Battery Park City park rangers assault BPC resident

January 29, 2011

At approximately 12:00 PM on January 29th, 20011, according to eyewitness Theresa Shabbos who lives one floor above 2 South End Avenue, local resident Adam Pratt was walking his small dog and arrived at the southeast corner of the buildings on 21 South End Avenue, just north of the South Cove Marina. Mr. Pratt was confronted by one of the Battery Park City security officers. The Parks Conservancy would not comment or provide names.

According to witness Shabbos, who happened to be looking out her window, The BPC security woman pushed Mr. Pratt in the face. He then tried to take a photograph of her and she chased him northward. Mr. Pratt evaded the security officer by dipping into the Regatta apartment building. Ms. Shabbos lost track of events from thereon, but other witnesses at the Vince Smith Hair Experience, one block north, say that Mr. Pratt frantically knocked on their storefront window and begged for them to call the New York Police Department.

Moments later, according to a third witness walking his dog on the corner of Rector Place and South End Avenue, who wished to remain anonymous, said that multiple green-uniform park security officers had now been recruited to the scene and struck Mr. Pratt in the arm with a baton while Mr. Pratt was walking westward on Rector Place west of South End Avenue, still holding his dog in his arms. This was confirmed by other witnesses. Mr. Pratt was then forced to ground and handcuffed. One witness said that, “They beat the crap out of him”.

At that point, multiple NYPD cruisers and NYFD EMS arrived on the scene (see video). Mr. Pratt was taken away in the ambulance and it is unclear whether the NYPD made an arrest. We will have more details on this story as the case plays out in court.

The aggressive behavior exhibited in this case by the BPC parks security is highly inconsistent with previous behavior. In the past, BatteryPark.TV and members of the Community Board have been unable to have the parks security issue tickets for rogue bicycle deliverymen speeding on sidewalks, ticket or remove homeless persons defecating in the parks, or ticket/arrest violent skateboard gangs.

The security detail for Battery Park City parks involved in this story are employed by the city but managed by the Parks Conservancy of the BPCA. They are not police officers but do have the authority to issue citations and use reasonable force.

It is unclear why this altercation developed, but it seems to have taken on a personal component. One witness did mention that Mr. Pratt has “taken a stand before” against the park security staff when they have tried to enforce dog leash regulations as he walked his dog.

The following cell phone video and two photos are courtesy of Vince Smith

Adam Pratt on the ground surrounded by park security

Update: January 31, 2011

Since our first report, we have an update on what transpired after Mr. Pratt was driven away in the NYFD EMS squad truck. The alleged assault victim, Adam Pratt, was taken to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric evaluation and treatment of contusions, head injury, and possible fracture of the ribs. It is unclear why the psych-eval was ordered, but he was found to be stable and released. Mr. Pratt told BatteryPark.TV that he is a cancer survivor who has been treated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and that the alleged assault aggravated rib and respiratory problems.

Mr. Pratt also provided more detail on his account of what happened on the 29th. He said that he was standing at the corner of 21 South End Avenue, in front of the Japanese restaurant, speaking on the phone with his mother. His dog was on a leash on the ground. Because of past dealings with the PEP park security, he had a concern that an approaching PEP officer in a “golf cart” was going to harass him and he warned his mother before the PEP officer even approached him that he might have to call the police. The PEP cart pulled up abruptly and slid on the snow as it stopped near him.

According to Mr. Pratt, the PEP officer got out of the cart and demanded to see an ID. Mr. Pratt said that he replied, “I do not have an ID on me, but I am Adam Pratt and have lived here for twenty years.” At this point, he said that the PEP office struck him in the head with her radio and shoved him in the face.

Mr. Pratt told BatteryPark.TV, “My (friends in BPC) can vouch for me as a reputable local citizen protecting all of our investments and calling out the ineptness off the (park security) staff–I have 2 yrs of pics and videos of them slacking and sleeping in their cars in uniform, no light with golf kart at night on sidewalk, etc. This was a planned vendetta!!!”

Of note, after a Supreme Court ruling in 2004, it is now a possible criminal offense for anyone suspected of wrongdoing to refuse to identify themselves to police. However, carrying an ID is not required, and if someone is going to the gym or jogging, for examples, they cannot be arrested for not having an ID card.

