Several residents attended the 108 Police Precinct meeting in Sunnyside Tuesday to complain about a growing homeless problem in Windmuller and Doughboy parks.
Attendees claimed that there were homeless people hanging out near the bathrooms at Windmuller Park (located between Woodside Avenue and 39th Drive) and on the embankment of the adjacent Doughboy Park. Residents said that the homeless were using the bathrooms to keep themselves clean and were in there for an extended period of time. Some were concerned about the safety of children now that summer has begun and the pool at Windmuller has opened.
Captain John Travaglia, the commanding officer at the 108 Precinct, said that he had been getting phone calls about an older homeless lady and, separately, a younger man being there too.
Travaglia said that the police have stationed an officer by the pool and that should help. He said that being homeless is not a crime, although the police are able to ensure that they don’t go into a playground without a child.
Gennaro Massaro, who lives across the street from the park in Berkeley Towers, claimed that there was a lack of police around Windmuller in general and complained about teenagers smoking pot, drinking and noise from kids bouncing basketballs until 3 a.m.
He also said that many of the homeless are illegal immigrants and that it was not fair to US citizens. This led to some racial tension with other attendees.