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Glen Oaks Neighbors Fed Up With Incidents Involving Patients At Nearby Psychiatric Facility

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Queens community says it has grown impatient with some patients at a famed mental health facility near their neighborhood.

They say incident involving patients range from scary to downright gross.

Matt Kruger told CBS2's Jessica Borg the scenes he captured in a cellphone video are the reason he's moving out of Glen Oaks.

"No one wants to see someone's pants down to their ankles, in broad daylight, then going to the bathroom in the middle of the street," he said.

He showed Borg the video – too graphic for TV – that showed a man doing just that right around the corner from his home.

"It's inappropriate," he said. "There's kids, there's families."

Aggressive panhandling is also a growing concern for neighbors of a shopping plaza on Union Turnpike.

"They ask for some money. I usually say I just don't have any cash," one woman said.

Christine Bergen, of the Glen Oaks Board of Directors, says the people behind the incidents are from Creedmoor Psychiatric Center.

"Some of them are still residents there but they're allowed out. They have going-out privileges," she told Borg.

Many Glen Oaks residents want Creedmoor to put stricter policies in place.

"If they are doing this in public, then they do not belong out there. They shouldn't be allowed to leave at all," Kruger said.

Local officials say they are working with Creedmoor to address the issue and working with the state, which runs the facility.

Councilman Barry Grodenchik says there's been an uptick in complaints in recent months surrounding the nearly 100-year-old facility, but he says it's a delicate matter.

"We certainly don't want to demonize people," he said. "Some of them go to work."

The state's Office of Mental Health told CBS2 is has increased patrols in the area and "are coordinating with the local precinct to identify individuals who have been responsible for these acts."

"We haven't had any results yet," Bergen said.

People in the neighborhood say they hope that changes soon.


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