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20 Responses to Battery Park City park rangers assault BPC resident

  1. Fletch says:

    By Fletch, January 30, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

    Totally saw Mr. Pratt yelling at the African American park police woman/security officer while simultaneously running away, between Thames Street and Rector Place. Pratt was being chased by the female security officer and at least four to six of her colleagues. Seemed a bit overkill by the “authorities” down here. He rounded the southwest corner on Rector Place and like keystone cops, they ran around the corner and detained him. Did not see the takedown but roughly a couple of minutes later they led a shellshocked Mr. Pratt to a waiting ambulance.

    It’s pretty stupid of the greenies to be pummeling residents in such a fashion.

  2. Citizen of bpc says:

    I have been harassed as well by them. They are a presence that needs to be dissolved . The man was carrying protecting his dog…..looks to me that this will be a major Animal cruelty issue as well!!!
    We have all witnessed the greenies–“sleeping in personal cars, holding parking for personal cars , holding music radio and sitting in bench while in duty, asleep at gateway in cart, asleep at newstand,…,.wow….I honor mr.Pratt and hope as a resident that we rally and support the change for the area. This is total abuse and it all will be exposed …it’s sad because that man was an original investor in BPC and supports growth here as well for everyone, he is very popular and respected in bpc!!!!!
    Those greenies also performed the same action 5yrs back to another resident. That person was also jumped and beaten—-he had to sue, but He WOn very easy. Too bad it’s going to that level.

  3. I TOO HAVE TOO BEEN HARRASSED!! says:

    Well this is certainly nothing new huh. BPC has a long history of allowing their parks officers to behave innappropriately. I was harrassed a few years ago, when they decided to have a “zero tolerance policy” against dog offenses. I was throwing out a peice of garbage on the park side of rector place while my dog was on leash with me, and the “officer” told me to give him id, i was going to get arrested and my dog was going to the pound for “being in the park with a dog” (For the record i was NOT in the park, the garbage cans are on the sidewalk of the park)
    Well I picked up my dog, as to not allow them to take him(it will be a cold day in hell before someone takes my dog to the pound)
    He began to grab my arms in the attempt to restrain me, he called for backup (all very dramtic for a calm woman with a 15 lb dog)
    From the past problems of assault they have on bpc residents, I knew that they VOICE RECORD their interactions with controntations. (they wear microphones in their collars)So I made sure I was SAYING all that was happening…”SIR take your hands off me, Sir, remove your hands from my dog etc…)
    I too called the police. The police arrived to tell me that they would speak to the officer but they couldnt do anything. Which I find totally obscene, since these are regular people in green outfits,with no authority legally AT ALL!!
    Their superiors allow them to conduct themselves in a completely unprofessional manor.All across the board, if they are not harrassing someone , then they are talking on their cell phones, or driving a city vehicle around not abiding by traffic rules…it goes on an on.
    This needs to stop. If this was NYPD there would be punishment for their actions. These are just regular people allowed to harass BPC residents.
    Its just not right!!

  4. I TOO HAVE TOO BEEN HARRASSED!! says:

    I forgot to mention in the previous post..my voice recordings were mysteriously missing when this unfolded later on…
    Mr. Pratt should look into voice recordings for his case as well.

  5. Steven says:

    I CANT BELIEVE ANY OF THIS HAPPENED TO A BPC RESIDENT!!! I was walking my dog 12 hours prior to this event in BPC. It was after midnight and I was walking my 8lb shitzu who is a service registered animal and works in seniors centers.
    I was on the upper esplanade walking dog. I was approached by a parks officer in a golf kart (RIDING ON UPPER LEVEL WITHOUT LIGHTS ON) DRIVING RIGHT AT ME!!! I scooped my dog up ASAP because I felt an issue about to happen without anyone else around at this time of night. THis person screached his kart right in front of me and said “CONTROL YOUR DOG”!!! I DID NOT RESPOND because I already had my dog in arms. I turned back and walked briskly back to residence (100 yrd away). THis person trailed me “without lights still” to watch where I went? THIS IS GETTING OUT OF HAND!!! I believe many “ISSUES” regarding PARK MISCONDUCT will START TO BE REVEALED and BPC will return to its roots on being a luxury neighborhood. LEts SHARE our experiences because ANYWHERE ELSE IN NYC, any “officer” WOULD OF BEEN ARRESTED AND SUSPENDED …… what are the parks code of conduct because the officers were back on the patrol the next morning? CORRUPT…hmmm…..can’t wait for this to be taken up by the NYPOST and Animal advocates on the enforcement behavior towards an animal (dog).

