Queens church plagued by drunks hanging out on property

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Briarwood, QUEENS (PIX11) – For some , Sunday mornings mean going to church. For others, it means a hangover.

For over six years, congregants at the Victoria Congregational Church in Briarwood have been dealing with drunks loitering  and sleeping on the property all hours of the day.

“We’ve actually has people sitting here in front of the door, opening cans of beer and drinking,” said Rev. Mark Marsh, pastor at the church located at 87th Avenue.

Rev. Marsh the problem has gone from bad to worse, with people going behind the church bushes to defecate. The pastor says the drifters have taken over the property, camping out on the main ramp that leads to the church’s front doors and setting up shop to have more drinks.

Rev. Marsh said there was also a time he felt threatened. “There was a drunk individual in front of the door that would not leave. I called 911 and after about 30 minutes nobody showed up. [I] tried to get him to leave again. The man that was inebriated picked up a brick to throw at the door,” he said.

The pastor says he is frustrated and wants to help the people find drug and alcohol treatment programs and shelter. But by law, he can only call 911.

“I need the police to come in a timely fashion because, the police are the only agency that can do anything with the drunk individuals,” he said.

PIX11 reached out to the NYPD and they said they have issued over 15 summonses in the past few weeks.

The 107th Precinct said they will continue to work with Rev. Marsh to help solve the problem.