Steps away from the frustrating parking chaos at the Crescent Deck, a more frightening scenario played out on Saturday night. The flyer (already being distributed downtown), alerts residents and visitors to the area near Crescent and Trinity about a mugging at gun point that occured on Saturday night.

Deputy Police Chief Perry Mayers confirmed additional details this morning. According to police reports, the victim was attacked while walking east on the Crescent. The attacker, accompanied by a driver, got out of a car (described as a Pontiac), and  accosted the victim, demanding his wallet. When the victim refused, the mugger pulled out a gun and hit the victim twice in the head. The victim fell to the ground; the mugger took the cash out of the victim’s wallet and threw the wallet to the ground. He then returned to the car, which then sped away in the direction of Harrison Ave.

Liz George is the publisher of Montclair Local.

60 replies on “Crescent Mugging”

  1. “either an Audi or a Pontiac”
    Makes me think of those old Ford Grenada commercials where people would be unable to tell the difference between a Ford Grenada and a Mercedes!

  2. I don’t think this story warrants wisecracks. I think it is a tragic, scary story that needs to be taken seriously.

  3. “either an Audi or a Pontiac”
    I’ll have to remember that line the next time I see my car insurance agent …

  4. The only problem with noting the license plate number these days is that it was very likely a stolen car they were driving. They steal a car, do their dirty work, ditch the car in EO, Newark or some other place, and kick back for the evening.
    Although it’s a risky move, I’ve got to hand it to the victim for not relenting so easily. I’ve had a few friends in the area who were victimzed in the exact same manner.

  5. I think that the prevailing wisdom concerning mugging is to ‘give it up’ but to never let the perpetrators force you to get in a car or a car’s trunk, etc.. At that point it’s better to try to run away then to be kidnapped.
    It’s pretty foolish to refuse to comply with a request for your wallet when you have a gun pointed at you. This is what got a young man killed in Bloomfield several years ago in a restaraunt parking lot. He refused to give it up and was murdered by the muggers.

  6. Prevailing wisdom is to make sure there is enough Police presence to deter this sort of thing happening -especially near a newly designed parking facility where security is a problem, as well as, in “prestigious” area were there is a high volume of people with filled wallets on a Friday and Saturday night.

  7. To comply or not to comply isn’t a strategy. What you need is a plan to act a certain way for a given situation. Following the muggers plan isn’t a good idea.

  8. cstarling, I agree 100%. It boggles the mind that thugs can rob with impunity in a well lit, upscale, area. Montclair can’t affort the manpower it would take to guarantee 100% saftey for everyone frequenting this part of Montclair. There should be, and probably already is, foot patrol in this part of town but even so, muggers will mug.
    If you are ever confronted by someone with a gun asking for your valuables, I hope you would have the good sense to relinquish them.
    Don’t EVER allow yourself to be comandeered by a thug. It would be better to be killed or wounded trying to escape then to suffer the horrors that such a depraved individual might inflict..

  9. Montclair can and does afford a large enough police department to take on some of this responsibility…
    and one cannot ever truely plan for how they will react in the face of a gun –believe me I know this first hand…
    to discuss “victimology” on this particular thread or to question how this Victim reacted is worse than Monday morning quaterback strategy…
    since each urban attack doesn’t play out like a page in the NFL book of plays-
    -Yes it is best to turn over your wallet and be done with it–Thank God we have a living victim-
    safety issues in Montclair must be addressed especially if the Avenue keeps attracting more and more nightlife and that means better and more pro-active patrolling techniques.

  10. Pro-active patrolling is called “patrol saturation” and has shown not to be effective. Its expensive too.
    We as citizens need to learn how to be a harder targets. And there are a number of larger social issue’s to address.
    If you want to take a pro-active approach to neighborhood safety, start a neighborhood watch.

  11. I wonder if allowing citizens to arm themselves with concealed handguns would deter these kinds of crimes.
    I don’t know what the statistics in states that do allow this show, e.g. Texas, Florida..

