2 MARCH 11, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
NYC Sheriff ’s Offi ce shuts down illegal rave in Ridgewood
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
Potential exposure to COVID-19
apparently wasn’t risky enough
for this illegal Ridgewood party.
The NYC Sheriff’s Office was at
it again early Saturday morning,
breaking up an illegal rave during
the pandemic at a warehouse on the
Brooklyn/Queens border — located
within a radioactive Superfund site.
The operation took place at about
1:40 a.m. on March 6 at 1133 Irving
Ave. in Ridgewood, which is part of
the 3/4-acre EPA-designated Wolff-
Alport Superfund zone. Cleanup
efforts have been ongoing at the
location to clean up decades-old
radioactive contamination from
within the property.
According to the Sheriff’s office,
deputies staked out the location
after receiving information about
a potential rave there. They spotted
a large number of patrons entering
the warehouse, which had its security
gate halfway rolled down.
Loud music was also clearly
audible to the deputies, who then
moved in and broke up the party, law
enforcement sources said.
Upon entering the warehouse,
deputies spotted at least 142 people
dancing and drinking alcohol
without wearing face masks, according
to the Sheriff’s office. Authorities
said the location did not have a
valid liquor license to serve alcohol,
nor did it have a valid certificate of
The Sheriff ’s office cleared all
patrons without incident.
Two security guards — Bakari
Brathwaite, 34, of Brooklyn and
Walter Louis Jr., 34, of Kingston,
New York — and a DJ, Jonathan
Alvarez-Conde, 38, of South Ozone
Park, received desk appearance tickets
for charges including violating
the health code and the mayor’s and
governor’s executive orders related
to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Irving Avenue site used to
house the Wolff-Alport Chemical
Company, which operated between
1920 and 1954. During World War II
and in the years that followed, it extracted
rare earth elements in such
a way that it produced a byproduct
sludge that contained thorium, a
Before the ill effects of radioactivity
were realized, the workers at the
company were said to have dumped
the sludge into the nearby sewers —
causing the radioactive element to
spread throughout the immediate
area of the site. This practice was
ordered stopped by the Atomic Energy
Commission in 1947.
More than a half-century later,
testing in the basement of a nearby
school, I.S. 384 in Bushwick, led to
the detection of radon, an odorless,
The tests, however, revealed that
the radon levels were lower than levels
deemed to be a significant threat
to short-term public health.
That helped lead to the determination
that the area near the former
Wolff-Alport site needed an environmental
In 2013, the EPA approved a nearly
$40 million cleanup plan for the
Wolff-Alport property, which involved
the relocation of businesses
and demolition of buildings.
The NYC Sheriff ’s Offi ce raided an illegal rave on March 6, 2021 inside a
warehouse located within a Superfund site in Queens.
Photo courtesy of NYC Sheriff ’s Offi ce