Sunday, September 21, 2014

Man Assaulted In Union Square Park

A Mess. The encampment, known for illegal drinking, drug use,  fighting and general filth, prevents the general public from accessing this section of the park.   (Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.


By Geoffrey Croft

The South-West part of Union Square Park near the Mohandas Gandhi statue on 14th Street has become the wild-wild west. 

Last night a fight broke out and a man was punched in the face NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The victim sustained a bloody mouth, mouth and nose according to police.

Nicholas Nelendez, 23 of Webster Avenue in the Bronx was arrested and charged with Assault after he and the victim had a verbal altercation.  

The victim was treated by EMS and released.

The Parks Department removed all the permanent benches from the area. Maintenance workers say they are afraid to go into the area.

The incident occurred around 7:00pm between the park's ornamental fountain and the Gandhi statue which has been a hotbed of illegal activity for several years.

The area is known for illegal drinking, drug use and fighting. 

For years calls for the Parks Department to re-establish a permanent multi-tour PEP presence in the park have fallen on deaf ears.

Instead of addressing these conditions the parks department went so far as to remove all the benches in the area to discourage the illegal behavior. 

However removable chairs and tables provided by the Union Square Partnership have replaced the permanent benches.

"Its ugly, it's a blight on the park," said a parks worker referring to that section of the park.  

"Things happen there all the time. They come from all over to hang out and cause trouble. Being that this is such a high visibility park and they just spent all that money you would think the city would care but they don't.  It's sad people don't feel safe.  These people prevent regular people from enjoying that area of the park. That's not right,"  the worker said.      

Another Causality. The Parks Department has blocked access to the circular area around the historic George Washington Statue due to its inablity to police the area.  

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