Then, on Saturday, a 53-year-old man, who police said was emotionally disturbed, injured five people with a van before driving it into a pond on the Rosedale neighborhood side of Brookville Park.
It was an unusually violent stretch for the two neighborhoods, enclaves of African-Americans and Caribbean immigrants just north of John F. Kennedy International Airport that are separated by Brookville Park.
âThis is a quiet, middle-class, close-knit neighborhood,â said Councilman Donovan J. Richards, a Democrat who represents both areas. âIn the summer, normally the complaints are about music. So weâre certainly not used to this level of shootings, bombs going off and the pedestrians being hit. Itâs really put the community on edge.â
The neighborhoods are part of the 105th Precinct, the fifth-largest in the city at more than 12 square miles. After decades of calls from community leaders to address an increase in quality-of-life crimes and slow response times by the police, the city is spending $70 million to split the 105th in two. Eight days before Mr. Simpson was killed, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James P. OâNeill unveiled the site of the new 116th Precinct on North Conduit Avenue in Rosedale.
Mr. Simpsonâs murder was the second this year in the 105th Precinct, and the police believe it may have been part of a pattern of robberies near the Breezes Island Grill Restaurant and Lounge since the spring. Officials circulated a photo of the suspect, Tyson Boateng, 31, who was paroled on a drug conviction in January. He had not been apprehended by Sunday.
In the latest violent episode, five people, including two pedestrians, were hospitalized for injuries ranging from minor to serious after the van driver struck a Hyundai Sonata and pushed it onto the sidewalk before veering into the park.
The driver was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation. Charges were pending against him, the…