Muggers Prey On Undocumented Immigrants
by Hernando Diosa/ La Voz | Dec 2, 2013 1:19 pm
Posted to: Immigrants, La Voz Hispana, Legal Writes, Fair Haven
A version of this story originally appeared in La Voz. It was translated here by Gilah Benson-Tilsen.
In recent years, a new kind of crime has been gaining prevalence on the streets of New Haven, particularly in the Fair Haven area. Groups of muggers assault undocumented immigrants—especially from Mexico, Central America, and South America—to steal the money they’ve earned after working hard for long hours.
These assaults and muggings of undocumented immigrants almost always happen under cover of darkness as workers return home late in the evening, unaware of the danger.
The majority of the undocumented population lives in or passes through the Fair Haven area, so thieves and muggers see these neighborhoods as the perfect places for crimes. That’s why we hear reports of assaults and muggings of Mexican, Guatemalan, Salvadoran, and South American workers on numerous occasions in that area.
A particularly striking case is that of Ecuadorian immigrant Wilman Carrasco of Ferry Street. He has been the victim of muggers on three separate occasions so far, according to his statements to La Voz Hispana of Connecticut.
“The first assault happened on the 15th of December, 2011, around Ferry Street and Grand Avenue, and there wasn’t even a police report for that incident,” he explained, fed up after having to defend himself multiple times while returning home from various jobs in the area.
According to Carrasco, his second unpleasant experience occurred on July 5, 2013, between 7 and 9 in the evening, at the intersection of Ferry and Exchange Streets. “Some types,” as he describes them, jumped him and stole his belongings, while physically assaulting him. According to him, the police wrote up a report of that incident (although La Voz was not able to obtain it).
“The third attack occurred on the 28th of September of this year, on Ferry Street, near Pine Street, while I was trying to get home,” Carrasco complained. He said he was assaulted by about eight to 10 people, who beat him and then stole $200 from him.
La Voz Hispana inquired about the case with the police and was able to confirm the incident. The New Haven police department gave La Voz the report, which read: “On 9/29/13, at approximately 19:07 hours, Officer Criscuolo and I were dispatched to the intersection of Pine Street and Ferry Street on a robbery complaint.
“On arrival I spoke with Wilman Carrasco. He said that while moving eastward, he was approached by a number of youths. He took a left toward Ferry, toward the south side, where he was assaulted by this group of juveniles. Carrasco said he was hit on the left side of his face, but that he couldn’t see who had done it. Carrasco said that he was dizzy and was suffering from chest pains. I called for an ambulance to provide Carrasco with immediate medical attention.
“Carrasco said that a man took his wallet from his right pocket, from the right leg of his pants, and that he took $200. The man threw the wallet onto the ground, and then the group of youths left on their bicycles, some on foot. It should be noted that while Carrasco was waiting for the ambulance, he changed his statement, saying that while he was walking along the north side of Ferry Street, he was assaulted in front of Life Haven, a building located at 447 Ferry Street. Carrasco said he was hit on the left side of his face but didn’t manage to see who did it. I asked Carrasco if it would be possible for him to identify any of the suspects, and again he said no.
Sergeant Maher arrived at the scene, and I informed him about the incident. I told Carrasco to contact me if he came up with any additional information related to the incident. Carrasco was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital via AMR.”
Into An Open Grave
)The owner of an agency that ships money and cargo abroad (who did not want us to mention his name or that of his business) related to us the following anecdote: One of his clients managed to escape on his bike from a pursuing group as he returned home from work in West Haven. He was heading back to where he lives in New Haven, near Yale New Haven Hospital.
“My client, who is of Mexican origin, told me that last Friday evening as he was crossing the intersection of Ella T. Grasso Boulevard and Columbus Avenue, he noticed a group of individuals starting to surround him. When he saw the threatening way they were coming toward him, the young immigrant, a native of the Tlaxcala area of Mexico, tried to escape the best he could on his little two-wheeled bicycle. The muggers started chasing him, running after him to catch him. The poor guy, when he saw he had no other choice, decided to leave the road—he threw his bicycle over the fence on one side of the St. Bernard Cemetery nearby. And then he hid in the cemetery—he dropped down into an open grave, and hid there with his bicycle and everything, until he was sure that he was safe.”
According to the owner of the shipping business, his client didn’t want to talk to the police. He said that most immigrants in this country without legal documents don’t want law enforcement involved in their problems, fearing that immigration officials will get involved. The undocumented don’t want anything to do with immigration officials.
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Is this type of crime really “new?” I thought this crime was why the Elm City Resident Card was developed.