Teens Are Terrorizing Battery Park City

“There has been a group of teens coming into Battery Park City and terrorizing our children and families,” wrote Alan in a group email this morning. This has been an issue for a while, but it appears to be getting worse—spreading out from the balcony above the ball fields to Goldman Alley and beyond. Alan’s email included examples gathered from other residents:

—Throwing glass bottles down into the ballfields, nearly hurting kids and adults.

—An incident took place in December at the deli in my building. Apparently there is a gang called “TMW – Tribeca’s Most Wanted” that hangs around there often. These teenagers approached some kids and pulled out a fake gun.

—A man, pregnant wife, and their little boy came out of the movie theater (around March 4), when some kids started bothering them. Goldman Sachs security guard had to interfere and ask them to leave them alone and leave the alley. Then the kids went to West Street and started bothering a taxi, the driver came out of the taxi, thinking they needed help and they started spitting at him.

—A couple was passing by in front of Harry’s Italian restaurant and the kids bump into the guy on purpose to start a fight and the boy in the gang punched the man in the face.

—3 teenagers were bothering some girls that were sitting  in the ballfields terrace. The mom of one of them approached and asked them to leave. They didn’t like it and started shouting.

—Two adults in surgical masks stopped a 13-year-old boy by Gristedes and asked him for money.

Alan ended the message by asking residents to write Shari C. Hyman of the Battery Park City Authority at shari.hyman@bpca.ny.gov: “If we don’t speak up, the BPCA won’t know how dissatisfied residents are with the changes they have made in security and [that we] expect some serious improvements to be made.” The issue certainly strikes at the heart of what people love about Battery Park City—that it’s safe, especially for their kids.

And if you have other examples of harassment, send them to me at tribecacitizen@gmail.com and I’ll forward them to Alan.

UPDATE:

—From D.: “They came into Pick a Bagel in Goldman Alley and were harassing people in there before the workers chased them out. Apparently they do this often and have stolen the tip jar. My husband asked the workers why they won’t tell the security guards at Goldman and their reply was they were ‘just kids’ and didn’t want them to get in trouble.
—A reader in north Tribeca who would like to remain anonymous had a terrifying encounter a few months ago with a gang of teens (“they had a gun, which I hope was fake”), the details of which I can’t share. But  the reader “called the youth officer at Precinct 1 (Officer Diggs). He said he knew these kids, and they run up and down Hudson River Park and hang out at night in Brookfield Place. He said he would look into it, but never called me back.” The reader also added that the gang has terrorized neighbors walking their dogs and the Sterling Mason’s doorman says they throw bottles at the dog walkers.
—A comment by mruptight: “I’m glad this is finally being put out there. I’m sure some parents will say this is just kids being kids, but the multiple times I have had run-ins with them, they are nothing but spoiled thugs. Definitely from the neighborhood, or go to school at Stuyvesant. They often hang out in the evenings in the Conrad lobby. Usually in groups of 4-5 white male teens. Been called faggot to my partner and me, and spit at on 2 separate occasions. We are both tall and in pretty good shape, so the POS usually run away.”
—”My wife and I were leaving the movie theatre maybe a month ago and saw this group harass a man and his wife,” emailed S. “It was clearly very unsettling for them. After the the Goldman Sachs guards chased them off they went north through Asphalt Green and exit on Warren to spit on and throw rocks at a taxi cab. There is no question this was all on the cameras outside the hotel and GS. I called the police. Clearly what they were doing to that man would be an arrestable offence.”
—A comment from Steven: “While I realize this thread primarily discusses BPC: a few months back, my wife and I were walking with our 3-year old on Greenwich in the middle of the day when we witnessed a group of teens—both black & white—verbally harassing each passerby while several aggressively rode skateboards on the sidewalks (often forcing pedestrians into the street on onto storefront steps). The were loud, belligerent and most definitely threatening. They continued this behavior as they gathered on the corner of Reade—culminating with a skateboarder doing a jump onto the hood of a Mercedes parked at the corner, obviously causing significant damage. They high-fived amongst themselves and boisterously celebrated the destruction. But what was most alarming was how completely unfazed they were by neighborhood residents yelling for them to stop with threats of calling the police (which several of us did). Fortunately, I’ve not seen or heard of any other incidents before or since, so this may be isolated or perhaps was effectively managed by the police.”
—A comment from Anon: “My 12 year old son was assaulted and knocked on the ground by them. My other son witnessed them steal from a store.”

