October 2, 2010
On Saturday, October 2, approximately 20 skateboarders, many from Brooklyn, were performing jumps, damaging the granite benches and walkway in front of 17 Battery Place. Across the street is the family tourist area of Battery Park, Statue of Liberty boat tours, and the upscale Ritz Carlton hotel. The concierge of one of the residential buildings nearby, who called the police, said that this gang frequently menaces the neighborhood.
Before the police could arrive, a few of the skateboarders became verbally abusive to the corner food vendor. The man, who wished to be anonymous, is an immigrant from Egypt. As the video shows, one of the teens then pushed the man and threw some punches. The group then dispersed and headed north on West Street.
Several minutes later, a few of the teens returned to skateboard on the Ritz Carleton property, then headed north on the “Pataki Highway”. The NYPD patrol officers, with the assistance of a BPC citizen tracking the teens, caught three of the gang in Rector Park in front of 200 Rector Place. All of them were from Brooklyn.
These young gangsters are not to be dismissed as “simply rebellious”. As previously reported in the local press, one BPC citizen was beaten with a pipe near the South Gristedes store this past winter by marauding teens not from the neighborhood. BatteryPark.TV also learned that a male BPC Park Ranger was struck in the back of the head with a skateboard while confronting a group of skateboarders.
As a word of caution to anyone encountering these gangs and wanting to intervene, they know fully well that they are breaking rules and laws. They will often taunt authorities into a fight knowing that their underage status makes it a felony for an adult to lay hand on them, unless it is self defense. In the video, one can see this strategy at play.
The gangs have grown in number because they know that the park rangers have no authority to stop them in most cases. However, with just a few arrests or citations by NYPD, the youths will likely stop their behavior. Extra police patrol has been added to the area. Stay tuned.
Update: October 9
More footage of the skatebaorders damaging expensive stone and steel fixtures by the Oceans condo on 17 Battery Place.