Thursday, January 7, 2016

Teens Viciously Attacked In Battery Park City While AlliedBarton Security Ambassador Watches

"AlliedBarton security personnel on duty did nothing to help the children. "  - Mother of Victim 

Two sixteen-year old teens were viciously attacked in this dark alley in Battery Park City while a newly hired AlliedBarton "security ambassador" watched, according to victims and witnesses of the assault.  During the assault one of the victims fell to the ground and hit his head on a concrete ledge (above) and lost consciousness. He suffered a concussion, a skull fracture and bleeding in his brain in three places.  All nine of the area's lights are out.  (Photos by Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge. 


By Geoffrey Croft

The nightmare that Battery Park City residents had worried came to fruition and in record time.

Two 16-year-old teens were attacked and robbed by a group of up to fifteen people a few days before Christmas while newly hired AlliedBarton “security ambassadors” stood by and watched, NYC Park Advocates has learned. 

The vicious attack left one victim with a fractured scull and blood in his brain in three places and hospitalized for several days.  

The incident occurred just one day after AlliedBarton employees began working at the 92-acre complex.

The Battery Park City Authority's controversial decision to replace Park Enforcement officers with civilians with no law enforcement powers has angered residents of the sprawling complex.  

Victims and witnesses said on the night of December 19th, four teens - two males and two girls - had just left Shake Shack on Murray Street and were on their way to walk along the promenade when they noticed they were being followed by a group of approximately fifteen black teens, mostly males. 

The group called them over, cornered them, and surrounded them in a dimly lit area near the ballfields.

The teens were attacked on Saturday, December 19th while walking through the Terrace, a dimly lit area near the ballfields and the Asphalt Green, between North End Avenue and Murray St.  just after 10 p.m.

The teens told the two girls to keep walking. 

According to one of the victims an assailant said, “what would you do if I hit you?"

A fight ensued. Several in the gang began violently punching them from behind. One of the victims fell to the ground and hit his head on a concrete ledge and lost consciousness.

“They (four people) were kicking him while he was unconscious," said the friend who also sustained injuries during the beating.

 “The security guard just stood there and watched and did nothing,”   the victim said of the AlliedBarton employee.

"He wasn't even yelling at them," the victim continued.

"He was just standing there, doing nothing. He couldn’t care less. it’s scary. Instead calling the police, he called his supervisor.

It took the police between 20 and 30 minutes to come.”  

While on the ground the assaliants robbed one of the victims and forcorcibly removed his wallet from his pants pocket according to the police.

The Battery Park City Authority decision to quietly replace Park Enforcement Patrol peace officers with AlliedBarton civilian "security ambassadors" has infuriated residents of the sprawling complex in lower Manhattan.

One of the girls saw an AlliedBarton employee dressed in a bright yellow vest near by on NorthEnd Avenue and begged for him to hurry up. 

"You got to hurry, they need help," said the friend who is also sixteen years old.  "He kept walking slower than you would walk even normally."

When they arrived, she said her friends were on the floor getting kicked in the head, stomach, and all over their bodies while the AlliedBarton employee did not get involved.

"He stood there and watched it happen. I said, 'you are not even yelling at them to stop it. He said,'I can’t get involved.'

He kept saying, 'I can’t get involved."' 

"I was terrified," she said. "It was very traumatic."

Several victims said the ambulance was delayed while the AlliedBurton employees figured out what to do. 

"It should've been obvious, he was hurt badly," one of the male victims said.  

"They were trying to downplay what happened, because they didn’t want to lose their jobs. They were so incompetent."

He said the most terrifying thing was seeing his friend in that state. 

The girl also said there was a long delay in calling for help while successive AlliedBurton employees were called. One by one more arrived while her friend was lying there in need of medical assistance.

"My regret was that I trusted them to call the police, that they have that under control but they didn’t," she said. 

"They weren’t helping him. They were all standing around doing nothing, it was ridiculous."

"They didn’t offer any medical help", the frigtened freind continued.  

"They were supposed to be the adults. We were the adults, we were helping him. He kept saying, 'I'm doing all I can do,"' which was nothing.

I don’t think they should be allowed to work there.  If they can’t do anything, why are they there. I kept saying. 'call the police,  call the police. Please.'"  

"They were completely useless."

Ten to fifteen minutes later the assailants were still within one block radius. Shorty after the horrifying incident, one of the girls informed the AlliedBurton employee that the perpetrators were still nearby.

 “They are right around the corner," she said.

“Mam please don’t yell at me,” the clueless AlliedBurton employee allegedly replied.

"'Aren’t you going to follow them?' I asked. He said, 'we can’t do anything.'"

"Why are they there then. No one would even follow them,"  she stated.

"They were extremely rude to me, very dismissive."

"He never even used his phone to call the police," the parent of one of the girls said.   "He used his walkie talkie to call his colleagues instead. Nobody was in control of the situation."