UPDATE 4/3: “One of the purported gang members, [name redacted], was arrested for assaulting another boy, I believe in a restaurant,” commented HL Bingcroft. “I hear he will be tried as an adult.” (The Tribeca Trib says it was for “aggravated harassment.”) And yesterday, I spoke with someone who has a lot of info about the gang, and as you point out, it’s more serious than has been indicated. If anyone else has information, I can connect you with the person I spoke with. And if you are the victim of criminal or threatening activity—or if you see it happening to someone else—call 911. The NYPD is, in fact, being forced to deal with it, and the more incidents that get reported, the better.

76 Comments

  1. This seems dramatic. Sounds like a few isolated incidents blown out of proportion.

    I am in BPC all the time; playing basketball, walking around, jogging, etc. I am there late at night and during the day and have never experienced a problem.

    Can anyone else verify Alan’s claims?

    • I just spoke with someone who told me a heck of a story about being harassed and attacked.

    • Mike, I didn’t make any “claims”, these are the happenings that go on in our neighborhood and this was circulated through the apt buildings to be extra vigilant. You have to be blind not to the see the amounts of teens loitering, taunting, attempts at robbery etc. We have young children navigating the North End with NO security, the “ambarassador” plants that can’t act on any crime do nothing to curb this and the neighborhood needs a permanent police presence! Fields and landing should be closed at dusk and gangs of kids should not bothering the families who pay enough to live here!

  2. I’m glad this is finally being put out there. I’m sure some parents will say this is just kids being kids, but the multiple times I have had run-ins with them, they are nothing but spoiled thugs. Definitely from the neighborhood, or go to school at Stuyvesant. They often hang out in the evenings in the Conrad lobby. Usually in groups of 4-5 white male teens. Been called faggot to my partner and me, and spit at on 2 separate occasions. We are both tall and in pretty good shape, so the POS usually run away.

    • Were they wearing Stuyvesant sweatshirts? Why is Stuyvesant being named here–is that fair? What is the evidence of that?

  3. The only reason nothing is happening to these kids is because they are white privileged rich boys. They are so disrespectful and they deserved to be punished.

    • Ding ding ding, we have a winner! Only white rich kids are ‘kids being kids.’ It’s only spitting and throwing bottles now, it’ll be raping unconscious women in college later.

      • Exactly. What’s missing from this discussion are the unspoken issues of class and race, playing out against the hyper-affluent backdrop of Tribeca and BPC. Has anyone gathered any clear evidence or information about who these kids are and where they live and go to school? Are they, as is being suggested or surmised, rich white kids playacting at being “toughs” and mimicking the roles of gang behavior until they actually are doing exactly the same threatening, bullying and destructive things that kid gangs do. You can bet that if these kids were outside “interlopers” from the NYCHA projects on the LES coming over to mess with Tribeca folks, local residents would have the police down on them instantly.

    • I guarantee that the people in this forum defending these teens has at least one child in the ‘Tribeca’s Most Wanted’. The fact that you’re trying to justify these malicious acts on the basis of them being teens, You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. Let me know the day that you walk down the street and one these goons decide to mess with one of member in your family so that I could remind you that’ their Just Teens Being Teens”. I’ve worked in this neighborhood for over 10 years and I consider some of the residents in the building I work in like family. If these goons ever tried to hurt them especially any of the kids guess I’m going to need a Lawyer..

  4. Alan, have you ever called the police during these incidents?

    That seems like a prudent course of action.

    Or how about you set up a neighborhood watch? Actions speak louder than words.

    • Have YOU ever tried setting anything up like a neighborhood watch, tried getting politicians or the bureaucracy to act on something, convinced a local business or corporation to take responsibility for the effects of their actions, or had the BPCA do anything competently? It is impossible for us regular folks on our own. People need to get together and be vocal together. But, most will not get off their asses. (if YOU have been successful in doing any of that, please take the lead, or if you know someone who can)

  5. Mike, let me say this one last time, I have not personally been involved, this letter was circulated to me, I have witnessed the influx of teens all over our neighborhood! This ain’t Zohan, we don’t need more BS security, we need a police presence to protect the residents, the actual people who pay to live at BPC. Getting this info out to the media outlets and discussing course of action is ACTION, Not questioning the facts by typing all day. The media will force the action, the Police will
    Know about it and hopefully a change for the better will be soon..

