By Zander Frost, Chronicle Staff Writer
Three senior citizens at Cronin High Rise said one was assaulted, and all were harassed by a group of youths Monday morning, October 16, at around 11 a.m.
Larry Carter, 69, told The Chronicle a youth struck him from behind while he was in the “gazebo on the property for Cronin.”
Mr. Carter was with two other women, also senior Cronin residents.
“These kids come through, one slugged me in the shoulder and the back, and then they all became mouthy, calling us different names,” Mr. Carter said.
“Swearing, cussing, told me to suck his d***,” he said. “Called one of the women in the Gazebo an old c***.”
He estimated the kids were around 12 years old.
“You can’t go out there and sit anytime you want because somebody is out there terrorizing the parking lot,” he said. “Something needs to be done with these kids.”
One of the women in the gazebo, also age 69, told The Chronicle that “the one kid hit the man in the back, and started swearing at us. ‘What the f*** are you going to do about it?”
She asked to stay anonymous.
“They were fighting with themselves because we weren’t even saying anything. They’re responding to nothing,” she said. “And then it proceeded with the suck my…”
“And still nobody’s saying anything to them. And then they said, ‘you can’t do anything to us. What do you think you’re gonna do to us? You can’t touch us.’ And we’re still not saying anything,” she said.
The residents said the gazebo has been moved away from the building, closer to the Warren Street public parking lot, while the building is under construction.
Residents use the area around it to socialize, grill and smoke cigarettes.
The woman said the harassment caught the attention of construction workers nearby.
“The head of the construction was coming back toward the office. And he said, ‘Hey, what are you guys doing? Do you know you can’t hang around here? There’s construction going on,’” she said.
“And of course, he’s a big guy, and they’re not going to give him any lip. So they played stupid and said, ‘Well, how do we get out of here like they were lost.’”
“He went inside and shut the door and they came back to the gazebo again with the ‘suck my —’” she said.
The youths left once the third woman took her phone out to film them, she said.
The woman said that shortly afterwards, she alerted Glens Falls Housing Authority Director Cherie Kory, who said she was calling the police.
Tuesday evening, Stephanie Nasr, who said she is the Assistant to the Executive Director for the Glens Falls Housing Authority, said, “We called, on behalf of the residents, the Glens Falls Police Department and made the report. So they said somebody would be over.”
“They’re very familiar with our office, we’ve called before, and we were actually surprised because nobody came,” she said.
“We didn’t expect them to be able to go arrest these kids,” she added. “But a conversation with these children — I’m sure they’re known — seemed warranted, and nobody from the Police Department showed up.”
The Chronicle contacted city officials.
Police Chief Jared Smith did not respond to a call or text Tuesday evening.
Mayor Bill Collins replied via text, “I can not comment on ongoing investigations. I do know that police did respond when there was a report made and that there is an investigation ongoing.”
Is there an investigation into the Monday morning Cronin Highrise incident?
“Yes, I believe so,” he texted back.
As of Tuesday evening, two of the alleged victims said no one from the police department had contacted them.
The Chronicle was provided still surveillance images of a trio of youths on bikes and scooters in the Cronin parking lot, time-stamped Monday morning.
Ms. Nasr said she assumed they went to Glens Falls Middle School and said she emailed “one of the resource administrators there that handles truancy. And she said she was all too familiar with these children.”
It’s not the first incident of the sort in the Cronin High Rise parking lot.
Ms. Nasr said, “We’ve had another resident that was physically assaulted before by a teenager on the property.”
She said the police were called, “and they did come to that report.”
The Chronicle spoke with Sue Wescott, who said she was the person assaulted in the parking lot by a male teenager in August 2022.
“It was late at night,” she said, outside in the gazebo, talking with a friend.
“And the kids were walking through and they were throwing s*** at the cars. So I said, ‘Hey, you know, you’re on camera,’” she said.
Shortly later, “I had my back to him. So I didn’t see him walk up to me. And then he said something when I got up, he spit in my face twice. And then slapped me in the face twice,” she said.
“Called the cops,” she said. “They come over, get my statement, the other statement from the guy that was sitting with me, and they did absolutely nothing about it.”
She added, “They were on camera, but it was dark out, you couldn’t see.”
Several residents expressed frustration with the position the harassment by youths puts them in.
“The thing is if we if we strike back at them, for assaulting us, we’re the ones that will be arrested,” Ms. Wescott said.
The anonymous woman said of Monday’s incident, “We were stunned. We weren’t afraid, we were just stunned.”
“These little kids were looking for trouble and they weren’t finding it. They weren’t happy that we weren’t responding,” she added.