Washington Square Chaos: Community, NYPD meet to address rampant drug use, violence in park

Hundreds of fuming locals packed the basement of a Greenwich Village church Wednesday night to address the recent chaos in Washington Square Park.

The NYPD's 6th precinct called the emergency meeting amid mounting outrage over constant partying that often escalates to violence. Recent mayhem includes two people stabbed, a man robbed and a cook from a neighborhood diner being thrown through a plate-glass window.

"People have been shooting heroin," Lydia Carlston, a Greenwich Village resident, says she and her children witness daily, "lots of drug use, drug sales." The mother of three has lived along Washington Square Park for 18 years and says it's never been quite this bad.

The nightly unrest prompted city officials to implement a 10 p.m. curfew which was pushed back last weekend to midnight. But people still party well past 2 a.m.

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"Of course no one is abiding by the curfew, they’re lawbreakers," Jackie Toboroff, another meeting attendee and city council candidate said, "they’re doing drugs, they’re fornicating, there are syringes. I have two kids. I don’t want to have to navigate stepping over syringes."

Many inside also complained that police aren't doing enough to stop the madness. But right outside protestors argued the exact opposite, saying cops are too heavy-handed. "We need to end it; we need to demolish, and we need to keep fighting for Washington Square Park because it’s our park," one protestor said. 

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