  12. I think the most common reaction to having a gun pointed at you by a mugger would be a pervasive, paralyzing fear and that a slowness to react to the mugger’s demands due to this fear might be construed as an unwillingess to comply – a potentially deadly misunderstanding.

  13. Note that, according to the story, no weapon was displayed when the initial demand for the wallet was made. The gun was pulled after the victim refused.
    Who knows the exact details.
    A good friend in JC was mugged in an almost identical scenario 2 weeks ago, except no gun was displayed, but the thug made it appear he had one under his hoodie. My friend sensibly handed over the cash, was allowed to keep the wallet, & the situation ended w/o injury.

  14. An armed mugging at 830 in the evening in a busy, pedestrian friendly area gives me considerable pause.
    And, a reason to rethink a late evening dinner / movie in Montclair.
    Coupla places to avoid:
    –the lot south of Seymour by the Wellmont
    –the very dark lot on Glenridge Avenue behind Thai Sri, Indigo Blue, etc
    –parking by the Volvo dealer and down that street

  15. One of the reasons to take a self-defense class is to replace the paralyzing fear with rational thought.
    This woman, Kathleen Baty, wrote a book about safety. I read it, learned a lot, and have passed on it to my sisters.

  16. “I wonder if allowing citizens to arm themselves with concealed handguns would deter these kinds of crimes.”
    I’m going to go with probably an increased amount of death and injury caused by handguns. And a lot of a very scared and paranoid citizens in a community that trusts each other even less than it currently does.
    On a slightly more lighthearted note, I would not like to see guns enter the mix when people find out the 9:30 showing at the Clairdige is front row only and then they have to wait on a half hour line just to pay for a parking spot they’re already done with.

  17. All your wisecracking is of no solace for the dozens of people like me who live on the Crescent and used to have no qualms about walking the dog at whatever time of day (or night). I think the idea of a heightened police presence during the weekend is a good idea.

  18. NO you station a 2 patrol person car who does not respond to report calls, emergencies or frivilous complaints to roam the area looking for suspect activity-you may also place an unmarked somewhere in the area as well.–
    pro active –also just means patrol that isn’t meant to respond there’s more to police life then ride around ride around ride around and park.

  19. Pro-active patrolling is called “patrol saturation” and has shown not to be effective. Its expensive too.
    Sorry, but that’s a load of hooey. It’s worth the expense and definitely effective. Anyone close enough to NYC to have witnessed the turnaround should know better.

  20. How about citizen patrols?
    In NYC neighborhoods they have civilian’s trained as auxilaries to patrol the streets and to be the police department’s eyes and ears.

  21. Citizen Patrols – nice idea, but do you really think anyone is going to volunteer their weekend nights to walk the streets on the lookout for gun-toting thugs? And then risk getting shot if they spot them?
    This is a police job.

  22. appletony, my background is in criminal justice and patrol saturation is a complete waste of time and money. You could station a cop every 50 yards and people would still get mugged. The only time neighbor crime decreases is when the people take responsibility for making the neighborhood safe.
    I expect your next post to be, “and propriety taxes are too high.”

  23. Citizen patrols are an excellent proactive response.
    Trent, if you really care you’ll get off your butt. I’m sure your TV could use the rest.

  24. Yes indeed, citizen patrols maybe an excellent proactive response
    So when Blockbuster opens later today I’m gonna rent a copy of the movie: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987.
    Carpe Diem.

  25. I seriously doubt that any citizen patrols will ever emerge in Montclair. Let’s face it, people who live around here are just too darn busy to organize and sustain this kind of activity.
    Patrol saturation isn’t going to happen.
    Essex County prosecutor’s office is completely inundated with violent crime and murder cases, thanks to the Oranges, Newark and Irvington.
    We’re on our own folks!

