“Body Block” Claims Another Victim

While our block is leaps and bounds better than it used to be, serious things still happen on the block and unfortunately it’s continuing to earn it’s nickname – “Body Block”…

Wednesday was Dan’s birthday, but we put off celebrating it until Thursday. We met a friend (who was celebrating his 50th – the same friend who was in the photo op last year) at the house at 6, showed him the progress, and at 7pm we walked over to Red Rooster for a drink. Apparently about two hours later there was a shooting – one guy was killed and another received a non-fatal wound. Here’s the police announcement about the investigation…

On Thursday 6/16/2011 in front of 135 West 123 Street, a young black male was shot multiple times.  Responding officers of the 28 Precinct found victim in front of location where he was rushed to Harlem Hospital and was pronounced dead at 9:24pm. 30 minutes later a second victim walked into Harlem Hospital with a non life threatening gun shot wound.  It was discovered by 28 Detective Squad that incident was linked to 123 Street shooting.  This case is still currently under investigation by the 28 Detective Squad, any information please call 28 PDU at 212-678-1608.  You will remain anonymous!!

I’ll post a picture of the building when I get a chance. It’s the 1930ish apartment building next to the old lodge (that’s now under construction). It’s roughly across the street from the place where lots of people hang out on the stoop (136 West 123). The guys were hanging out on the stoop when we went past. They never concern me – they all seem to be pretty nice. They’re older guys who are pretty mellow. But younger “thugs” are the ones who worry me. (If you don’t want to be called a ‘thug’ – don’t dress the part – or at a minimum look people in the eye, say hello and smile). Just statistically most hate crimes are committed by guys in their teens and early 20s who are trying to prove themselves. It would be interesting to find out more about the two victims and the shooter – to see if they fit the profile and to learn what triggered the shooting.

I’m not all that put off by the shooting. It’s a bit concerning, but especially with Windows on 123 selling well, it’s just a matter of time before things change. What’s really important it to just not put up with stuff, but also distinguish between things that are just unsightly (like guys hanging out drinking) and things that are dangerous (like drug dealing). It’s the stuff that leads to violence that needs to be stamped out…

If you’re doing a renovation make sure you have a security camera on the front of your building that’s aimed at the street. It makes a difference. With security cameras the police can solve crimes much more quickly and guys with violent tendencies find other, less visible, places to conduct their business.


From the NY Post Police Blotter

A dispute in Harlem escalated into a deadly shooting, cops said.

Kwabena Poku, 23, allegedly argued with a foe at 8:50 p.m. Thursday before returning to his apartment building at 135 W. 123rd St. to talk to his girlfriend.

He stepped outside moments later and was gunned down in a hail of bullets, cops said.

Poku, who had been arrested this month on marijuana charges, was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital.

Another victim, Tony Graham, 48, was shot in the leg, cops said, and was in stable condition at Harlem Hospital.

The marijuana charges are sorta expected – I was talking to someone who said he was hanging out with the victim a little before the incident and he said the guy was smoking up. I wasn’t exactly sure what drug he was referring to (and didn’t want to ask). I’m a little relieved it was just pot.

Apparently there are security cameras on the building, so hopefully they’ll catch the shooter quickly.

There’s an MMPCIA meeting tonight at 7pm at Rice High School where it will be discussed. We’ll be going. Hopefully we’ll learn more…


Last night the police said they have clear video identifying the shooter and they know who he is, BUT they can’t make an arrest because no one is willing to step forward to be a witness. When we passed by less than two hours before there were probably 15 or 20 people hanging out across the street around #136. I’m sure a fair number of them were still there when the shooting happened and if nothing else the other shooting victim saw the shooter. IMHO, it’s sorta absurd that a murderer is walking the streets because people don’t want to talk to the police.

That said, the “good” news is that it apparently was not random violence. The shooting stemmed from a dispute over a woman. Still, a bystander did get shot, so there is an element of random violence.


Dan was talking to someone on the block today and got a slightly different story. The person saw the shooting and said neither the shooter or the victim lives on the block or even in the neighborhood, though the victim was the “baby’s daddy” of a woman in the building where the shooting occurred. Apparently both were African guys (as opposed to African-Americans), and they both lived in the Bronx. He also said the dispute had something to do with rival bootleg DVD businesses in the Bronx. Given that the Police said the dirt bike guys who create problems are from the Bronx, it seems like crime from the Bronx is spilling over into Harlem.