  6. I feel Mike is being quite dramatic I hang out in BPC all the time with the “TMW” kids it isn’t a gang st all just a group of kids I feel words like terrorizing is a bit excessive.

  7. None of this make any sense. Why would this anonymous person not call the cops after being attacked, but instead call a youth officer? If the officer knows who these kids are this sounds pretty cut an dry no?

    • The police were called as well. We were advised to call the youth officer as he had the best knowledge of local teens. Not so cut and dry unfortunately…

  8. This is investigative journalism at its finest! All politics is local!

  9. I recommend a field trip to Rikers for these little ingrates to show them what happens to kids from other parts of the city who engage in this kind of behavior.

    • This is just kids being kids, I know all your lives are so hard living in TriBeca, but no one is really in danger.

      • Kids will be kids. We were all teens once, and while “terrorizing” a neighborhood is not ok, we all know how teens think. It is unfair and frankly immature to be going at these kids as hard as many of you are. If you want to see change, make a change. Don’t be the enemies of these kids. Find a constructive solution. We are the adults. Lets act like it. Instead of sitting around and calling them “brats” let’s find a solution. I am a phsycologist and work specifically with teens. Clearly the fact that they are loitering is a problem causer. Why don’t we give them a place to hang out and be together. That way, they will not be causing problems in hotel lobbies and Brookfield place. We cannot approach this by being their enemies. We need to cooperate with them. They should be given an area (not public parks, malls, etc.) where they can be kids. You are approaching this all wrong by trying to criminalize children.

        • Tolerance is the surest path to defeat.

        • These kids are privileged, spoiled brats! There are plenty of places to hang out , especially in BPC! I bet if their parents were hassled like some of these people, they would be the first to complain. They are teenagers, they can work, volunteer, play sports , get involved in theater or read! So over these kids not being held accountable for their actions.

        • Or their parents should take some f***ing responsibility. These are not underprivileged kids from the projects. They are residents who have full access to the parks and ball fields in the neighborhood. This is not a case of “use your inside voice.” These teens are physically threatening people.

        • Hmm. They could do homework, study for tests and quizzes, join after-school clubs and activities, join sports at their schools, little league, soccer league, get involved at one of the three area community centers or the Y or the NYC Parks community centers. They could volunteer to make the area a better place and pick up community service credit for school. They could volunteer with churches, soup kitchens, at homeless shelters, etc. They could get jobs (which is admittedly tricky due to all the outrageous anti-work laws and regs in NYC). They could be a part of NYPD or FDNY Explorers. BTW, WHERE ARE THE PARENTS (OR GUARDIANS)?

        • UNBELIEVABLE. They should be given a place to hang out, not a public place like a park??? You and their self-entitled, absentee parents are part of the problem.

        • Of course we can’t wrile up the delinquents; I can’t believe what I’m reading.

      • If your kid is pulling a fake gun on people, I suggest you get some parenting therapy.

        • A hopefully fake gun.

          • I agree with you all, and under no circumstance should a firearm, real or fake, be present in any way. However, that appears to be an isolated incident. It is obvious that we can’t take every 13 and 17 year old in TriBeCa on a bus to Rikers. Instead of complaining about the behavior of these kids, we should be taking action. I have only a young 3 year old boy, and I don’t want him to live in a neighborhood with violent teens running around. Someone needs to take action. Security should be stepped up, but bringing cops and security, who are already ineffective, might only wrile them up even further. Give them a private area (of course with security) to hang around. That would prevent loitering and the terrorizing of TriBeCa families. There is no way this will be resolved without some sort of a compromise.

          • Compromise? Let’s take photos, video of these kids and then pick them off one by one. Follow them home, harass them and their parents on a daily basis.

