Hoopless: City of Utica removes basketball hoops, poles to avoid trouble

They eliminated the problem by eliminating the draw for those non-residents, but some think the move also hurt innocent kids in the process.

Posted: Jul 25, 2019 1:03 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2019 6:11 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- The city of Utica was dealing with an issue of non-residents hanging out at some of its municipal housing projects and harassing people.

"This group was terrorizing people, harassing people, in fact assaulting people," says Utica Municipal Housing Authority Executive Director, Robert Calli. 

So, the M.H.A. eliminated the problem by eliminating the draw for those non-residents at N.D. Peters, F.X. Matt and Adrean Terrace Apartments. 

"And so we made the decision in consultation with our residents, in consultation with our chief of police, that it would be best served not to create an attractive nuisance for them, and so we took down the basketball stantions and hoops," said Calli.  "We found that the basketball court was a place that they gathered."

Calli says the move, along with enhanced security and off-duty patrols by Utica Police, helped decrease the problem. 

"The elimination of a place of congregation at the basketball court, that it has worked and we have seen a substantial decrease in non-resident juvenile presence at the Adrean Terrace Complex," says Calli. 

The problem is, the bold and decisive move has also affected children who live in the complex and did nothing wrong.

"If affects me because I have to go all the way to Proctor Park even though my mom is tired from working her overnights and stuff and she wants to sleep and she doesn't want me going there by myself because there's a lot of bad influences and stuff over there,"said Hassan Sukunda. 

"I hate the fact that he has to go to Proctor Park. It's far, I get out of work, I'm tired, I've got to cook dinner. It's a lot easier to send him through the back foor and have him play out there," says Suzana Sukunda. 

Calli says he looks forward to the day M.H.A. can replace the hoops and poles, but says it will likely not be this year. 

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 397649

Reported Deaths: 32219
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City21721623201
Nassau420532187
Suffolk416851984
Westchester350841427
Rockland13656668
Orange10781484
Erie7500639
Dutchess4246152
Monroe3974273
Onondaga2963188
Albany2160121
Ulster184086
Oneida174998
Sullivan145748
Putnam133763
Niagara129088
Schenectady83837
Broome75758
Saratoga57217
Rensselaer56830
Columbia47737
Madison36417
Orleans28454
Ontario28233
Warren27233
Steuben27141
Greene26318
Fulton26224
Washington24714
Genesee2425
St. Lawrence2262
Oswego2063
Wayne1863
Herkimer1793
Tompkins1790
Chenango1565
Tioga14824
Chemung1462
Chautauqua1347
Livingston1338
Cattaraugus1286
Cayuga1222
Montgomery1204
Clinton1034
Wyoming975
Jefferson940
Delaware914
Otsego865
Seneca710
Allegany631
Schoharie590
Cortland520
Essex490
Yates486
Franklin330
Lewis310
Schuyler130
Hamilton60
Unassigned00
Utica
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 81°
Oneonta
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Herkimer
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 81°
Thendara
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 81°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
Menu 2 Go list of takeout dinners & fish fries
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left