Mugging Danger Lurks Near Bronx Psychiatric Center

I Was a Victim of Danger by Bronx Psychiatric on Waters Place


By Rich Mancuso

Bronx Psychiatric Center

You never expect this in your community but it happened to yours truly Wednesday afternoon walking on the sidewalk outside of the Bronx Psychiatric Center and the wellness center clinics on Waters Place. Yes, I was a victim of the unsafe conditions in that vicinity that need to be addressed and resolved.


Yes, I was a victim of what is called a “mugging” and thankfully not seriously hurt or harmed. Regardless, it could have been worse and it warrants more attention now by local public officials, community leaders and more police presence.


Thanks to a local amatuer fighter who is by my side often, the two perpetrators, as they say in the sport of boxing, knew they were going down for the count. The result was two cowards running and entering the grounds of the Bronx Psychiatric Center. The courage of living in the Bronx all these years prevented me from serious harm and all that was lost was a half pack of cigarettes.


They did me a favor, less smoking is better for my health. However, our community on Westchester Avenue and Water Place has quickly become the hazard!


Waters Place has become a busy part of a commercial hub in the Bronx. The Hutchinson Metro Center and new Marriott Hotel are a few of the important parts of this district, along with Mercy College and various medical offices that are used for patient procedures.


Yours truly walks there often and as always to Eastchester Road for a visit to a doctor at the Montefiore Medical Village on Blondell Avenue. Though this time I was distracted by using the cell phone, texting and walking which is rarely done.  And in all my years as a journalist and educator, never has there been an incident in the worse neighborhoods or housing projects that are always ravaged by crime and ugly stories that the other journalists report and write.


But this time, I was the victim and like many, minding my business and taking the routine walk to get the necessary medical attention.  You hear about these incidents constantly because that is the way our society has become, but you never expect yourself to be the victim.


From what can be determined, now using my journalistic experience, this is a safety issue in our community. Bronx State Psychiatric officials and their security in particular have no jurisdiction to secure safety for pedestrians in the vicinity outside their property.


In the meantime, outcare patients for drug clinics have a meeting ground to harass pedestrians for money and that has become a safety issue on Waters Place and Westchester Avenue by Middletown Road and Westchester Square. In addition, patients of the psychiatric unit and the perps who accosted me are allowed to leave their housing quarters and run wild in our community.


In essence, the psychiatric center and clinics are becoming a detriment to the community.  The 49th Precinct has jurisdiction of the area, and again reporting has indicated numerous incidents have been reported about similar incidents in the past few weeks.


However, reporting of incidents has not seen a significnt change or police presence that is needed.


As of Thursday after surveying the area, and as was the situation Wednesday, there are no NYPD patrol cars in the vicinity and security officials in the wellness clinic buildings and on the grounds of the psychiatric center say they have no jurisdiction as to what occurs outside their buildings and grounds.


Yet the harassment continues by those who are there to cause harm, and the danger and well being of pedestrians and residents of the community remains a serious issue.


The office of Councilman James Vacca and community boards have been notified and they say attention to this issue has been ongoing. But there has been limited cooperation from those who allow these dangerous patients to roam and harass innocent people of the community.


The time has come to realize that the vicinities of Waters Place and Westchester Avenue are dangerous.  Yours truly was a victim and who is to say who will be the next?

Comment Rich Mancuso:; Twitter: @Ring786 Mancuso

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