      • The “kids will be kids” mentality is one of the biggest problems with how we handle minors in this country. I’m a teenager, however I have never harassed anyone anywhere for any reason, nor do I have any inherent right or excuse to because of my minor status. I don’t try to steal tip jars. I don’t spit at random couples and Goldman bankers. I don’t throw broken glass into fields where young children play on a daily basis. When people write off this petty criminality as “kids being kids”, you’re enabling patterns of illegality and lawlessness which should not be treated as the norm. If that’s how you behaved as a kid, you should’ve gone to prison instead of college. And maybe still be there.
        And to those arguing for a community space for these thugs, that is absurd. This is BPC, it’s absolutely flushed with community spaces. And what the hell are they going to do in this private space you have imagined? Drink booze? Smoke weed? These people have absolutely no boundaries because of the toxic “kids will be kids” excuse which enables them to continue this disgusting behavior. These types ghe best “psychologist” for these people is a nightstick.
        Another crucial problem is these kids’ parents. They probably live in their offices to avoid these menaces instead of forcing them to behave like actual human beings. There’s an awful lot of banker-types who don’t seem to parent their children all that much in BPC and Tribeca.

        • At least weekly I see these people getting into altercations with the private Goldman security, often when the NYPD officers are standing around there as well. There needs to be some more action by law enforcement; the situation is NOT getting better and this article has been around for months.

          • Maybe some progress to report: I came across the aftermath of another assault this afternoon along the running/walking/biking path next to PS 89. 4 to 5 teen boys w/ 4 to 5 teen girls, one boy taunting an older man and woman, man was bleeding profusely from his nose, blood running down his face onto his shirt. Gang walked North towards HRP, I asked man what happened, he confirmed they had punched him out of the blue. I encouraged them to call Police. I passed along some names of kids to the 1st Precinct, they just called me back and said the victim was there giving a statement. I get the impression it is an open secret who some of these local kids are, hopefully this latest incident leads to some action.

    • I’m more scared of anyone who wants them to go to rikers, a place where human rights violations have been a norm, then I am of the white gang members of TriBeCa. I live here too. Nobody is in any danger. What these kids are doing is stupid, pathetic and wrong but it’s still TriBeCa guys. Come on. Rikers, really? Take a field trip to the Bronx if you want to see some real criminal activity.

  10. It is kids just being kids, but kids in the suburbs just being kids end up painting the lines on the town athletic fields. NYC kids just being kids end up in Rikers. If anyone knows these kids in question, talk to their parents – now. Tell them that kids 16 and up in NY state can be charged as adults. Let them know that the juvenile wing on Rikers doesn’t separate out the mentally ill, and is feared even by the adult inmates.

  11. If these kids are such tough guys and are so brave to harass old ladies and dog walkers, then I hope they will join any branch of the US Military and show us how tough they really are by protecting us from real threats like ISIS, etc.

  12. I’ve been living in Battery Park my whole life, and–I’ve never witnessed anything crazy. I see these kids all the time. I believe that at some points they can get a little crazy but this article has been blown way out of proportion.

  13. They will meet their match one day or someone who doesn’t giving a flying foodles that these are kids. Then it’s going to be “oh these poor kids”. I wish someone terrorizes my child or my family while walking through Goldman alley.
    Anyone who supports this behavior is part of the problem as well. Betcha if it was a minority it would be handled differently. I agree start taking pictures identify their parents and put pressure on their parents.

  14. Take pictures and circulate. If the kids can be identified and they are only hanging out in such small area, I don’t see why this is ongoing. Round them up, alert the parents and start pressing charges if the harassment rises to that level.

    • If the harassment rises to that level? They’re harassing people, assaulting people and stealing property. Lock them up

  15. Description? Common places they are hanging out? And how many of them are there?

    That’s all I need to know.

    • I have an experience which was quite awful the teens
      through eggs at my car with baby sitting in back.

      They are quite ruthless

  16. If these kids were black…I’ll just leave it there. We’re discussing race here, right? The usual American subliminal conversation about color and privilege and the resulting injustice?

  17. How have these kids been identified as Tribeca kids? Is it just because they are white? Seems a bit of a stretch. They might be from Tribeca, but since nobody knows their names or addresses, it seems like journalistic clickbaiting to claim they are Tribecan. I have a teen (a girl) and does any downtown parent of a teenager NOT KNOW that the waterfront and BPC esplanade- from the Brookfield Mall to the Westfield Mall, to piers, all the way up to village, not know that the entire area is a teen magnet for kids from all over the city? It’s where teenagers go to escape parents. Might they be FIDI kids? Might they be from BPC? Might they be from SoHo or Grammercy or the Village? Might they be friends from several neighborhoods who meet up there?

