Single mom raises $$ to repair feast-linked vandalized car

Youth, believed to be from other communities who may have been in the area to attend St. Theresa’s Feast, pounced on the hood and roof of a local single mom’s car, causing at least $2,500 worth of damage to her BMW and doing the same to other vehicles parked in Pelham Bay.
Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Eugenio

An internet fundraising page was set up to help a local mom repair the damage that occurred to her car as a result of bad behavior during a recent church-sponsored 5-day outdoor festival.

Jocelyn Eugenio’s car roof and hood were stomped on by a marauding teens near Westchester Avenue and St. Theresa Avenue that some believe came from outside of neighborhood to attend the St. Theresa Feast.

Eugenio started a Go Fund Me fundraising page to solicit $2,500 to repair her 2003 BMW. She did not carry comprehensive auto insurance coverage on the vehicle because of her financial situation.

“I am a single mother of two children. I am currently raising my children alone with only one income,” she stated on her fundraising page, which is under the name she uses online, Jocelyn Nena Mendez. “In June my car was vandalized due to a mob of children running wild in the streets… there is video footage of them jumping on my vehicle.”

The Pelham Bay resident recalled that she was home on Saturday, June 29 at around 10 p.m. when friends started to text message her to take a look at her car, which was parked on the street.

Several videos have emerged on Facebook showing a large group of teens jumping onto cars in Pelham Bay near Buhre and St. Theresa avenues that evening, prompting outrage by many community residents.

The wildering that occurred prompted some social media participants to compare the scenes they had witnessed to the out-of-control situation that permeated the city during the 1980s and 1990s.

Eugenio provided the Bronx Times with one video that appeared to show several youth gleefully jumping on her auto, and claims the youth, which may have numbered in the dozens or more, were drawn to the area by the St. Theresa Feast.

She reported the incident to police, who filed a criminal mischief complaint on Sunday, July 30, she said.

Besides destroying the car roof, the vandals also broke the sunroof. Rain water is now leaking into the car, damaging the interior as well.

“It will cost $2,000 to push out the dents and another $150 to pay for a new motor for the sunroof,” she said. “There will be more costs because I now have to fix the interior.”

She hasn’t repaired the car yet, so every time it rains, more damage is done, she said.

“(The repairs are) a little bit more than my rent payment” said Eugenio, who works as a receptionist while attending nursing school. “I pay for daycare, utilities and everything else.”

Many in the community have jumped at the chance to help her.

“I think this fundraiser is a good thing and I hope the woman is made whole,” said George Havranek, Spencer Estate Civic Association vice-president. “I understand it is a hardship.”

“She is just the victim of circumstances and a good person,” said Roger Bombace, another donor who said he encouraged Eugenio to host the online fundraiser.

To learn more or make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/f/6jx9r-car-repair

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@schnepsmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Teens who apparently were out for a night of wilding for the evening of Saturday, June 29 destroyed the roof of this car and many others by climbing onto parked cars in the vicinity of St. Theresa and Westchester avenues. They are believed to have been from outside the area, and were dispersed by police.
Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Eugenio

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