Wednesday, June 21, 2017

City Seizing Parkland On UES To Build Massive Tower Complex - Residents Furious

“Clearly there are a lot of very good public goods being planned for this site - no change in the playground size, three news schools, permanent affordable housing, but that comes at the cost of a building that is 724 feet tall.   You may call it 68 stories but in linear terms that’s 72 tall.  That’s almost as tall as the Time Warner Center,”  - City Planning Commissioner Anna Hayes Levin, May 10, 2017

"How does that kind of height make sense at this location?"  

Marx Brothers Playground site - 96th Street and Second Avenue.  The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is finally moving out of the playground after "temporarily" occupying 0.5 acres of the 1.5  acre park since 2007. The MTA paid $11 million to the Parks Department as mitigation for allowing the public park to be used as a staging area during  Second Avenue Subway construction.  They also paid the salaries of Parks Dept. Playground Associates at several area playgrounds.  The MTA is legally required to restore the playground.    (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.  

But now the De blasio administration is claiming the Parks Department has no juristiction over the 1.5 acre park even though the city is attempting to Alienate the park land with the help of the State legislature.  The city is trying to build a one billion dollar development at the request of the City Council Speaker.  The Educational Construction Fund (ECF) has come up with a scheme to dramatical increase the size currently allowed. The massive tower would cast shadows as far as Central Park according to project documents.  

The Department of City Planning voted to appove the controversial plan moments ago. 

 Some residents say the planned 68-story residential tower, which will offer below-market-rate housing, will be too tall and unaffordable.
Proposed East 96th Street & 2nd Avenue. A rendering depicting just a few floors of the massive, 760 foot residential tower. This irresponsible development would be built on Marx Brothers Playground critics say.  The community is demanding that the playground be restored to its original location at 96th Street & 2nd Avenue, and a sensible plan be developed.


Manhattan

By Geoffrey Croft

Upper Eastside and East Harlem residents are fuming over a $ 1 billion dollar proposed development being pushed by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on the border of the two neighborhoods.

The plan would hand over Marx Brothers Playground to a developer to build a massive 760 foot tower with 1100 apartments, three schools, and retail  space on the corner of 96th Street and 2nd Avenue, a project the community refers to as The WALL.    

At 760 feet it would be the tallest building north of 60th st. and taller than any building in the other four boroughs. A height area residents say would be egregiously out of context with the community. 

Since it is illegal to build on public parkland for non-park purposes and since parks do not have zoning,  the city is attempting to get around this by having New York State legislators temporally seize (Alienate) the park to allow development by creating commercial zoning. 

This would set a very bad precedent, one that could open the floodgates and, at a minimum allow the development of not only every single one of the approximately 250 Parks Department Jointly Operated Parks properties it shares with the DOE throughout the city,  but ALL parks could be subjected to development if this proposed legislation is passed.   

Literally NO Public land would be safe.

The massive 1.1 million square foot project would encompass an entire city block.

Open Sky. The site on May 10, 2017  - without the massive development.   The alienation of a public park in order to generate development rights is a circumvention of the Zoning Resolution’s regulations that preclude public parks from having development rights. When re-build under the new proposal the playground would be in the shade for most of the day. 


The Speaker has partnered with the Educational Construction Fund. 

The original 2012 plan envisioned only one school - Co-Op Tech which is already on the block.  ECF already had a signed agreement with developer AvalonBay according to the head of the ECF who says the scope of the project changed dramatically in 2013 when City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito insisted that three schools be built there. 

“A lot of the factors changed over the last three years at the request of the Speaker’s office we were asked to move the two additional high schools into the parcel so that changed the design obviously,” said Jennifer Maldonado - Executive Director of Educational Construction Fund/Special Assistant to Deputy Chancellor testified before the City Planning Commission on May 10th. 

According to ECF the plan would also allow the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center, a long time important project of the Speaker's, to expand.  The center, located on Lexington Avenue and 105th Street, currently shares space with Heritage,  one of the two new schools the Speaker is hoping to move to 96th Street.  

"The use of the entire building by the Cultural Center is a strong priority for Speaker Mark-Viverito," ECF wrote to City Planning in a 92 page response obtained by NYC Park Advocates.  

