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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.