  18. There is a bit of curiosity here and let me be clear whatever this is it should be stopped..if there were so many incidents did the victims and/or witnesses call the police and be willing to file a report? Did they not want to bother, if so then telling people afterwards is not helping because Police need people to file reports…silence when it counts could be contributing. Brookfield& Goldman alley are all private property and the uniformed police walking there are paid like the security guards and all private…they may not call the police unless people press them and then someone is still willing to wait and file a report. We dont need a neighborhood watch, we need people to help the police…

  19. While I realize this thread primarily discusses BPC: a few months back, my wife and I were walking with our 3-year old on Greenwich in the middle of the day when we witnessed a group of teens—both black & white—verbally harassing each passerby while several aggressively rode skateboards on the sidewalks (often forcing pedestrians into the street on onto storefront steps). The were loud, belligerent and most definitely threatening. They continued this behavior as they gathered on the corner of Reade—culminating with a skateboarder doing a jump onto the hood of a Mercedes parked at the corner, obviously causing significant damage. They high-fived amongst themselves and boisterously celebrated the destruction. But what was most alarming was how completely unfazed they were by neighborhood residents yelling for them to stop with threats of calling the police (which several of us did). Fortunately, I’ve not seen or heard of any other incidents before or since, so this may be isolated or perhaps was effectively managed by the police.

  20. I was sorry to see this string of comments. Arguments about how bad the harassment is, and race and privilege’s role are not going to be productive paths to resolution. Whenever anyone sees behaviors that are unacceptable and what one would consider harassing, by anyone, the best next step is to contact the NYPD and file a report. They are the only entity that has jurisdiction in all areas discussed in this article – which include private property.

    There is nothing like a trip to the precinct to help assuage this kind of behavior. Our community can come together by coordinating with our community board and governing entities to make sure we maintain a peaceful environment in our neighborhood.

  21. With all this neighborhood attention I couldn’t believe that the NYPD (1st precinct) was unaware of what was going on. Here’s what I was told: “The First Precinct is very aware of this problem and they are holding a Community Council Meeting this Thursday at 6:30 at the 1st Precinct. Everyone is invited to attend. I am sure you can get all answers there.”

    • I can readily believe the 1st Precinct was unaware.

      With respect to the otherwise low crime rate in the area, as Barry Switzer once said, “Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.”

    • You can also come to the Community Board meeting tomorrow night at 6pm at 250 Greenwich Street, 10th Floor.

  22. Tribeca’s Most Wanted???? hahahahahahaha first world problems.

  23. Erik:

    Important article. You do very helpful reporting for all in the neighborhood. It would be great if you/other media can help shed light on the scope of the alleged issue so the community can act accordingly.

  24. I have witnessed a group of teens (few white, few asian, and one or two black/Hispanic) running through the battery park neighborhood wearing hoodies. They menace the neighborhood destroying signs at Brookfield and halting traffic. I’ve seen this same group with a short stocky Asian kid leading the pack. I noticed him as the same group of kids who pulled down their pants and mooning the on coming traffic on South End Avenue last summer. I’ve watched them violently running past families and babies with no regard making loud gang noise.

    I know for a fact, a few of them live in Battery Park because I’ve seen the one I recognize walking casually in the neighborhood without his gang of friends near Gateway.

  25. If anyone is attending the community meeting this week, can you find out what they suggest people do with photos that will help I.D.? I have seen several photos of “supposed group of teens”-some who definitely live in this neighborhood, others who probably do not, but they hang together, as well as photos taken of teens who were causing trouble but may or may not be part of the group.

    • Whether anyone considers them just unruly neighborhood teens looking for trouble (and an overreaction)…or part of a more serious “gang”…we have seen these same kids waiting for passing cars, to then throw rocks and items at them …there are SO many toddlers and little kids in this area crossing the same street…it would just take one bad mishap for something really terrible to happen.

