Thursday, November 26, 2015

Parks Worker Assaults Park Officer Over Illegal Vendor Arrest

Royan Mitchell, 36 under arrest at Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport under the East River Drive.  Moments later a parks M & O worker got involved with the PEP officers.  Mitchell has been arrested at least 32 times.


By Geoffrey Croft

Parks Department maintenance workers attempted to prevent Parks Enforcement Patrol officers from arresting a violent career criminal NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The bizarre incident occurred yesterday at 1:45 pm. at Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport.
On November 11th, Royan Mitchell, 36, was observed by attempting to sell tickets to the Hornblower Cruises,  when park police approached him he fled.  

Yesterday, officers observed him again illegally soliciting at the same location.  While attempting to make an arrest, he resisted, at which time approximately six parks department M & O maintenance workers from Pier 15 surrounded the officers and tried to prevent them from arresting the vendor.  

Parks Department Maintaincence & Operation worker Sandra Knight, 53,  was suspended and issued three Criminal Court summons for her involvement in interfering in the arrest of career criminal Royan Mitchell at Pier 15 for illegal vending. 

"They were trying to fight us off," said an officer at the scene.  

"They were cursing at us, and trying to prevent him from being locked up. They were acting like animals." 

Officers said one park worker in particular, Sandra Knight, 53, became aggressive. They say she pushed the officers several times, yelling and screaming.

"She came out of nowhere fighting us,"  an officer said.

Officers say Knight was repeatedly told to back away from the vendor who officers eventually managed to put in handcuffs. Video shows her rushing towards the officers getting within inches, saying, "You got me, you got me." 

Officers can be heard telling her to back away.

Knight elbowed officer Ingrid Sanchez in the face, breaking her glasses when officers attempted to move her away from Mitchell who was still on the floor.  

Officers told her she would be placed under arrest. 

"Don't touch me, don't touch me," she yells over and over. 

Her colleagues are heard saying, "Don't do it Sandra." 

Officers can be heard saying repeatedly,  "Stop resisting Sandra, stop resisting."

Officers say Parks' Chief of Operations, Namshik Yoon, came down to the 1st Pct and intervened on the maintenance worker's behalf.  Instead of being charged with Resisting Arrest and Assault on a Peace Officer and face possible jail time,  the charges were downgraded.   

Sandra Knight was instead issued three Criminal Court summons - Disorderly Conduct, Failure to Comply with Directives of Officer, and Obstruction of Government Administration. 

The Parks Department suspended Knight.  

Royan Mitchell, 36  was charged with Resisting Arrest,  Disorderly Conduct,  Soliciting on Parks Property without a Parks' permit. 

He has been arrested at least 32 times according to law enforcement sources.  On June 18th  Mitchell arrested in a fast food restaurant in the 25 Pct. for repeatedly striking a person. Drugs were also found on his possession. 

The officer was treated at Presbyterian Hospital for minor injuries and released. 

Read More:

Parks staffer arrested after brawling with cops 
New York Post - November 27, 2015 - By Rich Calder and Tina Moore 

Parks Worker Allegedly Elbowed Parks Officer In The Face For 
Arresting Illegal Ticket Vendor
gothamist - November 27, 2015 -   By Emma Whitford

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