The East Village has gone south.
Residents and retailers in the liberal Manhattan bastion are fed up with its ever-growing population of unhinged vagrants, random street crime — and the city’s laissez-faire attitude toward both.
The Ninth Precinct, which spans from East 14th Street to Houston Street, has seen an 17% spike in felony assault, an 7% jump in rape, and a 7% increase in grand larceny auto so far this year when compared 2022’s year-to-date numbers, police data shows.
Total major crimes in the historically eccentric neighborhood so far in 2023 may have eased from their pandemic peak a year earlier but are still on track to exceed those for 2019 by a staggering 42%.
“I’m one of the very many liberals that live in New York City and it feels like we don’t want to say this is happening — and it definitely is happening,” said one 38-year-old dog walker.
In June, the dog-walker said he was groped twice by a crazed woman in the Tompkins Square Park area — around the same time a psycho had gone on a tear in the green space by dragging a woman by her hair, and then lunging at a mom holding her child.
“It doesn’t feel safe like it used to,” the dog-walker said, adding he didn’t file police report because he “gave up on the cops giving a s—t about anything awhile ago.”
Several retailers told The Post it’s as if they’ve been left to fend for themselves and their businesses, with 787 Coffee Co. chain CEO Brandon Peña characterizing calls to police over burglaries and aggressive disturbances at his locations in the neighborhood as “a waste of our time.”
“There are many times we don’t even call the police anymore,” Peña said about his staff. “They seem tired and not really interested.”
In mid-May, at the company’s now-shuttered East 14th Street cafe, a “homeless guy came and got a chair and threw it at someone,” Peña said. “We also called the police, and nothing happened.”
The NYPD said it did not have a record of any 911 calls for the incident.
Down the block, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A, an open-air bazaar chockfull of dirt-cheap wares has plagued the busy thoroughfare for more than a year, drawing locals’ ire.
In front of chains like CVS and Target, shirtless, glassy-eyed vendors hawk everything from jump ropes to remote control cars — much of which is believed to have been boosted from storefronts along the block.
“They sell it literally right across the street,” said one 18-year-old Target employee, minutes after a man was busted for attempting to swipe merchandise. “To be honest, it’s pretty inconvenient.”
“Some days it is so bad that pedestrians cannot cross the intersection at 14th and 1st because [the] homeless have so many belongings and tables set up there,” added dog trainer Garrett Rosso, 63.
The scene has become so outrageous that East 14th Street resident and disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner has badgered lefty Councilwoman Carlina Rivera and the Sanitation Department at least “three or four times” in the past year or so to get the thoroughfare cleared.
Weiner, who complained about having to step over people hawking looted pots and pans while walking his pre-teen son to school, said the area stays clean for maybe a few days.
“They’re doing what they can, they’re putting the finger in the dike every once in a while,” said Weiner, who chalked up the area’s woes to rampant drug use, empty storefronts and even a nearby church’s flea market. “But you know, it reverts to its state of affairs.”
Kris Singer, 38, a 15-year resident of the neighborhood, ripped into Mayor Eric Adams for failing to provide more social services to the impoverished and mentally ill.
“We’ve got a mayor who focuses on the rats and not helping people,” Singer said. “If we spent more time supporting people who need it, we could see a decrease in crime.”
The NYPD insisted it has tried to address concerns about crime and quality of life in the East Village, a police spokesperson said, noting an inter-agency task force has regularly addressed illegal vending and homelessness along East 14th Street.
“The women and men of the NYPD remain steadfast in their ongoing efforts to drive down crime, improve the quality of life in New York City, and earn the confidence of those who live in, work in, and visit the city,” the spokesperson said.
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