  6. Concerned resident says:

    No one condones violence or misdemeanour. i am a BPC resindent for over 10 years and I have wathced as the quality of our parks has deteriorated. from what i see, these appear to be directly dog poop related incidents which have been on the rise.
    A lady letting her dog go on planted flower beds of a bpc bldg, when told to mind the sign, just looked up and said, “i know that but my dog does not”. Another thought nothing of it when a girl was having a sandwich on a bench at the north esplanade that her dog started p–ing next to the girl’s leg while she watched. A very common place where dog owners have picked to let their dogs ‘go’ is next to the ‘checkered’ tables where people play chess and eat their lunches! everyday i see our sidewalks marred by unpicked-up poop and dog owners letting their dogs ‘go’ at ‘mind your dog’ sigend areas. The north esplanade is unwalkable on most fair weather days as it reaks of dog excrement.
    I love dogs and all animals but keeping big dogs in these apartments — locked up on many occasions is cruel to animals – it breaks my heart hearing those dogs bark behind their owners doors for hours on end.
    When will it be too many too big for the city!Dogs should be raised in spacious suburbs — not the other way round: i.e articles recently asking for more parks available for off-leash dogs to the detriment of other residents and kids. it seems that only the dog owners are very vocal about their rights but are loathe to police their own behaviours. the costs to make available dog runs and maintaining them is not ingignificant with gallons and gallons of water expended every day to clean them surely has a cost that should be passed on to dog owners as a dog tax.
    the dog situation in BPC is out of control and seems to be a major driving force in the recent impatience of parks police. my own experience has been very different. Park police have been polite and cheerful and are doing what they can to keep our parks walkable, enjoyable and as safe as is in their limited power to act.

  7. Steven says:

    Concerned resident—???? I guess you dont open you eyes wide enough to view the multiple deed carvings on EVERY TREE on the upper esplanade. THis is right in front of their office. Graffiti on store owner windows cut with knives to make marks and gang signs on glass on south end? Mailbox and garbage cans are tagged with gang logo.

    Its nice to see the recent “10year” change —- People walk around with WALNUTS and peanuts to toss on ground!! THATS WHY WE HAVE MANY RATS NOW— ARE YOU A BIRD FOOD TOSSER ?

    We always witness the DELIEVERYMAN riding on the sidewalk with MOPEDS and ELECTRIC BIKES—- WHEN ONE OF YOUR CHILDREN leaves the lobby and is PLOWED by ONE OF THESE GUYS RIDING againist LAW—- MAYBE ONE OF YOU WILL FINALLY OPEN YOUR MOUTH!!

    We have entered a reactive community—- IT NEEDS TO CHANGE AND BE MORE PRO-ACTIVE!!!

    THey are not trained or educated to be located in this area!!

  8. Steven says:

    Hey in 2 months—- Cant wait to have all the fisherman back on esplanade!!

    LETS LEAVE BLOOD AND GUTS and FISH on cement and BAIT to leave behind on bench!! It only started recently with this activity. PARKS DO NOTHING!!!

    LEAVE ALL THE 1inch and longer METAL HOOKS, SO YOUR CHILDREN AND PETS will receive damage???

  9. Paula says:

    Steven and others – We (the BPC Dog Association) are following up with the BPCA, Community Board 1 and local elected officials about this incident. As part of this process, it would be helpful to know what experiences other BPC Dog Association members (and non-members) have had with the PEPs over the last 12 months, both unpleasant and pleasant experiences. Contact me. My contact information is at our website: http://www.bpcdogs.org. Thank you.

  10. Gina says:

    I think that this resident should stop lying, the Pep officers did not stop him for no reason, and I am sure he felt he did not have to listen to anything they said, All of you that are bashing the officers should wake up,they are the ones that prevent you from any crimes that would occur if they were not there day and night.

