NYC Parks Department Statement on Recent Arrest of Artist Oriel at Washington Square Park

NYC Parks Department Statement on Recent Arrest of Artist Oriel at Washington Square Park

To follow up on the story first reported here at Washington Square Park Blog from Wednesday: “An Artist Was Aggressively Tackled and Arrested at Washington Square Park. His Offense: Displaying Art on the Ground.” Hyperallergic published a good piece in which WSP Blog was quoted and included a response from the city Parks Department, as follows:

In an email sent to Hyperallergic, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) said, “This defendant has received multiple summonses and 311 complaints in recent months.” It follows: “On the day in question, officers asked him for identification to issue another summons for violating parks regulations. He refused to provide identification and the officer attempted to arrest him. This individual resisted arrest and began to choke the officer.”

NYC Parks’ statement continues:

The individual, who was not following our expressive matter rules, was told multiple times that he could not have his artwork displayed on the ground, and was asked to turn off amplified sound, for which he did not have a permit.

[…] The individual became aggressive and uncooperative; would not provide identification when instructed, and failed to comply to the direction of the officer, which led to the attempt to arrest.

The initial anticipated charge was failure to comply, though he were subsequently charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation; resisting arrest; attempted assault in the third degree; harassment in the second degree.

“Our Parks Enforcement Patrol officers’ first course of action is to educate parkgoers to our rules,” the department concluded. “If not followed, the next step would be to issue summons, and only in extremely rare circumstances would we effectuate an arrest.”

Read the full story: Artist Tackled, Pepper-Sprayed, and Arrested While Selling Art in Washington Square Park at Hyperallergic.

Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:

An Artist Was Aggressively Tackled and Arrested at Washington Square Park. His Offense: Displaying Art on the Ground