A woman was slashed on her face in Washington Square Park on Friday night after reportedly confronting partygoers who had descended on the New York landmark for another after-dark rave.
Hundreds of revelers had descended on the park again for the latest in a string of parties which has left local residents fuming and the police apparently powerless to step in.
DailyMail.com pictures show a woman sat on the ground with blood pouring from her face after she was slashed during an argument. A man was seen handcuffed and being led away by police.
According to witnesses, the woman was a local resident who had entered the park to complain about the loud noise, and was attacked during an altercation with a reveler.
They said the man had come to the park armed with weapons including a taser.
The attack happened at around 12:40am – after the New York Police Department failed to enforce a midnight curfew on the park.
She was taken away in an ambulance at around 1am.
The NYPD had said this week that they would enforce a midnight closure time after the rowdy late-night events saw stabbings and brawls, and sparked complaints from well-heeled neighbors. There have also been allegations of drug taking by revelers.
A woman was slashed on her face in Washington Square Park on Friday night after reportedly confronting partygoers
The woman was seen with blood pouring from her face after she was slashed during an argument
According to witnesses, the woman was a local resident who had entered the park to complain about the loud noise, and was attacked during an altercation with a reveler
A man was seen handcuffed and being led away by police
The attack happened at around 12:40am – after the New York Police Department failed to enforce a midnight curfew on the park
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said on Wednesday that police officers will be ‘enforcing the closing…if requested’ to do so by the Parks Department.
On Wednesday, Rodney Harrison, the NYPD’s Chief of Department, the highest ranking uniformed officer on the force, told reporters at City Hall that fliers would be handed out to park visitors reminding them to clear out by the midnight closing time.
On Monday, mayor Bill De Blasio downplayed the violence and chaos at Washington Square Park in recent weeks, telling reporters that he believes the situation will resolve itself ‘naturally.’
It came as liberal residents who live nearby told how they are afraid of asking for more cops to tackle the daily after-dark raves because they don’t want to be viewed as less progressive.
New Yorkers living around the historic Manhattan park told the New York Times they feel it is ‘time to draw the line’ on the escalating parties which they claim have left many ‘too afraid to go inside.’
Hundreds of revelers had descended on the park again for the latest in a string of parties which has left local residents fuming
The late-night parties have seen stabbings and brawls, and sparked complaints from well-heeled neighbors
On Monday, mayor Bill De Blasio downplayed the chaos at Washington Square Park in recent weeks, telling reporters that he believes the situation will resolve itself ‘naturally’
Liberal residents who live nearby have told how they are afraid of asking for more cops to tackle the daily after-dark raves because they don’t want to be viewed as less progressive
However, they admitted their desire to rein in the revelry clashes with their attitudes toward policing at a time when liberals are calling for greater police reform in the wake of the cop killing of George Floyd.
Their concerns come as a professor questioned the motives behind some of the complaints about the noisy park raves, saying they are targeting young people of color.
‘Is it really just about noise? What is it about really?’ Setha Low, director of the Public Space Research Group at the Graduate Center at CUNY, told the Times.
‘This is another old-fashioned conflict where one scenario is that you want your neighborhood to appropriate the park and take care of it. On the other hand, it is a public space resource for the city.’
One resident whose family has lived in the same house around the park for almost half a century said the park resembled ‘a war’ some nights
Partygoers claim the park is a place to ‘chill out’ away from the violence and police hostility in some other parts of the city
The New York Police Department failed to enforce a midnight curfew on the park
The local residents in the rich, elite Greenwich Village neighborhood are largely white while the partygoers are typically more diverse and have traveled to attend the parties from other parts of the city.
One resident whose family has lived in the same house around the park for almost half a century told the Times the park resembled ‘a war’ some nights.
‘What pains me is that this park is for everyone, and now some people are too afraid to go inside,’ said Erika Sumner, who is the head of the neighborhood association the Washington Square Association.
Another resident Carmen Gonzalez said she was concerned about rising drug use after her young daughter picked up a used syringe from the park.
‘Once the sun comes down, the park changes drastically. It’s time to draw the line,’ she said.
However partygoers told the Times the park is a place to ‘chill out’ away from the violence and police hostility in some other parts of the city.
‘This is the park you come to chill out,’ said Edith Molina from the Bronx.
The violence in Washington Square Park comes as the NYPD struggled under a surge in violent crime in 2021.
Felony assaults are up eight percent for the first six months of 2021, compared to the same period last year, while rapes are up by 3 percent.
NYPD data shows shootings in the Big Apple have increased by 64 percent year-on-year, while murders are up 13 percent.
The numbers are disturbing in themselves, but the violence has intensified and taken place in public places, like parks and subways, and in front of witnesses and surveillance cameras.
Earlier this week, former NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton warned American cities, including New York City, are in for a ‘very, long dangerous summer’ as murder rates have skyrocketed
Crimes have been rising throughout New York City, according to the NYPD
Statistics show shooting crimes have been up this year city-wide compared to last year
And there aren’t any short- or long-term answers, Bratton told CNBC‘s Shepard Smith on Monday.
‘Unlike the last crime epidemic that took decades to build up to the early ’90s, this one has occurred, literally, overnight,’ Bratton said.
‘It’s like the virus, it’s literally, out of nowhere, and so solutions are not immediately apparent.’
In May, Governor Andrew Cuomo called the surge in violent crime a ‘major problem’ and said unless the NYPD gets a handle on it soon, the city would become undesirable.
‘New Yorkers don’t feel safe and they don’t feel safe because the crime rate is up. It’s not that they are being neurotic or overly sensitive – they are right.’ he said.
Washington Square Park through the ages: From Native American farm land to public execution site and military parade ground
Nestled in the heart of Manhattan, Washington Square Park is known for its iconic arch and fountain.
But long before they were built, it was an area of marsh land with a natural waterway named Minetta Creek home to fresh trout.
The Native American Lenape tribe cultivated the land in the 1600s before it was taken over by the Dutch.
The Dutch then offered some of the land to African-born slaves they freed in 1642 – but the free black farmers then lost the land again under English rule.
In 1797, the City’s Common Council converted the land into a Potter’s Field – the name for an area where the poor were buried. The site is also thought to have been the site of public executions.
Then, in 1826, the area around the park was converted into a militia training ground named Washington Military Parade Ground. The next year, some parts were turned into a public park.
Famously, Samuel F.B. Morse gave a public demonstration of his new invention – the telegraph – in the park in 1838
After the City’s Department of Public Parks was formed to look after the city’s parks in 1870, it underwent a major redesign with curved paths and shaded areas to provide an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
The iconic marble Washington Arch was built between 1890-1892 and other monuments were erected over the coming years.
Throughout the 20th century, the park increasingly became a site of protest and performances with labor unions marching after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, and the Beat generation and folkies setting up in the park.
Later redesigns followed and the Arch was restored in the noughties.
The park, now named after George Washington who was inaugurated as the first US president in New York City in 1789, continues to be a popular place for protests and cultural events.