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Kew Gardens, Queens Residents Furious About Spike Strips Outside Building

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A potentially dangerous situation has developed at a Queens apartment building where several kids live and play.

As CBS2's Jessica Layton reported, residents want to know why spike strips have been installed leading up to their front door.

The six-story building in a pleasant Kew Gardens neighborhood seemed like the perfect place for Katerina Masheeva to raise her kids. But now, the strips of spikes have raised serious concerns for her family and others in the building.

"It's sharp, yes; it's dangerous, yes," Masheeva said.

There is now a double line of spike strips, each several feet long, just installed on both concrete ledges leading up to the apartments on 118th Street.

"I've seen a lot of, you know, hostile architecture over the last 20 years or so that it pops up more and more frequently, and this is just the most vile type that I've seen," said Dan Irving.

"The woman that was just passing by said it looks very prison-like," said Jessica Gomez.

Building resident Kenny Velez used to work at Rikers Island, and he agrees.

"They're very sharp," Velez said. "You could shred a potato on it practically."

He said the strips were added about a week ago, with no heads up or reason given to the people who live in the building from the super.

"He's not a friendly person," Velez said. "I've had some interaction with him."

When CBS2 found the super, he said, "Hey, what are you doing?"

Layton told the super that people in the building want to know why the spike strips have been installed. He said, "Stay there!" and then, "Get the (expletive) out!"

Neighbors said they have seen similar designs used in other parts of the city to try to keep people from skateboarding and loitering, but they said those activities have never been a problem at their building.

Residents said the people who hang out outside the building are mostly moms waiting for their kids to come home from school.

"I want to move from this building because of this," Masheeva said.

She expects friends will follow.

CBS2 sent photos of the spike strips to the city Department of Buildings. A spokesman told CBS2 it has not received any official complaints, but will check into whether the spike strips violate any codes.

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