A homeless man who was severely beaten early Friday morning in Union Square Park has died as a result of those injuries.
56-year-old Stanley Novak was hit in the head with a bike lock by Keenan Bryce, 29
also homeless, in a Union Square Park triangle at E. 15th St. across from the park.
The alleged assailant was spotted standing near a person drumming on the South/West side of the park by the subway entrance by an observant 13th Pct. Detective. The Det. and a PEP officer approached Mr. Bryce just after 4:00 on Friday. After the man was in cuffs swarms of NYPD officers converged on the scene according to witnesses.
According to a witness Bryce allegedly received a methadone treatment at a near by center shortly before his arrest.
Friday's deadly attack comes just two weeks after the Parks Department moved its special operations overnight detail - which had been covering conditions in parks including Union, Washington, and Thompson Sq. - to instead cover geese patrol and vendor issues in Battery Park. The attack also came a week after the NYPD removed its Mobile Communication Command Center from the park. The Command Center has returned after a brief hiatus.
This is the sixth murder on parks land over the last four months. — Geoffrey Croft
A homeless man was bashed in the head with a bike lock and killed during a bloody dispute with another man in Union Square Park, police said today, according to the New York Post.
Friday’s deadly attack comes less than three weeks after The Post reported on a police crackdown aimed at reigning in lawlessness in the park — and just a week after a mobile NYPD command center was removed from between East 15th and East 16th streets, according to NYC Park Advocates.
Keenan Bryce, 29 — who also is homeless — allegedly smashed a U-shaped bick lock against 56-year-old Stanley Novak’s head about 1:20 a.m. Friday.The violence capped a fight between the two, but cops don’t known what the dispute was all about.
Novak died at Bellevue Hospital at 5:19 p.m. that afternoon. Bryce, who was busted just March 19 for possession of pot in the park, was arrested later Friday and charged with murder.
Before the police moved in, the popular greenspace had previously been a trouble spot — drug arrests have skyrocketed, nearly triple from last year; there was a stabbing, which was deemed a possible hate crime, and public drinking has been on the rise, The Post has reported.
"The incident between the homeless men got the city park people concerned so they bumped up security," said one guard who asked not to be identified. "There are more of us here now watching over things.
"Drug trafficking is still an issue, but we’re just doing our best to keep an eye out."
Geoffrey Croft, of NYC Park Advocates, said the homicide was the sixth slaying on parkland in four months.
"Crime is exploding in city parks, while Union Square has made some recent improvements," he said. "This tragic incident is a constant reminder of our need to be vigilant."