Update October 29, 2015- Not only did the Broadsheet publish this story without giving us credit, but they proceed to dodge the main reason why we retracted it. Nowhere does journalist Matt Fenton cite his source for the story. He reiterates it as fact. In reality, the source is very unreliable, in our opinion, and that is why we retracted the story.
Update October 9, 2015- After extensive communication with people involved, we no longer have confidence that this event happened as reported. We are retracting this article.
October 8, 2015- This blast email was sent to us. The author is the mother, name withheld, who lives on the north side of BPC.
Our son, (name withheld), age 15, was walking our two dogs last night, Wednesday, October 8th, at 7:20 PM.
We are residents of 300 North End Ave, as you know, and our son exited the building through the side door on Warren Street to go to the dog run directly across from our building on North End Ave. As he was standing with the dogs near the trash can outside of the dog run entrance, he noticed two 13 or 14 year old boys watching him from across the street.
They biked over to him (on Citi Bikes) and one asked our son for the time. He pulled out his phone and gave them the time.
Seeing he had a phone (police say this is a very common trick), one of the boys asked if he could borrow the phone to call his mother. When our son said “no”, the other boy swung around on his bike and pepper-sprayed him an inch from his eyes.
The boys tried to grab the phone from our son, but he pushed them away and they rode off to West street, he thinks.
Our son, temporarily blinded, staggered to the west side of North End Ave away from our building as he was completely disoriented and also trying to protect our two dogs.
A good Samaritan/neighbor saw the incident, unsure if he had been punched or stabbed, ran to his aid and called the police and looked after him until I got there.
Four police cars and an EMS truck had already showed up on the scene.
Our son would have been able to identify the kids, but because they were minors there were no photos on record to do so. We went to the local precinct and filed a claim.
The police said this was a very unusual occurrence in this area, but there have been an increasing number of trouble-seeking kids from outside the neighborhood lately.
My husband and I chose this neighborhood specifically for its safety and for our children to have freedom here. Most parents would agree it’s why they live here as well.
I would very much like to start a neighborhood association so we can keep this neighborhood safe, child friendly and beautiful!
Please pass this on to other building managers in the immediate area and please see if they can alert the residents of their buildings.
I think this will be a much easier task than getting more cops patrolling the area.
Please let me know what your thoughts are, your fellow managers and those of the other buildings.
I’d like to think this was a one time incident, but it would be pretty naive to take that approach. After all, this is New York City and we tend to forget that in this lovely enclave.
I want my children to continue to be able to enjoy there freedom here without constant worry.
Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.
Sincerely, (name withheld)