NYC group plans Guardian Angels-style patrol to protect pets
They refuse to turn around.
A stubborn group of Park Slope puppy lovers form a guardian angel-style security group in and around Prospect Park following an unprovoked hobo’s unprovoked attack on a woman and her pooch, who died of his injuries.
The ‘Park Slope Panthers’ aim to ‘take back the neighborhood’ – and keep it from going to the dogs.
“In light of people feeling unsafe to use Prospect Park due to recent attacks by people and dogs, in one case resulting in the death of a dog; and in light of the outbreak of stolen packages in stoops and lobbies, we want to form a neighborhood watch,” reads a MeetUp description for the newly formed group. “The goal is to be eyes and ears and take back our neighborhood.”
The preliminary patrol meeting is scheduled for September 10. So far, more than a dozen people have said they will attend.
The group is the brainchild of Kristian Nammack, 59, a Park Slope resident and Quaker who first pitched the idea on August 20, two weeks after Jessica Chrustic and her 2-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever mix , Moose were attacked.
Chrustic said the assailant is a drifter who lives next to a dumpster in the parking lot near the park’s picnic house and that police have repeatedly refused to remove him. Photos she shared with The Post show the alleged attacker in a black hoodie, carrying a large stick. She said she shared the footage with police “at least half a dozen times”.
Nammack cited the Guardian Angles – the beret-wearing civilian patrol group formed in 1979 by Curtis Sliwa amid Gotham’s crime epidemic – as a potential model for the new group.
“We can also wear cool berets. I’m serious. And we do self-defense training, work in pairs, and so on. Nammack wrote on the Nextdoor app. There is a logo and t-shirts in the works, he added.
It’s unclear whether the dogs – in Moose’s honor – will be part of the patrol, but Nammack said all ideas will be on the table – including a name change.
“I was talking with a few neighbors and we talked about starting a neighborhood watch. We are currently researching what this means, what is effective, how to involve local infrastructure – law enforcement, local politicians, PTA groups, Citibike, Uber Eats, etc. “, did he declare.
Nammack said he reached out to National Neighborhood Watch, a division of the National Association of Sheriffs, for advice on best practices. “I don’t intend it to be a rogue group and certainly not a vigilante,” he insisted.
Sliwa, a famous animal lover, said he was ready to throw the group a bone, or any help they needed.
“I applaud them. In fact, more people in the city need to do similar things,” he said. “We must salute them. They don’t just wait for the police or the government to deal with it. They are proactive and respect the law.
Park visitors said they felt like outsiders in the green space, which has become infested with junkies and vagabonds.
“Prospect Park has been a homeless mogul for a while, but it’s never been like it is now,” said Christine Doyle, 55, a lawyer and longtime Park Slope resident. “These homeless people are often very aggressive. They are mostly male, loners and have more than once attacked people with dogs on the west side of the park.” Doyle was thrilled with the idea of the Park Slope Panthers.
“A few years ago a puppy was kicked by a homeless man,” she said. “It was the first time I went to the police. They never got the guy and they didn’t care.
Nancy Kourland said she had been coming to the Prospect Park dog park for years and called police to the sighting of the homeless man who carried out the dog attack. She claimed that an officer from the 78th district hung up on her.
“I’m scared; we’re all scared. [The man] is dangerous, and it particularly attacks women. I don’t think the 78th Precinct police are doing anything about it,” she said. “There is no police presence and that is the problem. The police are not doing their job. »
Vitoria Setta, who lives a block from the park with her boyfriend, said things got so bad she planned to join the stream of New Yorkers packing for Florida.
“Perhaps we should [park-goers] take on us,” she said of the Park Slope Panthers. “It’s like Gotham City around here.”
But some ultra-liberal members of Park Slope barked that the new group seemed a bit too brutal for their liking.
“No Vigilance,” said a poster. “Why not organize a demonstration outside the enclosure?” Others scoffed at more “non-punitive” and “restorative justice” approaches.
Crime in the 78th Precinct is up 38% across all areas this year through Aug. 21 compared to the same time last year, according to NYPD data.
There have been no arrests in Moose’s case, cops said.
“Since the incident, the NYPD has continuously taken investigative steps to bring the individual responsible to justice. The NYPD has conducted investigations of the park with witnesses and increased patrols in the area,” said a NYPD spokesperson.
Dean Balsamini contributed to this report