BRONX, NY - State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), together with the family of Christian Negron, the Castle Hill Homeowners’ Association, and Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, Bronx commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, today announced $100,000 in state funding for safety and security upgrades at Pugsley Creek Park.
The announcement follows the tragic death of Christian Negron, a former LaGuardia Community College student, who was viciously attacked and robbed in broad daylight in by a group of seven young men in Pugsley Creek Park in June.
Senator Jeff Klein said: “By investing in our parks, we are making a steadfast commitment to preserving our public spaces and protecting New York’s families. The tragic loss of Christian Negron has shaken the Castle Hill community and left an indelible mark on our hearts. In order to boost safety in Pugsley Creek Park, I’ve proudly secured $100,000 in state funding for new security cameras and call boxes. These measures will go a long way toward improving safety in Pugsley Creek and ensure that our parks remain treasured community spaces for generations to come.”
Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, Bronx commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, said: “Providing for new resources like call boxes and FlashCams, Senator Klein's generous funding will help NYC Parks keep Pugsley Creek Park a safe and enjoyable destination for the communities of Castle Hill and beyond.”
On June 28, Christian Negron was returning home through Pugsley Creek Park from a poetry event hosted by one of his college professors when he was attacked from behind and struck several times in the head. Christian escaped from his assailants by slipping through his hooded sweatshirt and running out of the park.
Shortly after the attack, on July 8, Christian was found unconscious by his grandmother. After being rushed to the hospital, Christian was pronounced brain dead, and on July 17, was taken off life support.
In response to this tragedy, Senator Klein, together with the Castle Hill Homeowners’ Association, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the NYPD, and the Bronx District Attorney, held a on town hall meeting on July 29. With ongoing concerns regarding safety in Pugsley Creek Park – and widespread reports of drinking, drugs, and gang activity – Senator Klein pledged to provide funding for security upgrades.
Senator Klein’s $100,000 state grant will go toward the addition of new security cameras, equipped with 24-hour video surveillance, and state-of-the-art call boxes, which will be installed at key locations throughout the park.
Anibal Negron, father of Christian Negron, said: “Our family suffered a tremendous tragedy as the result of an attack on our son, Christian, at Pugsley Creek Park. Those who knew him can attest as to how great of a person he was. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us. We are, however, grateful of the stance our community, neighbors and elected officials have taken in ensuring our community becomes as safe as we once knew it to be.”
Israel Morales, president of the Castle Hill Homeowners’ Association, said: "It's a difficult time for the Negron family with the recent passing of their son. The Homeowners' Association truly appreciates everything Senator Klein and his staff have done for the community and the Negron family in the past weeks and months. This funding will ensure that our parks are safe and secure. Today, we send a message that Christian Negron will never be forgotten."