B.P.C. resident handcuffed during run-in with Parks Enforcement Patrol

On more than one occasion, owners of dogs spotted off leash in Battery Park City’s Rockefeller Park have been handcuffed by local patrol officers. Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER | Battery Park City’s Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) had received generally high marks from B.P.C. residents — that is, until January 2011, when former resident Adam Pratt had a run-in with them while walking his dog. As a result, Pratt was handcuffed and taken to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric observation.

On July 3, another disturbing incident surfaced.

Neighborhood resident and dog owner Jared Sheer spotted two dogs running freely on the lawn, which is against park rules. Three PEP officers asked the dogs’ owners — a couple from the neighborhood — to leash the pets, which they did immediately. Then, according to Sheer, the officers surrounded one of the owners and demanded to see identification. The man said he didn’t have his ID on him, but that he lived nearby, on River Terrace, and could go get it.

The officers pursued him as he began to walk away and then attempted to physically restrain him. “As an officer of the court, I felt a heightened duty to intervene,” said the eyewitness. “However, before I could, the man, clearly fearful of the out-of-control situation, was able to get the Parks Enforcement officers off of him and ran straight for his apartment building.”

More PEP officers arrived along with the cops, and the man was handcuffed and taken away in a police car.

Jeff Galloway, who founded the B.P.C. Dog Association with his wife, Paula, said that Captain Edwin Falcon, head of the B.P.C. PEP, notified them of the incident the following day, reporting a confrontation involving a civilian’s assault of a PEP officer.

The Galloways also heard from Sheer, who painted a different picture.

“We contacted Gayle Horwitz, [president of the Battery Park City Authority], to alert her that we had received these reports that were inconsistent with one another,” Jeff Galloway said. “We wanted to make sure that this was being looked into. She informed us that the incident is being investigated by the Parks Department.”

Horwitz wouldn’t comment, pending the outcome of the city’s investigation into the incident.

The Parks Department has referred the matter to the city Department of Investigation (D.O.I.), which looks into complaints against city employees and those who do business with the city. A spokesperson for the D.O.I. declined to comment on how long the PEP investigation would take, who in the department was handling it and what the repercussions might be. The D.O.I. has the authority to refer complaints to the courts if deemed necessary.

Two Januarys ago, Pratt claimed to have been assaulted by PEP officers on South End Avenue when he didn’t produce identification, but was issued a summons for disorderly conduct. He ended up filing a lawsuit against the city.

Officers’ demand for identification often escalates the interaction between them and otherwise law-abiding citizens, Galloway said.

“If an officer of the law observes you doing something that justifies them issuing either a warning or a summons, they have the legal right to demand an ID from you,” he said. If you don’t have ID, he noted, the police can haul you to the First Precinct and hold you until your identification can be established.

According to Galloway, dog owners such as himself frequently leave their apartments without carrying ID. “I’ve explained to the PEP officers, ‘You have to realize this is not Central Park. This is not a place where people normally have an ID.’”

Following the altercation between Pratt and the PEP, the patrol officers underwent special training to make them aware that, though they were patrolling a park, they were dealing with a local population.

Some PEP officers were reassigned at that time, which Galloway said had the intended effect. “In general,” he said, “I’ve observed the PEPs interact appropriately with all sorts of people.”

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20 Responses to B.P.C. resident handcuffed during run-in with Parks Enforcement Patrol

  1. Johnnie Walker

    These PEP neo-fascists do the same bullying on the Hudson River Park further uptown, its piers, even in Washington Square Park.

    People harp on the NYPD. Those guys are fine.

    But if you read past issues of this paper or The Villager, you will see how PEP acts like a watered-down version of the Gestapo.

    They are thugs in police uniforms, frustrated that they cannot pursue real criminals, just a naughty squirrel or the occasional hapless resident.

  2. the bottom line, be responsible dog owners. curb your dogs and clean after them. battery park city stinks with dog pee and poop. their apartments must really smell so bad. why the rest has to suffer. i can't breath this stinking air..