  26. Chances are most neighborhood teens know at least one of these kids—geniuses have pics on social media (trying to appear menacing as “TMW”, which is laughable)…some of these kids go to privileged HS like Xavier…or live in the high rises of Tribeca on the fringe of BPC…parents (a select few, who are in total denial) of teens should know who their kids are out in BPC late at night with (as they want to avoid guilt by association)-only a matter of time until something goes awry with the multitude/magnitude of incidents described in this chain. Either an innocent is really going to get hurt (which will mean big trouble for one of these kids), or these “toughs” will get cornered when not in a group by someone tougher.
    Way too much energy being spent on a bunch of cowardly punks

    • Ask your teens to show you pics of this “crew” on social media. The kids all know who they are…and also think they are laughable. I think their parents are probably of the belief “out of sight, out of mind.” In addition to this “hood” behavior, you might see them having a pleasant dinner with their parents in polished loafers and starched polos.

    • Actually their Instagram handle is @tmwgang.

  27. Both the actions of the kids, and the reactions of the community are ridiculous. Toilet-papering a car is ‘kids being kids’, damaging property and assaulting people with rocks and spit is not. Learning that there are consequences to our actions is an important lesson for kids to learn, even those born with a silver spoon in their mouth. And who is this “youth officer”? If he is familiar with these kids than why doesn’t he have a chat with their parents? I’m sure Mommy and Daddy would love to know what their special snowflakes are up to while they are slaving away to pay for private school tuition and $6000 rent. If these kids are interested in gangs than I suggest a field trip to Rikers.
    I mentioned this to the doorman this morning and he told me that just last week a group of kids were throwing rocks at his car and he recognized one of the kids that lives in the building. This little ‘gangster’ was not from the projects in the Bronx, he was from 21 South End.

  28. My 12 year old son was assaulted and knocked on the ground by them.

    My other son witnessed them steal from a store.

    I think one of these teens goes to IS 276.

  29. I asked my kids about the situation and they say that TMW don’t care about throwing rocks and spitting on people. They have bigger targets in mind, but not really around BPC–unless, some other “gang” gets pissed and starts looking for them around here. According to them, 276 kids are probably responsible for the lower level harassment going on.

    • Not exactly the case- I have seen these TMW kids and have seen some of those same kids throwing rocks and ice at passing cars and kicking over delivery bikes. Just up to no good and looking for trouble.
      Believe a couple of TMW are 276 kids, as well as other schools (public and private)-sure all the troublemakers all know one another.
      For now not taken too seriously as they are minors, but that will not last forever, nor will they be able to hide behind when someone really gets hurt.

  30. All who are concerned and want something done should be going to the First Precinct this evening at 6:30 to voice their concerns and learn what can be done. We should NOT be waiting for something more serious to happen. I’ve not witnessed any of this but I have two kids who would like a little more freedom but with this going on there is no chance. This is not about race, status, privilege or money – it’s about maintaining our safe haven. There’s strength in numbers so please turn out this evening so we can make a difference.

  31. It’s a very serious situation. One of the purported gang members, [name redacted], was arrested for assaulting another boy, I believe in a restaurant. I hear he will be tried as an adult.

  32. I agree that this is a healthy discussion to be having, and I would guess that the issues will only get worse as the weather gets warmer and the kids want to be outside. I keep seeing reference to “kids from 276” and wonder if anyone has contacted the school administration. I realize that they have no responsibility for kids after hours, but think that the school leadership would care enough to have a meaningful discussion on the consequences of dumb teenage behavior. If I had a connection to the school (I don’t), I would make sure that the principal was aware of the content of this blog.

  33. Did the 4/3 arrest actually happen? TribecaTrib seems to have removed the update from their website. It would be nice to know any progress on this front.

    • That’s odd. You could try asking the Trib why they removed it. And/or call the 1st Precinct at 212-334-0611 and asking for the community liaison. Or visit the next Community Council meeting on Thursday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. at the precinct house.

      I don’t have a relationship with the precinct; I’d have to have NYPD press credentials to get anyone to deal with me, and the hurdles (http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/press_relations/credentials.shtml#eligibility) are too onerous for me to bother. Plus, we don’t have much crime around here….

  34. “TMW – Tribeca’s Most Wanted” what a joke