NYPD officers were forced to remove rowdy revelers from Washington Square Park as they spoiled what was mostly festive July 4th celebrations in New York City.
For the second time over the holiday weekend, NYPD descended in force on the iconic Manhattan park as they attempted to squash another all-night rave.
Officers could be seen lined up underneath the arch at the park’s north side off Fifth Ave ahead of the midnight curfew. As the curfew approached, people reported hearing police sound a siren before officers moved into the park and forcibly moved the large crowd gathered there out of the area.
At one point during the night, it appears that a party-goer punched an officer before a group of cops chased him down and held him on the ground.
It’s not clear how many arrests were made.
NYPD officers were forced to remove rowdy revelers from Washington Square Park as they spoiled what was mostly festive July 4th celebrations in New York City
NYPD officers in helmets can be seen detaining one party-goer on the ground after they refused to leave the area
NYPD officers line up at the north side of the park as the midnight curfew approached and sounded a siren to grab party-goer’s attention
For the second time over the holiday weekend, NYPD descended in force on the iconic Manhattan park as they attempted to squash another all-night rave
NYPD officers descended in force on the iconic Manhattan park once again as July 4 celebrations got into swing across the Big Apple
On Friday night, NYPD officers descended in force on the iconic Manhattan park once again as July 4 celebrations got into swing across the Big Apple.
But concerns the park would erupt in a huge after-dark rave failed to materialize as the city was struck by stormy weather at the end of a week of scorching heatwaves.
Only a handful of people headed to the famous arch and fountain after dark, with police appearing to outnumber the partygoers who have been flocking to the park every night in recent months.
Police were seen arresting just one woman and loading her into the back of a police cruiser, after she appeared to have broken through the police barricades.
The public park in the heart of the Big Apple has been a growing source of tension in recent weeks with residents and ravers coming to blows. Pictured: Officers are seen moving partygoers behind a barricade as they enforce the midnight curfew
A group of people speak with NYPD officers at the north side of the park
One person, dressed in red, approached a group of NYPD officers standing underneath the arch at Washington Square Park before the curfew
NYPD officers in riot gear can be seen moving partygoers away from the park
The public park in the heart of the Big Apple has been a growing source of tension in recent weeks with residents and ravers coming to blows.
With bars and restaurants facing tight restrictions over the last year due to the pandemic, it increasingly transformed into a popular party destination.
Hundreds have been seen gathering for nightly raves in defiance of a midnight curfew, with people dancing and drinking into the early hours.
Impromptu boxing matches, complete with referees and time keepers, have also become a fixture.
Residents have complained about the noise as well as increased drug use and violence in the park, claiming they are scared to walk around the area at night.
Officers try to get party-goers to leave the Washington Square Park area in Greenwich Village as some stood filming instead of leaving
Party-goers at Washington Square Park stand off against NYPD officers
A week ago, during Pride celebrations, a 66-year-old hot dog seller was attacked by a woman in Washington Square Park who punched him in the head and threw hot sauce in his eyes.
Nader Hassaneen, an Egyptian immigrant and street vendor, told The New York Post the woman pulled an American flag from the cart and demanded he replace it with a rainbow Pride flag.
The incident escalated and someone threw hot sauce in his eyes, before he was punched and pushed repeatedly.
One person who filmed the scene said Hassaneen used a homophobic slur, but he denied that.
Hassaneen and Abdelalim Abdelbaky, 28, who operates the cart, said it was not the first attack on him or his employees in the park.
The same night, NYPD officers used pepper spray on Pride attendees after revelers reportedly got angry with how police responded to a break in the metal barricades surrounding the park.
This came after an incident on June 18 where a woman was left bloodied and bruised after being trampled on by terrified crowds trying to flee a man armed with a large knife and a taser.
The man, identified as Jason McDermott, was arrested at the scene.
Last month, in an effort to tackle the simmering tensions and find solutions for both sides, a community meeting was held.
Hundreds of locals joined the meeting at Lady of Pompeii Church to complain that the park ‘has become a drug den’ and a ‘free-for-all’.
Several hundred turned up to air their grievances, with around 100 turned away from the meeting, but there appears to be little change since.
The chaos in Washington Square Park comes as New York City is recording a surge in violent crime.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said in May the crime wave was 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 militia training ground and on to site of protest and performances
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.