Neighbors who live on 96th Street and south are also furious because they say they have been left out of the discussion and point out that most of the impacts will be felt there. 

The project is already making its make through ULURP. 

The 2004 parkland alienation language that allowed the MTA to use the park for building the Second Avenue Subway explicitly stated that upon completion of construction, "the lands shall continue to be used for park purposes."

However this administration has other ideas. They have gotten the State to introduce Alienation legislation to block that.

"Construction of the second avenue subway is completed and the city of New York would now like to turn over the block on which the playground is located to the New York City Educational Construction Fund to permit the construction of a combined occupancy structure."   

After a ten year absence, the community expected the city to being rebuilding the city playground later this year after the MTA vacated the property in September. The land was used as a staging area to build the Second Avenue subway during this time.

According to the new plan after all 1.5 acres of parkland are seized and developed the land between buildings would be rebuilt for use as a public park.  

The residential tower is not anticipated to be finished by 2023 which means the community’s playground and heavily used artificial turf field - much of which will now be shaded by a massive tower for a good portion of the day - would not be available at least an additional five years.

Under the terms of the 2004 parkland alienation  bill the MTA is legally required to restore the playground.  

However on May 10th, Jennifer Maldonado testified before City Planning that there was no money for Marx Brothers Playground.  

“The playground is not budgeted either," she said. "This is not on the parks budget plan…”   

According to ECF they, along with AvalonBay will contribute approximately $ 8 million for the renovation and upgrading of Marx Brothers Playground.   

A Walk In The Park asked the Parks Department what the status of the MTA funding was. Requests have not yet been returned.


The De Blasio administration is now claiming the 1.5 acre park isn't even Parks Department property.  The massive 760 foot tower being spearheaded by the Education Construction Fund through the city planning depends on a State Parkland Alienation legislation to achieve its goal.


Adding to the theatre of the absurd the City is now claiming the park is in fact not a park and does not belong to the Parks Department and development is already permitted under its current zoning.

In its 92 page, at times laughable response to City Planning, the City repeatedly asserts that Marx Brothers Playground is not parkland. But it is covering its bases.  

“Although the Marx Brothers Playground is not and has never been parkland, the City and ECF have determinted that in connection with the Proposed Project, it si prodent to obtain new legislation.

Keeping It All In The Family. The designer of the proposed new park,  Stephen Whitehouse, a former chief of planning for the Parks Department claims in his letter to City Planning that the new park location - beside the 760 feet building -  is safer because they plan on raising the park a foot higher in order to get it out of the 100-year flood zone.  For the past sixty plus years the playground has been safely dry on Second Avenue. 


Jennifer Maldonado - Executive Director of the Educational Construction Fund/Special Assistant to Deputy Chancellor testifed at City Planning on May 10, 2017. The original plan she said called for one school but according to Maldonado Speaker Viverito dramatically changed the scope of the project when she insisted three schools be build on the site.  Under the plan ECF would float a bond to pay for the school construction.   (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.  


The billion-dollar project depends on State parkland Alienation legislation approval to achieve its goals.

Jennifer Maldonado - Executive Director of ECF said they met with all the Assembly members, parks committees, two days before the May 10th hearing.    

"We actually have legislative language to alienate the playground. We have both Senator Serrano and Assemblyman Rodriguez's support.  Senator Serrano will take the bill up for vote," Maldonado said.

Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez had a conflict NYC Park Advocates later learned.

Rodriguez is a Vice President at A.C. Advisory, a company that is involved in bond financing for ECF projects.  A.C. Advisory is listed as the financial advisor to New York City and related authorities in the placement of bonds.   

Is his employer, A.C. Advisory, Inc., acting as the financial advisor in the placement of the bonds financing for this project? By press time we were unable to verify that or whether  or not he would be recusing himself from voting if the bill comes to the floor.  

But Assemblyman Rodriguez did fail to disclose that conflict when a group of constituents met him at his office last month to discuss the project.   

After three days of calling his office two weeks ago A Walk In The Park got a call back saying that he was not pulling out.  

However in his place the City enlisted Bronx Assembly member Michael Benedetto - who represents the North East section of the Bronx to carry it for the Assembly.   He also heads the influential City Committee.  