The female teen also noted that the area where the attack took place was very poorly lit.  

The mother of the boy severely hurt issued a statement regarding the incident.

"On Saturday December 19th around 10pm, four neighborhood kids were attacked shortly after leaving Shake Shack in Battery Park City.  Two teenage boys were about to walk two teenage girls home when they realized they were being followed. They told the girls to run and the two boys faced at least ten attackers who surrounded them. One boy was knocked unconscious by six of the attackers who then stole his wallet, kicking him while he lay on the ground. The other was punched and kicked trying to fend off four attackers. Both went to the emergency room. One was released Sunday morning. The other suffered a concussion, has a skull fracture and bleeding in his brain in three places. His eye swelled shut and has been under intense monitoring ever since. 

The girls ran to get help. AlliedBarton security personnel on duty did nothing to help the children.   They watched and even told one girl to calm down and stop yelling. He said it was just his second day on the job. She asked him to run with her to the spot where one boy lay unconscious but he refused and walked like he was strolling through the park.  We are not sure he ever called 911.

The 1st precinct is working diligently to find the assailants and has already identified one with an existing record."

The police said no arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

PEP officers said they had patrolled the exact same area fifteen to twenty minutes prior to the incident.

"It was dead," said one of the officers at the scene. "Nothing going on."

"If we have been on the scene and witnessed the fight, it would have been a different situation," said an officer who spoke on the condition that they would not be identified. 

"EMT and the police would have been there faster. Even residents have come up to us and told us they realized that.  

If you weren’t trained, you weren’t trained, you can’t expect much from them," he said of the AlliedBarton employees, adding that the security ambassadors "are not allowed to apprehend."

The officer said the area where the attack occurred was always dark at night.

"They think keeping the lights off is a deterrent, but it only makes it more dangerous."

The Terrace entrance on Murray Street. 

Despite repeated requests the Battery Park City Authority and AlliedBurton have refused to discuss the incident or reveal if any disciplinary action were taken against any of the safety ambassadors.

They have also refused to provide the incident report filed by AlliedBurton which one of the victim’s parents described as, “full of inconstancies.”

Samantha Thomas,  Director of Communications for AlliedBarton referred all inquiries to the BPCA. 

“As our services are contracted by Battery Park City, any inquiries regarding our services there will need to be directed to Battery Park City,” she wrote.

The public found out about the controversial move to replace PEP officers from the media after a board meeting in October.

Dennis Mehiel, Chairman & Ceo of the Battery Park City Authority was blasted by residents at a contentious community meeting in December over the hiring of Allied Barton and the board’s lack of transparency about the move.  

Dennis Mehiel, Chairman & Ceo of Battery Park City Authority addressing the standing room only crowd on December 16th.

At the meeting Mr. Mehiel refused to commit to keeping the current number of PEP officers despite calls to do so.   

"Our philosophy when we entered into the process, was to be certain when we came out of the other side, nothing is going to change in a negative way for the residents of Battery Park City. That is our philosophy, that is our objective, “ Mehiel said.

“We believe the level of service will increase when we finish, that’s what we think,”  he said.

Numerous residents have called for Mr. Mehiel to resign from the board.

“I serve at the pleasure of the Governor,”  he has responded. 

Mr. Mehiel abruptly left the meeting leaving at least twenty residents waiting to speak.    

"We talked about PEP for thirty minutes, what else can we say,” Mehiel said.  

Last month numerous elected officials wrote a strongly worded letter to the Battery Park City Authority protesting the move to replace PEP officers with AlliedBarton security ambassadors.

In September an AlliedBarton employee working at the Freedom Tower across the Street from Battery Park City was arrested after stabbing McDonald's patron who reportedly threw french fries at him.

Read More:

Amid Controversy, Private Security Begins Patrolling BPC Parks 

Public Officials Take Skeptical View of Private Policing Local Leaders Slam BPCA Decision to Replace Parks Officers with Security Guards

Battery Park City Is Privatizing Jobs Held By 45 Parks Officers

 "Police" Bikes Used By AlliedBarton Stir Up Concerns In Battery Park City

Cops in Battery Park City for decades booted for private firm 

Officers or Ambassadors? Community Leaders Call BPCA Decision on Security "Dictatorial" and "Crazy"

Downtown Express - November 5, 2015 - By Dusica Sue Malesevic     

The Broadsheet - October 30, 2015 - By Matthew Fenton

Private Security Firm Hired to Replace Most Battery Park City 'PEP' Officers
TribecaTrib - October 27, 2015 - By Carl Glassman

1 comment:

  1. Sadly , the BPCA only cares about money

    They sold out North Cove Marina to BILLIONAIRES and screwed over the kids who sailed at the camp ,
    They destroyed the ball fields with artificial turf to save money for their own crony pals
    They gave themselves huge raises , insider deals galore
    They have made BPC less safe with , and crime is SKYROCKETING