  11. Stephan says:

    The green People are Officers with Full Arrest Powers, they are not security guards. It is there job to enforce quality of life crimes, no matter how petty you may think they are. When one of these officers ask you for your information you must provide it, by law, otherwise you will get ARRESTED! I BELIEVE THAT THE DIRESPECT THAT MY FELLOW RESIDENTS ARE SHOWING IS SHAMEFUl, you give the so called [ UPPER CLASS] a Terrible name. I am a dog owner and I follow the laws of the land, I have never had any negative experiences with the Pep officers. Why does Mr Pratt say the pep have a vendetta agaist him? AND WHY IS HE TAKING PICTURES OF THE OFICERS, MR PRATT YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE NO LIFE.You have no respect for Public Servants, as you were unruly with the EMS workers as well as the officers.

  12. Mr Cannon says:

    Why would the Officer stop Mr Pratt for no apparent reason, this cant be true, It seems to me , he felt the officer had no reason to question him, and for the half story witnesses, Ms Shabbos, you did not see everything, and you dont have the right to yell stop at the officer, I would like to see you do their job. It is embarrassing that my neighbors are so Anti- Police. Mr Pratt you have serious Mental Problems, maybe you learned your lesson. Keep the Dog On A LEASH!

  13. Editor says:

    “Editor’s note, “Mr Cannon” and “Stephan” are the same person, or at least posted from the same computer. Both used bogus emails

  14. Michael says:

    This is a very disturbing episode, which leaves me, a BPC resident, feeling less safe for me and my family. The fact that a person can be bitten up and arrested by PEP security guards in the broad daylight with no apparent reason (at least based on the information provided in the article and the witness accounts) and then sent to a psychiatric hospital is difficult to comprehend.

    There needs to be a formal investigation conducted by independent authorities with the appropriate legal proceedings to help determine all facts. This can’t be left unexplained and true wrongdoers unpunished. Echoing a comment from a letter by another resident to “The Battery Park City Broadsheet” (Volume 15 Number 3), this incident “might just be revealing the tip of a corrupt organization”. All Battery Park City residents and taxpayers have the right to know what is truly going on and what kind of security we really have here.

    Thank you to BatteryPark.TV and its reporter for keeping residents in the loop on the current and future developments.

  15. Mathilda says:

    I found it very disturbing to see on the video that the police who was called on the scene by outsiders did only listen to the word of the Park Ranger (who might have said this genuinely as he was not on the scene and only rely on his officer’s word) while there was several eye witnesses, one I could see and other I could hear on the video. Does it mean that the word of an officer not on the scene prevails on the one of many eye witnesses.
    I don’t see why some comments mentioned that he did not want to give is ID he said his name and that he was a local resident. I hope this officer gets a psychological evaluation. And in the meantime I look fearfully at any green uniform around, and carry my ID, I’n not sure I’ll recover from being thrown on the ground and kneed in the back.

  16. QueensStreets says:

    To set the record straight, these are not security guards, they are Parks Enforcement Officers. They are Peace Officers under New York State Charter and carry mace, batons, handcuffs, etc. They have every right to arrest and detain individuals as well as issue summonses under State Law. I’m not taking sides, just clarifying so everyone can get the facts straight.

  17. Sound like a terrible place to have a park. What on earth is going on there.

  18. Former BPC Resident says:

    As a former resident of Battery park I know Mr Pratt well. He is a person who loves his neighborhood and wants nothing more but for it to return to it original form- that is peaceful and beautiful- I have seen the Greenies giving certain people big time breaks for unlawful things, i have seen and heard them be nasty as hell for no apparent reason to residents except I believe their jealousy over where these people reside. They were beating on a man because they wanted him to produce his ID, he lives in BP- do you take your ID with you when you go for a short walk in your lneighborhood- say to the store??? They beat on Mr Pratt and while doing so on his little dog also- disgraceful- the Greenines are nothing more than people who have been given authority and have been misusing it- Residents of BP need to act now so that their neighborhood can return to its normal beautiful place-

  19. Greenie says:

    BTW..the “Greenies” do have full arrest powers. They are NYS Peace officers authorized to make warrantless arrests, issue summons etc. They have the same powers as police 24/7 on and off duty. Before you fools make assumptions and try to sound like what you know what you are talking about educate your self. They are Law Enforcement Officers.

  20. Echo says:

    wow! i live in Brooklyn and happened to come upon this new while i was looking for advice on Park Rangers’ misconduct. so shocked these so-called Greenies’ outrageous conduct! why don’t the residents at BPC gather together and find a way to fire these people and hire a new law reinforcement group? Who hired these people in the first place?

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