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Long IslandNassau

Farmingdale residents decry rowdy teens

Farmingdale residents who said their neighborhood is being overrun by teenagers whose partying and brawling makes them feel unsafe in their homes have appealed to the local school district to intervene.

About 30 residents attended the board of education meeting Wednesday, with about a dozen testifying to behavior they called "atrocious," "horrendous" and "disturbing."

They alleged a contingent of Farmingdale High School students is fighting, vandalizing property, drinking, smoking and littering after school and in the evenings.

"The behavior and conduct they're displaying is atrocious," said Nick Diaz, 44, who said he once called 911 to report a mass of 50 teenagers on his lawn.

The trouble began, he said, when the school three years ago moved student parking from the school's south side to its west, by his home. Many students are now forced to park on the streets, between the school and a wooded area that provides cover for misdeeds, he said.

Diaz Thursday suggested that parking lot surveillance cameras or lighting would deter the problems.

A Nassau County police spokeswoman Thursday said police regularly patrol the area, spurred by residents' calls. One girl there was accidentally struck in the head with a bottle one night in March, the spokeswoman said, adding that officers usually clear youths out of the woods with no major incidents.

"There's always been some problem because they're kids, and kids are kids," said Howard Moscowitz, 80, who has lived near the school for 46 years. "But it became a horrible situation when they started to park down here. They come out of the woods trashed. They're banging on all of the cars."

Cindy March, 50, said she has adjusted her work schedule to avoid students speeding through the neighborhood.

The principal's office at Farmingdale High referred questions to the district superintendent's office. Superintendent John Lorenz at Wednesday's meeting told residents he would work with them toward a solution.

"Keep in mind that these are complex issues that we're not going to solve by ourselves," he said. "This may be much bigger than what the school district can do."

Lorenz recommended that residents communicate in a "forum" with school and law enforcement officials.

A high school senior who sat in his car Thursday on 11th Avenue, yards from where the girl was hit with a bottle, suggested reports of misbehavior are overblown.

"There's no fighting here," James Crego, 18, said. "We're just chilling here. We're right by our school; what do you expect?"


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