  26. “I seriously doubt that any citizen patrols will ever emerge in Montclair. Let’s face it, people who live around here are just too darn busy to organize and sustain this kind of activity.”
    Well then – there is always Curtis Sliwa and his Guardian Angels.
    He recently brought his Angels to the Ironbound district in Newark.
    Monclair is just a stones throw away!

  27. Sorry, Laser, I don’t watch tv. I’ve never stood around the watercooler talking about “last night’s show” because I didn’t see last night’s show – or any show for that matter. Tv is a waste of time.

  28. lasermike, I think your “expertise” is part of the problem — you overintellectualize law enforcement issues. More cops on the street (not just cruising around in patrol cars) and a focus on hot spots reduces crime. To say otherwise is to deny the reality that is exemplified by comparing NYC and Newark side-by-side.
    And WTF are you saying about my views on property taxes? I don’t have a problem with them, frankly — Montclair is a nice town and I know it takes a lot of revenue to maintain services. At least on a local level I get to see the benefits more directly.

  29. “Well then – there is always Curtis Sliwa and his Guardian Angels.”
    That’s pretty funny! Most of the ‘Guardian Angels’, if they even exist anymore, are just thugs in red jackets.
    I saw Curtis in the Times Square subway ‘nexus’ just after the July bombings in London. He was in his Guardian Angel attire, desperately casting his gaze about hoping that some ardently grateful NYC commuter would recognize him. I actually felt sorry for him.

  30. Franklin, I assume you were kidding above, since the “Police Academy” movies are broad attempts at comedy. If not, I’d suggest you go rent instead “The Ox-Bow Incident” or Fritz Lang’s “Fury.” They’ll probably be more to your refined taste.
    And yes, lasermike, I agree with you that “propriety taxes” are much too high, whatever one makes of property taxes. You’re a former/current cop of some sort? If so, one of the most politically liberal I ever came across. Who addressed your training class when you graduated, Ramsey Clark? Now I’m really curious.

  31. I say we turn Bloomfield Avenue into a pedestrian mall and close all the exits from Route 280 … that should keep the outsider riff-raff away … maybe a crocodile-filled moat around the town perimeter, too

  32. 1) Cathar — I prefer the movie “High Noon”
    2)RadonMan — you havent been reading the Star Ledger. The Guardian Angels are alive and well and were recently invited by a church in the IronBound section of Newark to patrol the streets.

  33. That area around crescent and trinity is narrow and dark and the houses are set back quite a bit from the street so it feels very isolated. It is dark too, I would think some extra street lights would help. Also, there is some building on the corner that seems deserted behind a chain link fence. It appears to be some old municiple building or something. It adds to the sense of isolation.

  34. But “High Noon,” Franklin, is about the failure of citizens to act in the face of a threat to their domestic tranquility. Does this mean you’re edging towards an endorsement of the “posse comitatus” theory of law enforcement? Or simply that you’re a sort of rogue Quaker?

  35. Got to agree with appletony on this Laser. Forget the fancy “patrol saturation” term, a few experienced, motivated cops assigned to a given area WILL have a very significant effect. A lot of the criminal justice books are interesting to read but you will find that the pointy-heads who write them often contradict each other, not to mention that many of them have never spent day one in the environment of which they write. Theory and stats may be a starting point, but the grunt work is what pays. I know this won’t fit with your view of the world but that is the way it is.
    As far as community involvement and target hardening, yes both are very important. You will probably not get a viable/valuable citizen patrol together though. It’s hard enough trying to get enough people involved to keep volunteer emergency squads going (And that is something that saves us all $$$.). But if neighbors make an effort to watch out for each other, call the police when they see something odd, that will go a long way to making us safer.
    On a smaller scale, one has to be aware of one’s surroundings and follow basic safety precautions. Walking along blithely while chatting on the cell may not be the best strategy. The bad guys are watching for a likely target, their target selection is not as random as some might think. You need to spot them first. The dynamics of these incidents preclude much thought once they begin. If you have not previously considered your personal abilities and resources, and thought through some strategies to use, you will be flying blind and be in a more dangerous way. I’m not saying we all have to walk around paranoid but you do have to be smart and aware.
    Carrying or not carrying a weapon is a very personal issue. There are pros and cons, good arguments on both sides (No, it isn’t as cut and dried as you think, whichever side you are on). If you do decide to carry something, be it pepper spray or a Glock .40, be sure you are legal, trained and committed. You are responsible for that weapon and the results of its use, good or bad, 24/7.
    Be safe out there!