The de Blasio administration has been lobbying heavily in Albany according to several State officials. State Senator José M. Serrano also quietly introduced the bill last week. 


Ms. Maldonado said she is hoping the bill makes it through this session.  State Legislators could vote on the bill as early as today. 

The city quietly passed the bill's Home Rule message last week during its stated meeting. 

During the May 10th hearing Planning Commissioner Anna Hayes Levin pushed back on the numerous goals for the playground.

 “Clearly there are a lot of very good public goods being planned for this site - no change in the playground size, three news schools, permanent affordable housing, but that comes at the cost of a building that is 724 feet tall,"  she said.  

"You may call it 68 stories but in linear terms that’s 72 tall.  That’s almost as tall as the Time Warner Center,” Commissioner Levin said.

"How does that kind of height make sense at this location,"  Levin asked.

"As we've talked through the assemblage and the constraints on how the site needs to be actually configured, up is the only way to go, quite honestly,"  Maldonado responded.

Commissioner Levin pushed back.


"Are we asking the applicant, the developer to carry too many public goods into this project. Are we producing a building that makes no sense in terms of its scale," she countered. 


"I would say no I think that in terms of you know what we are trying to do. I'm not sure if  there is a right answer quite honestly, to be honest with you," Maldonado replied.


The ECF head then attempted to justify the funding scheme and the reason why the city and state are pushing to give the public parkland to a private developer,  and in the process allowing AvalonBay to assume the role of government. 

"There are no capital dollars available for these schools to be frank. There are no capital dollars,  this is not on DOE's list, there's no capital budgeting allowed for these schools. This is the only way these schools will happen,"   Maldonado said.


“The only way we can keep these schools operational is to use the playground," she said. 


Shade.  The playground and heavily used field would be replaced mid-block and covered by shade from the towers for a greater part of the day.   The massive tower would cast shadows as far as Central Park according to project documents. 


“As a zoning attorney I am very concerned about the project, “ Caroline Harris of GoldmanHarris testified at the May 10th City Planning hearing.    

“It appears it achieves its huge size by using a deal structure that of temporarily  transferring the playground and the rest of the block to ECF circumventing basic zoning principles.  The definition of a zoning lot and the fact that public playgrounds do not have development rights."

“When there is a MIH (Mandatory Inclusionary Housing) component there is a real driver to go higher than the neighborhood context. This is way beyond going higher than the neighborhood context,  this is going to the Neighborhood of 57th Street context," Harris testified.

"I think its way out of scale here."


Several residents who live in the Speakers district on 96th Street also complain that when they finally found out about the plan and tried to ask questions at a Community Board 11 meeting in March they were shut down by the Speaker.

"Does anyone from the community have any questions,"  several recalled her saying.


"We are her constituents," said Silve Parviainen who attended the meeting.  


At the May 10th City Planning hearing Maldonado admitted she had not made a formal presentation to Community Board 8.  

Last week CB 8 fired off a letter to City Planning saying they had, "Serious concerns, " about the project. 


For more than 60 years children of all ages have enjoyed the unfettered access to light as result of a corner location of this playground and adjacent open field.   This proposed plan  would destroy that. 


The community is demanding that the playground be restored to its original location at 96th Street & 2nd Avenue, and a sensible plan to be developed.


The massive 1. 1 million square foot development  is making its way through ULURP. 

Read More:

Plan would bump playground for $1B real estate project
New York Post - June 21, 2017 - By Rich Calder







Tuesday, June 6, 2017

NY's Highest Court Rejects Mega-Mall In Flushing Meadow-Corona Park



The State's highest court rejected the $1 billion Bloomberg-era giveaway of 47.5 acres of public parkland in Flushing Meadow’s Corona Park to one of the country’s most politically connected developers to build Willets Point West mega-mall.   Critics of theplan argue that if the 40-plus acres of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park being proposed for mall use are no longer needed for CitiField parking then it should revert back to its original recreational use.  (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge.


Queens

By Geoffrey Croft

There will be no massive mega-mall next City Feild for the public so "recreate" in, the six year battle to prevent the illegal taking of public parkland may finally be over.    

