

Then I caught a cop in front of the Fifth Precinct station house who had both his plates defaced (I fixed them for him!):

Then I found another cop on Baxter Street near the courthouses, also putting himself in double-jeopardy with two scratched out plates:

After all that Friday fun, Vice News dropped its incisive report on plate defacement based on my criminal mischief series. It’s worth a watch:

That’s a lot of action for one weekend, and it made me wonder: at what point do the mayor, the police commissioner and other law enforcement officials feel embarrassed that a lone 57-year-old man with a camera and a paint pen is so easily exposing their corrupt officers every single day.

Or maybe they can’t be shamed because they have no shame.

In other news from a busy weekend:

  • The best opinion piece of the last few days was Jon Orcutt’s Daily News piece on congestion pricing. His main takeaway is his (and all of our) frustration that this is taking so long: “It’s the law of the land, so why does it still feel like a distant policy pipe-dream? Congestion pricing is an active MTA plan and imperative to fight paralyzing gridlock, climate change, and to fund MTA projects, but its public vibe is that of a political zombie lurching through procedure-dom. … Very few elected officials have spoken up in favor of the plan. Mayor Adams has unhelpfully straddled the fence, claiming to support congestion pricing while stating it “must be done right” and complaining about lack of city input, without saying what he wants or using his huge megaphone to propose any specifics.”
  • The best analysis piece of the last few days was Eden Weingart’s piece in the New York Times about America’s ongoing unrequited love affair with highway widenings. The takeaway: “A few years after a highway is widened, research shows, traffic — and the greenhouse gas emissions that come along with it — often returns. … Over the next five years, states will receive $350 billion in federal dollars for highways through the infrastructure law enacted last year. While some have signaled a change in their approach to transportation spending many still are pursuing multibillion dollar widening projects, including in Democratic-led states with ambitious climate goals.”
  • Nine more subway station bathrooms will open on Monday. (amNY)
  • The Daily News interviewed David Biolsi, the grieving husband of Tamara Chuchi Kao, the Citi Bike rider who was killed in Astoria last week.
  • The News also had more on Edwin Rivera, the hit-and-run victim we wrote about last week. He had been hit twice before by drivers before the fatal crash.
  • Billionaire Mets owner Steve Cohen met with Flushing and Corona neighbors to figure out what to do with the 50 acres of useless parking lots around Citi Field (hint: he wants a casino). (NY Post)
  • There were roughly 63,000 reported car crashes last year in New York City, injuring 49,092 people — nearly 13,900 of whom were bicyclists or pedestrians. The staggering cost of all those crashes — on human life, on property — is almost certainly in the billions of dollars. But the NY Post focused instead on shooting victims, whose stories and pain are very real, but pale by comparison.
  • An off-duty firefighter was charged with driving drunk. (NY Post)
  • Remember that successful Queens composting program? It’s going on its winter break. (The City)
  • The Staten Island Advance did its annual review of the busiest speed cameras on the Rock which sought to explain, as the headline said, “How drivers are getting snagged.” How are they getting “snagged”? They’re driving more than 10 miles above the speed limit, that’s how!
  • We enjoyed the story in the Times about people in upstate Chatham who are fighting to protect their small town’s dirt roads because they remind locals of more peaceful times. In other words, before cars ruined everything.
  • And speaking of how bad cars are, Council Member Julie Menin on the East Side wants the DOT to do something about the car-choked intersection of Second Avenue and 62nd Street near the Queensboro Bridge. (Patch)