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“I called the cops. They didn’t want to come,” said Abdo Mansour, one of three food vendors attacked by mobs Sunday night outside Washington Square Park. “The cops stayed right there.”
“The cops stayed right there” is a statement that should fill New Yorkers with dread.
By forcing the NYPD to retreat from enforcing basic public order in the park, the de Blasio administration has fostered an anything-goes, party-hardy anarchy that revels on into the wee hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings. Indeed, the standing rules of engagement for cops appear to be “Don’t engage unless lives are in imminent danger,” allowing for not just late-night dance parties and illegal fireworks displays but even unlicensed “Fight Club” boxing matches.
“When the sun goes down,” says local Samantha Hurwitz, “it’s a free-for-all underworld where there are no penalties for stealing, hitting, doing drugs.” Another longtime area resident, Andrew Levas, told The Post: “The knuckleheads in the park are just gonna keep pushing the envelope until something bad happens.”
Like assaults on vendors — and worse, if this goes on.
Sure, Sunday night’s melee brought eight arrests. But that won’t end the madness.
Sooner or later, Mayor Bill de Blasio needs to let the police take back the park from the anarchists. Please, Mr. Mayor, this time don’t wait for someone to get shot.
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