The State’s highest court rejected the $1 billion Bloomberg-era giveaway of 47.5 acres of public parkland in Flushing Meadow’s Corona Park - to one of the country’s most politically connected developers, along with NY Mets owners -  to build the city's largest mall.

The Queens Development Group - a joint venture between The Related Companies and Sterling Equities, whose owners are New York Met’s principle owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz,  were attempting to build a 1.4 million square foot mall as part of a 47.5  acre project in the Park. 

"...the text of the statute and its legislative history flatly refute the proposition that the legislature granted the City the authority to construct a development such as Willets West in Flushing Meadows Park,"  the New York Court of Appeals ruled.  

The court ruled 5-1 against the defendants with one dissention.

In July 2015,  The New York State Appellate Division rejected the parkland mega-mall shopping complex deal and ruled in favor of plaintiffs, including NYC Park Advocates, who sued to block the city and the Queens Development Group from seizing nearly 48 acres of public parkland in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. 

The court ruled that the project violated the Public Trust Doctrine and prevented any construction on parkland from proceeding.  

The Related Companies and Sterling Equities just got approval to build this mall on the western parking lot of Citi Field.
Proposed Mega-Mall.   State Alienation legislation is required under state law to use parkland for non-park purposes.  The Bloomberg administration, including Seth Pinsky, president of the city’s Economic Development Corp.,  said that permission to develpet was already given under a 1961 law. This week New York's highest court disagreed.    (Rendering EDC)



The proposed mall in Flushing Meadow Corona Park was never part of the original Willets Point development which was approved in 2008.


The public land was thrown by Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council to sweeten the deal for developers.

The developers strategy in court proceedings and in public misstatements has been to try and connect the two development projects -  Willet’s Point West,  a proposed massive mall on 47 acres of public parkland, and Willets Point,  60 acres of automotive shops on the other side of Citi-Field. The defendants had argued strenuously that Related needed the public parkland in order to build Willets Point. 

The court rejected that. 

"Those contentions, however, have no place in our consideration of whether the legislature granted authorization for the development of Willets West on land held in the public trust.  Of course, the legislature remains free to alienate all or part of the parkland for whatever purposes it sees fit, but it must do so through direct and specific legislation that expressly confers the desired alienation."

The next step is whether or not the powerful developers will try and bypass the court’s ruling and get State elected officials and the Governor to alienate the park land.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, on behalf of the Cuomo administration petitioned the State’s highest court to vacate a lower court decision which prohibited  the commercial development of the mega-mall in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Related and Sterling have donated at least $187,300 in contributions to Governor Cuomo and AG Schneiderman since 2010 according to the Board of Elections’ website.  

Donations from Related’s top two executives and their wives,  Stephen M. Ross and his jewelry designer Kara Ross,  and Jeff and Kara Blau are included in the contributions.

The massive Willets West mega-mall planned to build on the parking lot in Flushing Meadows - Corona Park.   (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge.


New York’s highest court today held that construction of a regional shopping mall on dedicated parkland in Flushing Meadows Corona Park could not go forward, because it was not specifically approved by a State law.  

The shopping mall was to be built on what is now the parking lot for CitiField.  Under an ancient common law doctrine known as the “public trust doctrine,” any lease or sale of government land held by for a public purpose must be approved by the State Legislature. 

The City and the developers (the Related Companies and Sterling Equities, the latter owned by the owners of the Mets) had argued that the law that authorized construction of Shea Stadium also authorized construction of the mall.  After carefully analyzing both the legislative history and the language of the statute, the Court flatly rejected that contention.  

Chief Judge DiFiore was the lone dissenter.

Today’s decision of the Court of Appeals is a victory for the public trust doctrine and for parks.  The decision is important in at least two respects.  First, it reiterates that the Legislature’s approval of any alienation of parkland must be specific.  



http://www.savefmcp.org


There is no dispute that the Legislature, in 1961, enacted a law that allowed the construction and leasing of Shea Stadium.  This is the first time the Court of Appeals has held that even a law that concededly does alienate parkland will not be read as going any further than what is specifically says.  As the Court said, any “proposed alienation [by the Legislature] must plainly fall within the scope of the legislative direction authorizing alienation.” 

