East Williston Village Hall has become a hangout for packs of teens, disturbing residents and raising safety worries.
Dozens of teens have been spotted on Sagamore Avenue near Village Hall and the Long Island Rail Road station in recent months, often on Friday and Saturday nights, village officials said Monday. About 70 were out one night last week, said Barbara Seixas, 82, a lifelong Sagamore Avenue resident.
About two weeks ago, one teen rode his bicycle toward a fire truck pulling into the firehouse and then cursed at a firefighter who reprimanded him, Paul Walter, a village fire commissioner, said.
“Wake up, people, before it’s too late and somebody dies,” Walter said at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting.
The teens come from East Williston and nearby communities such as Williston Park, Carle Place and New Hyde Park, according to Seixas and village Deputy Mayor Bonnie Parente. They sometimes start gathering at Sagamore Field near Lee Avenue and make their way north on Sagamore Avenue toward Village Hall, Seixas said.
Seixas is legally blind, but has had neighbors count the groups of teens and tell her how large they are, she said. She hears them fighting and screaming curse words from as early as 4:30 p.m. until as late as 10 p.m. They also run in front of cars and sit in the middle of the street, she said.
“Their language is horrendous, and they scream with these words,” Seixas said.
A Blank Slate Media reporter saw fewer than five teens near the entrance to Village Hall before Monday’s meeting around 8 p.m., but they were gone when the meeting ended less than an hour later.
Village officials have been in touch with Nassau County police about the gatherings, but only one village court appearance ticket has been issued to any of the teens, Mayor David Tanner said.
Seixas said this kind of behavior pops up every few years, but this is the worst it’s ever been.
Surveillance cameras outside Village Hall can capture the activity. Stephan Leccese, a village resident and activist, suggested posting the footage or images from it on the village website.
“If there is a concern and [you] start posting that, the parents will start to become involved in it, and that stuff will stop,” Leccese said.
Village officials said the disturbances may wind down now that school is back in session.
Rita Bottenstein, another resident, said the village should talk with officials in nearby school districts to encourage their students to stay away from Village Hall and be more respectful.
“These are not bad children,” Parente said. “They’re just out having fun, doing their thing, but they need to understand the consequences.”