By Sabina Mollot
While most drivers have experienced the delight of walking outside to find that their car’s tires have been slashed or the doors keyed by a random jerk, two cars owned by residents of Peter Cooper were recently on the receiving end of a splash attack by either paint thinner or some kind of acid.
One of the car owners, Cailin Krogman, said other cars may have been damaged by the substance, too, which caused the paint to peel back down to the metal all along the passenger door.
The perp, she believes, must have done it last Saturday night at some point after she parked her car at 6:45 p.m. near a Peter Cooper Village entrance on East 20th Street. Krogman didn’t discover the damage herself until the following Monday morning when leaving for work, but said a neighbor who’d been out walking her dog on Sunday morning saw the cars damaged at that time. Because of this, Krogman doesn’t believe she was personally targeted by anyone.
Last Monday, she called the cops at the same time as another neighbor who discovered her car was damaged too.
“It seemed relatively random,” said Krogman. “But she also had a Toyota. I don’t know if it was something about Toyotas or if it was a coincidence. It was senseless and mean and really terrible.”
While the incident was only classified by police as criminal mischief, the damage to Krogman’s car is going to cost over $1,000 to fix.
Not having any idea who would do this, Krogman asked Stuyvesant Town’s Public Safety department if there was any footage of the suspect, but said she was told there wasn’t.
“That spot on the block wasn’t covered by any cameras,” she said, adding that this came as a surprise to her, especially since it was right outside the 20th Street construction office and an entrance to the complex. “They have so many cameras all over the place.”
The incident has left her wondering what could have happened if the person carrying the corrosive substance had been confronted. “Imagine if someone came in and said, ‘What are you doing?’ and he turned around threw acid in someone’s face,” she said. “I’ve lived in the general neighborhood for 20 years and I’ve owned a car for six and half years and I have never had anything like this happen.”
Police at the 13th Precinct confirmed that there were two complaints classified as felony criminal mischief involving vehicles, but declined to say anything further citing the open investigation. The crimes were classified as felonies because the damage in both instances was over $250 worth.
Paula Chirhart, a spokesperson for Blackstone, confirmed that the perpetrator wasn’t in the view of any cameras, but said the ST/PCV Public Safety department has beefed up its patrols in response.