The decision is also important because it suggests, consistent with prior precedents, that the public trust doctrine applies to parks, but also to “other lands held in the public trust,” such as streets, wharfs, and public buildings.

"I’m very pleased at this outcome, not only for the principles that the Court reaffirmed, but also because the proposed project would have been injurious to many people, including the individual petitioners," said plaintiff's attorney John Lo-Beer, of New York City Club. 

"I hope that this decision will lead to a better future for Willets Point and for Flushing Meadows Corona Park,"  he said.

Today’s decision of the Court of Appeals is a victory for the public trust doctrine and for parks, NY State Senator Tony Avella expressed. 

The decision is important in at least two respects. First, it reiterates that the Legislature’s approval of any alienation of parkland must be specific. There is no dispute that the Legislature, in 1961, enacted a law that allowed the construction and leasing of Shea Stadium. This is the first time the Court of Appeals has held that even a law that concededly does alienate parkland will not be read as going any further than what it specifically says. As the Court said, any “proposed alienation [by the Legislature] must plainly fall within the scope of the legislative direction authorizing alienation.”

"Today’s decision was a resounding victory for the public trust doctrine and residents across New York State,"  State Senator Avella said in a statment. 

"This land was intended to be used as parkland, not for the development of a mega-mall. In a city where public land is in short supply, simply handing over parkland would be an absolute disgrace and a betrayal of the public trust. This victory sets a precedent for decades to come that our government cannot give away our parkland or be complicit in a developer’s heist of public land,” Avella said.

"Queens Civic Congress is ecstatic that the tough battle to preserve city park land from developers has been won by the community,"  Kevin J Forrestal, president, Queens Civic Congress said in a statemnet.

"QCC is very pleased that this decision will set a precedent forever upholding the state's Public Trust doctrine and preserving our valuable public spaces," he said.

The civic group  also thanked the attorneys for their incredible work in arguing a complex case as well as fellow petitioners for working together on this.

Delivering The Deal -  October 10, 2017.   Big Winners. A beaming Related Companies' Charles  J.  O'Byrne, Queens City Council member Julissa Ferreras,  Jeff Wilpon - New York Mets COO and the executive vice-president of Sterling Equities and son of New York Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon, and Glenn  A. Goldstein - president of Related Retail and registered lobbyist, pose shortly after the City Council vote.  (Photo: William Alatriste /New York City Council) 


In June 2012 Mayor Bloomberg announced a new Willets Point plan, one  that handed over 47.5 acres of public parkland in Flushing Meadows Corona Park adjacent to CitiField. 

The parkland, 23 acres of it on CitiField parking lot,  was to be developed into, “Willets West,” a massive shopping mall, a million- square-foot retail and entertainment center with more than 200 stores, movie theaters, restaurants, a parking structure and surface spaces for 2,500 cars.  

The winners of the bid were the Related Companies, and Sterling Equities, the real estate firm controlled by the owners of the Mets.  Officials hoped to break ground in three years and expected the project to take up to 15 years.  

The other developers competing to developt Willet's Point were at a disadvanage as they could not compete with the Mets parking lot scheme.
Related Companies initially sought to build a casino at the site, offering $100 million to acquire the property, including the parkland.

Legal questions began to emerge immediatly after the announcement.

State Alienation legislation is required under state law to use parkland for non-park purposes.  

A 1961 Robert Moses agreement allowed the Mets to built on the parkland with very specific caveats, non of which allowed the development of a mega-mall. 

The Bloomberg administration claimed the 1961 agreement allowed the parkland to developed so they rolled the dice and did not seek this approval.  

In October 2013 the City Council voted to approve zoning amendments to the Willet's Point plan.  Not surprising the parkland connection to the Willets Point West development was never mentioned during the public hearing.

In order to get to this point the Bloomberg administration and the City Council bypassed important land use procedures including the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).  The Mayor claimed all land use powers of the former Board of Estimate belonged to him, clearly a violation of ULURP.   

On the day of the vote members of  the Related team were seen repeatedly disappearing into the Executive side of City Hall.

