When night falls in the Rockaways, the hoods come out.
Ever since Sandy strafed the Queens peninsula and tore up the boardwalk, it’s become an often lawless place where cops are even scarcer than electrical power and food. Locals say they are arming themselves with guns, baseball bats, booby traps — even a bow and arrow — to defend against looters.
Thugs have been masquerading as Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) workers, knocking on doors in the dead of night. But locals say the real workers have been nowhere in sight, causing at least one elected official — who fears a descent into anarchy if help doesn’t arrive soon — to call for the city to investigate the utility
“We booby-trapped our door and keep a baseball bat beside our bed,” said Danielle Harris, 34, rummaging through donated supplies as children rode scooters along half-block chunk of the boardwalk that had marooned into the middle of Beach 91st St.
“We heard gunshots for three nights in a row,” said Harris, who believed they came from the nearby housing projects.
Carly Ruggieri, 27, who lives in water-damaged house on the block, said she barricades her door with a bed frame. “There have been people in power department uniforms knocking on doors and asking if they’re okay, but at midnight.”
And another local surfer said he has knives, a machete and a bow and arrow on the ready. Gunshots and slow-rolling cars have become a common fixture of the night since Hurricane Sandy.
“I would take a looter with a boa. If I felt threatened I would definitely use it,” said Keone Singlehurst, 42. “Its like the Wild West. A borderline lawless situation.”
City Councilman James Sanders (D-Far Rockaway) said he fears the situation will devolve into anarchy.
“We have an explosive mix here,” said Sanders. “People will take matters into their own hands.”
Walter Meyer, 37, lives in Park Slope but often surfs in the Rockaways. He said it’s not the place it was before the storm.
"After sunset everyone locks their doors,” said Meyer, as he loaded up a solar panel from a factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard to bring to local residents. "They're trying to find whatever weapons they can find. Some people are even using bows and arrows."
“If you are heeding into the Rockaway beach to assist, there is a request for firearms, hot food, and cold beer. These next 24 hours are critical for these folks, the government has really let them down,” Meyer posted on Facebook Thursday.
I wonder if this is going to change the mind of all those that supported NYC's ban on firearms. But then again, if you're not an evil hunter then I guess you really don't have a need for one.