  36. Cathar:
    That’s the point – is this a case of the failure of citizens to act in the face of a threat to their domestic tranquility?

  37. As usual, Franklim, I don’t think you’re making a great deal of sense. Which makes me think your day pass has long expired.
    Anyway, go take up your truncheon and walk rounds if you wish. Just try not to hurt anybody save yourself.

  38. My dear Cathar, that’s Franklin not ‘Franklim’!
    As for making ‘sense’ you’re point is lost.
    My point is that now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their community!
    And yes the ‘humor’ of the Police Academy movie, Citizens on Patrol, has an underlying message which you apparent lost as well!
    In this movie, despite its silliness, the role of citizens and the domestic tranquilty of the community won in the end.
    Are things a bit clearer for you now?

  39. All the yuppie money influxing to Montclair is making the local thugs lick their chops. Easy pickins’ for them. Watch for similar, and likely escalating incidents to continue in the future.

  40. I can tell you that you are wrong, ask a professional. You put a bunch a cops in an area and activity drops for alittle while or not at all. Officers come on and off the job and opportunity for activity opens up. This is also the issue of where do you deploy your limited resources. But you get yourself an old granny to watch your streets, you could leave gold bricks on your front lawn.

  41. Go here:
    for evidence on the effectiveness of various approaches to prevention. You’ll not find neighborhood watch among those demonstrated to be effective.
    Or you could opt for belief with evidence. Like asking a professional.

  42. lasermike,
    I choose to believe my being an in-person witness to history as the despair of the Beame/Koch/Dinkins years gave way to the then-appalling concept of actually policing the streets in NYC.
    You can assert I’m wrong all you want and invoke self-created authority all you want, but you don’t get to change facts. More targeted policing and careful tracking of crime trends to fuel the targeting = less crime.
    COMPSTAT works.

  43. cathar, you’re really a piece of work. Read the whole thing.
    But don’t bother checking the evidence.
    Faith-based crime control — it works for the professionals.

  44. dfb, you have perhaps heard of irony? Perhaps even of irony meant as butressment of your own skepticism?
    Probably not, to go by the evidence above. You too are thusly a piece of work.

  45. Have there ever been any discussions regarding installing cameras in areas that are particularly prone to car thefts and assaults? I’ve often thought that we could reduce the number of crimes that occur at the South Fullerton lot if we could get some of these criminals or their license plates on tape. I definitely think cameras should be installed in the Crescent Deck and local businesses be asked to chip in to cover the costs.

  46. I think the Crescent Deck has cameras, but they’ve conveniently informed would-be muggers that nobody’s monitoring them.

  47. obviously street gang blacks and chicano types should be checked regulary by policemen before these sleazy low lives attack another innocent hard working montclair denison.
    curfews for young blacks and chicanos under 25 yrs old should be considered

  48. COMPSTAT is an interesting and useful tool, but it prob wouldn’t have much benefit in Montclair. The cops and most citizens know where and when the crimes occur. Prob know who in some cases.
    Where it has huge benefit is in multi-precinct, large areas. NYPD installed it under Bratton / Giuliani and still uses it to flood high crime areas with cops at peak predicted times. Many rookies spend 3-6 months moving among precincts in flood teams of 50 cops. It’s made an enormous impact in weapons grabs, street crime, basic quality of life issues.
    Malcolm Gladwell has a discussion of it in this week’s The New Yorker.

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