|Danny Ruschillo. Photo from Daily News|
ROCKAWAY civic leaders are livid that sex offenders have moved into a troubled SRO on Beach 116th St. after the owner promised to upgrade the property.
Danny Ruscillo, the president of the 100 Precinct Commnity Council, said he spotted notifications that two registered sex offenders recently moved into the building, which served as a halfway house before it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The community successfully blocked efforts by a tenant of the building owner, Jay Deutchman, to turn it into a homeless shelter last year.
Ruscillo said Deutchman pledged in meetings he would put something there to benefit the community, so long as it paid his mortgage.
“Once again our community was misled,” said Ruscillo. “It will adversely affect the Beach 116th St. corridor and make it potentially an unsafe condition for the residents, especially the children, businesses and shoppers.”
Deutchman, however, said he had no idea that sex offenders were living in the building. One of the individuals was classified as a potential high risk to the community.
“It doesn’t necessarily please me, but I don’t have children (living) in the building,” he said. “It’s just an SRO and we are only renting to working people.”
Deutchman noted that he renovated the dilapidated front of the former hotel. He said he would like to overhaul the site, and has only been allowing short-term leases.
“We’ve been in talks with politicians and we’re open to be a part of any development that goes on over there,” he said.