Queens Residents Arm Themselves in the Post-Storm Blackout from Looters

Clare Trapasso et al., NY Daily News, November 2, 2012

When night falls in the Rockaways, the hoods come out.

Ever since Sandy strafed the Queens peninsula and tore up the boardwalk, it’s become an often lawless place where cops are even scarcer than electrical power and food. Locals say they are arming themselves with guns, baseball bats, booby traps—even a bow and arrow—to defend against looters.

Thugs have been masquerading as Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) workers, knocking on doors in the dead of night. But locals say the real workers have been nowhere in sight, causing at least one elected official—who fears a descent into anarchy if help doesn’t arrive soon—to call for the city to investigate the utility.

Further exacerbating desperate conditions, it could take at least a month to repair the bridge that connects the Rockaways to the city subway system, officials said.

“We booby-trapped our door and keep a baseball bat beside our bed,” said Danielle Harris, 34, rummaging through donated supplies as children rode scooters along half-block chunk of the boardwalk that had marooned into the middle of Beach 91st St.

“We heard gunshots for three nights in a row,” said Harris, who believed they came from the nearby housing projects.


And another local surfer said he has knives, a machete and a bow and arrow on the ready. Gunshots and slow-rolling cars have become a common fixture of the night since Hurricane Sandy.

“I would take a looter with a boa. If I felt threatened I would definitely use it,” said Keone Singlehurst, 42. “Its like the Wild West. A borderline lawless situation.”


Further east in the Rockaways, hunger stalked the community as angry residents lined up for food deliveries and complained they were being abandoned.


Grocery stores on the Peninsula are closed and some have been looted.


Shaheem Bush, 23, said there’s several hungry mouths in his darkened apartment in Far Rockaway.

“It’s cold in the house, no lights on,” he said. “Everything’s closed because people were stealing from stores. There’s no food. People are cooking on top of garbage cans.”


Making matters worse, the A Train crossing over Jamaica Bay, south of the Howard Beach station, was decimated, officials said.

The MTA took all trains off the Rockaway peninsula prior to the storm to prevent damage to the equipment. The MTA now can’t even run the Rockaway shuttle on the peninsula because there are no trains, one official said. There is also no shuttle bus service.



Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • MSNBC Derangement Syndrome

    “We heard gunshots for three nights in a row,” said Harris, who believed they came from the nearby housing projects.

    ONLY a racist would say that.  Look for her name on the SPLC Hate Watch list soon.

    You Know What’s Coming Next…


       There has been gunshots in that project since it was built in 1953

  • sarah stein

     Obama doesn’t care about black people.

  • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

    Looks like Obama forgot about the black people!

    What it really looks like is that Bush didn’t do as badly as he was accused. Even Obama’s FEMA has taken “too much time” to respond. So when the blaming begins, who will Obama fire? Ans; NO ONE.

  • TheCogitator

    This is what people get when they live where they cannot be properly armed. Booby-traps and baseball bats, don’t compare to firearms. Here is the South a looter would get an express trip to hell. They’d either stop, or there wouldn’t be any of them left.

    • TeutonicKnight67

       New York has some of the most totalitarian gun laws in the nation. Emperor Bloomberg believes that only black criminals need be armed. Whites should sheepishly wait for the police to show up after the fact.

      • IstvanIN

         I have to disagree.  If you can not trust a New Yorker with a 36oz cup of soda how in heavens name can you trust them with a .38?

  • These episodes are definitely a hint of things to come. When the first great Depression was in full force, we survived, because the country was mostly White and looked like this:


    Plus, so many of these wonderful, wonderful people knew how to farm and take care of themselves. They braved through it and kept their noses clean. But today, as soon as our vapor of an “economy” finally peters out completely, then we’re going to be faced with a nation that looks like this:


    and these people today have never touched a farming implement. They’re used to handouts, and when the handouts stop, it’s going to be a real barn-burner. Someone should sell tickets

  • In a natural disaster, white band together to restore their communities and blacks look to rob and steal. I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you.

  • What?  Knives and pens?  Really.

    The Africans that will come through your door will have plenty of guns since “gun” laws do not apply to them…….only to stupid White people.

    Baseball bat?  Really.

    What is going to happen when the real race riots and race violence begins is the following:

    The blacks KNOW where the unarmed Whites, like you are.  They will know the police will do nothing  (they are doing nothing now) and they will know you have no guns. You have no guns.

    You, and people like you will be the first ones hit.  You, and people like you, have lived for decades in a place slowly preparing for suicide.  Over the past 50 years, your white area (not really needing guns) has changed to a tribal killing field (without YOUR awareness but aware to those of us who will NEVER live there).

    You have been living on a known fault line (Known to us, not to you).  The pressure is building and soon it will crack and those like you don’t see it coming and thus are not prepared. In actuality, you should NOT even be living there.  All the blacks around you  KNOW it is coming and can’t wait.  They are prepared to attack but you are not even prepared. You don’t even see it building up to the critical point.

    Good luck.

    You live in you past.  You live as your child did: a safe, white, clean, non-violent neighborhood.  That no longer is.  As your area changed to a tribal killing field, slowly, your leaders sold you out and did not tell you.  You still felt safe, as your child did.  Guns? I never needed gun. Guns? Guns are mean and I am not mean.

    Your enemies are mean. Very mean. You enemies enjoy robbing you. Raping you. Killing you.  There are a different species.  They know it. You don’t.

    So, when your kind gets slaughtered don’t be surprised when my kind find it very difficult to fake sympathy and have the tendency to say: “I told you so”.

  • curri
  • Winston_Jack

    Apparently Bloomberg has also FORBIDDEN the National Guard to come in and help out.  Why?  Because they carry guns.


  • Michael_C_Scott

    They blockaded some bridges to keep mobs from crossing them to loot.

  • Persona Non Grovel

    Damn, that is a dip in the freezing water after a night of drinking, but that is real! I understand you want to get your message across but PC must go makes some valid points. I also have guns and if threatened I’ll use them. But you can’t underestimate a good knife-wielding skill. Also, any assailants who attempt to pull off a home invasion are at a distinct disadvantage when infiltrating in a catastrophic situation. The reason is that marauders are not the only ones who are on the offensive. Law-abiding homeowners tend not to be too law-abiding when power is out, looters are around, grocery stores are void of anything edible, work/paycheck is no longer a guarantee because places of employment are also out of service. These are situations where a person in waiting for the oncoming invasion, no matter the numbers, will have the advantage. Take out one or two with a couple of blows with a ball bat, or puncture wounds from a knife. These are silent kills. A gunshot alerts the other intruders and they escape. Or they are at least alerted initially to your location in the house, giving them time to draw their weapons.