In exchange for the approvals the developers agreed to give $15.5 million to the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Alliance,  a public-private conservancy Queens Council member Julissa Ferreras created with the help of New Yorkers For Parks, a non-profit partner of the Parks Department. 

Julissa Ferreras delivered the deal and thanked the groups that helped make it possible, Make the Road, a community organization she funds, Queens Fairness Coalition,  and New Yorkers For Parks.  

The elected officials practically fell over themselves congratulating each other for standing up for, "principles."

Land use Chair Leroy Comrie wanted to,  "especially thank all the advocates that came and made sure the projects were done to their concerns. They were heard and listened to as part of process," he said with a straight face.  

Staten Island Council member Vincent Ignizio was proud of his colleagues.

"I also want to point out that very often the media portrays this body in a negative light but what you see here today is the hard work of council members who stood up for their principles, stood up for their community and ultimately got a great deal,"  Ignizio said during the Subcommittee on Zone &  Franchises vote. 

Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in an effort to prevent the illigal taking of the parkland.

During court proceedings defendants tried desperately to maintain that a shopping mall built on parkland is a recreational activity and therefor a park purpose.

Today New York Court Of Appeals thankfully disagreed.


Read More:


NY 1 - June 6, 2017 - By Gene Apodaca 

CBS - June 7, 2017 - By Carolyn Gusoff


New York Times - June 6, 2017 - By Sarah Maslin Nir 

New York Daily News - June 6, 2017-  By Glenn Blain 

Queens.com - June 6, 2017 -  By Suzanne Monteverdi  

New York Law Journal - June 6, 2017 - By Mark Hamblett  









Sunday, June 4, 2017

Police Release Photos Of Suspect Wanted In Attempted Rape of Boy, 11, In Bronx Park


The suspect was last seen wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, white and blue sneakers and blue jeans, cops said.
The would be rapist was captured on video with his arm around the 11-year-old boy walking him to Bronx Park.  The attacker claimed he had a knife. The suspect was last seen wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, white and blue sneakers and blue jeans according to police.

Bronx 

By Geoffrey Croft

Police released surveillance photos on Saturday of the suspect wanted in Tuesday's attempted rape of an 11-year-old boy in Bronx Park on Tuesday.

Surveillance images show the attacker walking on Magenta St. with his arm around the young boy.

The boy was walking on Magenta Street when a man came from behind, put the child in a headlock and said, "do you have any money? Follow me, I have a knife," according to police.  

He walked the child three blocks to Bronx Park. He pulled him into the park, across a field and under a tree  where he proceeded to punch the boy in the face several times after the boy had to money.

The attacker told him to lie face down in the grass where he pulled the victim's pants off and mounted him from behind.

The child struggeld get the man off him, causing the attacker to fall back and hit his head on the tree. 

Police are asking the public’s help to identify and locate the suspect. 

He is described as light skinned, between 17 and 19-years old, 5-ft-8 to 5-10 tall,  with a thin build and braces on his teeth. He was wearing a blue hoodie, white-and-blue sneakers and blue jeans.  

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Read More:

A Walk InThe Park - June 1, 2017  -  By Geoffrey Croft

Friday, June 2, 2017

UPDATE: Man Arrested After Accidentally Shooting Himself In Washington Sq. Park



Police cordoned off Washington Square Parkentrances and nearby streets were closed off for several hours early this morning while they searched for the weapon.  (Photo: Candace McCowan via twitter)


Manhattan

By Geoffrey Croft

Police have arrested Jermaine Hatchett, a 38-year-old Manhattan resident after he shot himself in Washington Square Park early Firday morning.

He has close to a dozen arrests including several for robbery.

Police responded to call at 5:16am. The injured man was found near the southwest corner of the park.  

He initailly told police that another man shot him.  

Upon further investigation police determined that he shot himself in the left leg.   Video surveillance  showed the man shot himself.   

He was removed to Bellevue Hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.  

The park was closed for several hours while police searched for the discarded weapon.

Investigators recovered Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun from a sewer grate on the western end of the park near Washington Square West after it was tossed.

Hatchett is charged with Reckless Endangerment and  Criminal Possession of a Firearm.

Read/View More:


Scare in Manhattan park after man accidentally shoots himself, tosses gun

Eyewitness News - June 2, 2017