Violence and lawlessness has returned to the southern end of Union Square Park. Gothamist posted a number of disturbing videos of recent fights including one from the other night. According to sources the park supervisor (above in light shirt ) tried to intervene before the fight began and called 911 during the altercation between a menacing shirtless 6'6 male (r) and an Occupy Wall Street regular.
An unshielded PEP officer - with no arrest powers - can be seen in the video (l) on his radio calling for help.
"Every police department has a field training program. PEP has no field training program," fumed one PEP officer. "He's dumped out there alone without proper field training in a very high profile park where they know things happen on an hourly basis. He has no authority to get involved. The public needs to be protected, as does the officer, but the administration doesn't care. Also he shouldn't have a baton or pepper stray which he is unauthorized to have under state law. He's not a Special Patrolman."
The City has repeatedly refused to address the various conditions in the park and to make matters worse sources say the Parks Department's current plan is not to replace the one officer assigned there after the pool season ends in a few days which would leave no dedicated officers in one of the City's most heavily used parks.
When gothamist asked the Parks Department's press office whether park employees were expected to intervene in such situations, they refused to answer and bizarrely referred "all questions" to the Police Department.
"It shows a lack of concern for people's safety in New York City parks and a denial of their responsibly," said Joe Puleo, vice president of local 983 which represents PEP. "They are putting people in harms way. They are incompetent and Bloomberg let's them get away with it. If you ask them when they're going to plant the next tree they'll have the answer."
- Geoffrey Croft
Yesterday, we posted a video of a shirtless man beating another man in Union Square right in front of what appeared to be security guards, according to gothamist.
We've spoken to several Union Square regulars and locals who have identified the attacker as one "Tyrone"—and they say he's been causing trouble around the park all month, and that he claims to be a member of the Crips. It seems that this punching incident was the result of tensions between Tyrone's group, known as "The Fountain Gang," and the Occupy Wall Street activists and homeless people who spend their days in the park.
Tyrone has been harassing me at Union Square, I'm a street performance artist, I do clowning and make people laugh. He has already threatened to beat me up and kill me three times. I want something to be done about it...I have footage of him kicking my props during a show, when I have a crowd. Please help me get rid of this guy from the park, he's not good for anybody. He's a bully and he's not a nice man.
gothamist - August 30, 2012 - By Ben Yakas