  3. A Caring Citizen

    I agree with John Doe…
    This article states that the witness saw that the man "was able to get Parks Enforcement officers off of him and ran straight for his apartment building" This is called resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.
    Officers will only ask for I D if your in violation of something. Take your ticket and pay it or contest it if need be. Then file all the complaints you want but it is best to comply with a lawful order of a PEP officer.
    Dont make a civil penalty a criminal matter. Those PEP officers assure the quality of life at BPC.

    A Caring Citizen

  4. Dogwalkers, Just carry your ID all the time and there would be no problem . I on the esplanade every day and I always carry ID. Why look for a confrontation like that nut Adam Pratt

    • Hey THOMAS—– seems you have a problem? Learn the LAW and understand what civil rights are, Oh yea– BPC was labeled SOVIET RUSSIA in another publication. Step outside your little bubble. That lawsuit brought major change to your hood. Funny that dude, informed for years about the abuse. BPCA in 2010- scathing abuse. BPC littered with problems.

    • Go get the nypost today . Parks pep are murderers, criminals, pervs,,,,,,
      Hope you don't have a daughter? They going to come for her. Look into history for your neighborhood battery park city. Sexual towards young female age 14 by parks officer. Everyone witnessed the innocent now 16 yr old stating her 2yr harassment by battery park city peps. Community board #1 meeting….very sad to witness the abuse in battery park city that has been hidden. NOT anyMORE

  5. Johnnie Walker

    In the US,there is not law that you must carry ID, unlike in a dictatorship.

    Why behave like we are in a dictatorship and let these bully boy PEPs boss us around in our own neighborhood?

    We should be demanding their ID not the other way around.

  6. I walk my dog and live in the area, I also have a dog walker that walks my dog and lives in the area.
    I fear for my dog's life with the recent comings, An article last week shares some more things to worry about
    , god forbid i pass out on the street PEP or other officers may kick me and step on me to gain conscious, my dog in fear of my safety may be then shot in the head in cold blooded murder.
    http://gawker.com/5935229/heres-an-absolutely-bru

  7. lets keep battery park city clean. clean after your dog – pick up their pop and wash their pee; leash your dog when you are outside your own, private space. battery park city is a shared space. not all like dogs, not all like the smell of the dog pee, not all like the sight of the dog poop. if your dog is inside your house, let them pee and poop for all i care..but not in the shared space.

  8. Battery Park City dog owners generally think they are above the law. It's nice to see that at least one was apprehended. One down. About a thousand to go!

  9. concerned citizen

    no one is above the law; otherwise, there will be chaos and anarchy

  10. Wow – those PEP Officers sure know how to kill the buzz irresponsible dog owners get from watching unleashed poochie cavorting and scampering over the grass, only stopping to pee or drop a load of poop that the owner has no intention of retrieving for proper disposal. For every dog owning court officer moved to intervene, there must be dozens of neighbors fed up with thoughtless dog owners who would have cheered as PEP officers hand-cuffed that disrespectful scoff-law and held him until NYPD arrived.

  11. NYPD Complaint

    Terese, please contact me. I have filed a similar complaint with the CCRB against Officer Piotr Skubicz of the NYPD's 1st Precinct from an identical incident in Tribeca.

  12. They are a waste. Untrained lazy check collecting thugs. Always carry a camera, pictures and videos speak mountains.
    Mydailycomplaint .com highlights the abusive pep department since the beating of a resident with his dog in his arms.

    As we said,,,,,pictures and videos …..years of abuse by the pep!!!! It's been proven.

  13. ONE more—— All of your BPC problems become internally investigated. If you have a parks problem, the issue is investigated BY THEM. Such a joke. THe past parks captain was SLEEPING with the help as he was MARRIED.
    Problems, problems. That dude would investigate, haha.

    Take them to COURT if you have the proof. File a FOIL request and watch it get fumbled. The black cloud is on them and the residents are the victims.

    The parks dept think bpc residents are CUSTOMERS as they have a sensitivity slide for the rotten ones, customers not residents. The whole structure is corrupt. Just GOOGLE it.

  14. Hi there…as of September 30,2012 ….the new York post features the parks departments as killers, pervs,murderers.
    Like mydailycomplaint has stated ……the parks pep are criminals. The article just certified it.

    Can't wait for all the battery park city parks abuse to come out…..it's so so much!!

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