You are reading

Lawmakers Launch Petition Against Troublesome Kew Gardens Hotel, Call for City Crackdown

Bullet holes in the door of the Umbrella Hotel following Aug. 9 drive-by shooting (Courtesy of Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal’s Office)

Aug. 18, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Four Queens lawmakers have launched a petition calling for the city to clamp down on a Kew Gardens flophouse that has become a hotspot for illegal activity and shootings.

Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal, State Sen. Leroy Comrie, Council Member Karen Koslowitz and Rep. Grace Meng are calling for the city to take action against the Umbrella Hotel, located at 124-18 Queens Blvd.

The representatives say the hotel has become “a hotbed of violence and public health hazards.” They want city agencies–such as the FDNY, Health Department and Dept. of Environmental Protection– to inspect the hotel and respond to infractions.

The front door of the hotel was sprayed with bullets Sunday, Aug. 9, as it was the scene of a drive-by shooting. A separate shooting incident took place at the hotel on July 3.

“Thank god no one has been hurt, but how many bullets can we dodge?” Rosenthal said.

There have also been numerous reports of large indoor parties, drug deals, assaults, public indecency and menacing in recent months–despite the pandemic, the lawmakers said.

One Kew Gardens resident who signed the petition said she now worries about her safety.

“My neighbors and I can no longer feel safe in what was once a very beautiful and safe neighborhood,” Michele Roqueta commented. “This hotel has brought nothing but crime and has to go!”

Rosenthal called an emergency meeting to address the problem last week at Queens Borough Hall. He said the hotel management was invited to the meeting, but didn’t show — nor did multiple city agencies.

Now he is asking residents to sign a petition to demand the Mayor’s Office coordinate a multi-agency response to the growing public safety concern the hotel has created.

“Quite frankly, we need City Hall to make sure that their agencies are responsive,” Rosenthal said. “We are confident that if the appropriate agencies are properly monitoring and regulating the laws that are on the books already, this situation would go away quickly.”

The local NYPD 102nd Police Precinct has been proactive and responsive in dealing with the hotel, he added, but a coordinated city effort is needed to protect the community.

Rosenthal said, for example, the Department of Health should be issuing violations for large indoor gatherings during the pandemic; the Department of Environmental Protection to regulate noise complaints; and the FDNY to deal with occupancy issues and large crowding.

He said the agencies have been pointing fingers at one another rather than working together in a coordinated fashion to address community concerns stemming from the hotel.

The lawmakers are now calling on the mayor to do something immediately before someone gets seriously hurt or killed.

“We must act immediately, before more residents fall victim to senseless violence,” they wrote.

The petition was created on last night and had more than 200 signatures at the time of publication.

Neither the Umbrella Hotel manager or owner were available for comment.

email the author:
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Urgent manhunt underway for ‘animal’ who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in Flushing park on Thursday: NYPD

The NYPD announced a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a Hispanic man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in a wooded area of Kissena Corridor Park on Thursday afternoon.

More than sixty investigators were at the crime scene late into the night. During a press briefing by NYPD brass on Friday, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said that the manhunt was expanded city-wide and that the department would spare no expense until the suspect was apprehended.

Southeast Queens man arraigned on weapons charges after cops search his ‘ghost car’ near LaGuardia Airport: DA

A Hollis man was criminally charged after police discovered a cache of weapons in his vehicle during a traffic stop. He was pulled over for driving a “ghost car” with obscured license plates in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia Airport during the early morning hours of June 12.

Judd Sanson, 27, of Jamaica Avenue, was ordered held without bail after he was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday afternoon on a criminal complaint charging him with multiple counts of weapons possession, unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition, and unlawful use of a police uniform or emblem and other crimes after the arsenal was found in his SUV.

Man sought for raping 13-year-old girl in Flushing park in broad daylight Thursday: NYPD

An urgent manhunt is underway in Northeast Queens after a Hispanic man allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint in Kissena Corridor Park in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon.

Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing reported that the youngster was with a 13-year-old boy in the park near Kalmia Avenue and Colden Street at around 3:30 p.m. when a stranger approached and threatened them with a knife, forcing them both into a wooded section where he tied them up. The perpetrator proceeded to forcibly remove their cell phones before sexually assaulting the girl, police said, adding that he fled in an unknown direction.