Wednesday, June 10, 2009

RIOC President Responds To Parent's Handcuffing and Arrest During Roosevelt Island Ball Field Permit Dispute

Image From Main Street WIRE

RIOC President Steve Shane responds to the recent event at Roosevelt Island's Capobianco Field where a ball field permit dispute between a Roosevelt Island Little League team and an Off-Island Adult League resulted in the handcuffing and arrest of a parent. The Main Street WIRE has more on the incident here. It should be noted that last week's games went on without incident.

Below is Mr. Shane's statement on the incident.
... Now for my views on the unfortunate events of Saturday, May 30, 2009 where a fracas erupted between the users of a field and the subsequent permit holders. The loss of control in front of the children resulting in racial and homophobic slurs and refusal to comply with lawful authority was truly a sad day on Roosevelt Island. The story has received wide attention on the Island and I need not repeat the details here. However, lack of civility and civil disobedience cannot be tolerated in a peaceful community. The escalation of the dispute to the point that Public Safety was called to intervene was entirely unnecessary, but once called, the officers had a duty to keep the peace. When all but one person obeyed the officers’ requests to vacate the field in favor of the legitimate permit holder, Public Safety was left with no choice. The vilification of Public Safety by the supposedly responsible voices of this community does nothing to promote the common welfare, enhance domestic tranquility or have rational conversations about problem solving. Inflammatory rhetoric may have its place, but not here where I find it singularly unproductive.

The Chief of Public Safety has conducted a full investigation of the actions of his officers and I have reviewed it with our Counsel. Would I have preferred that the incident could have been closed without an arrest? Absolutely. But, in the field, when faced with the circumstances of the moment, decisions have to be made and in my opinion, there was nothing unreasonable that was done. I have requested the now former head of RIRA’s Public Safety Committee to meet with Chief Guerra and to review all of the information on this incident and to report to both RIRA and RIOC on his findings. He has indicated that if so requested by RIRA, he will proceed. I suggest that all await the full findings before leaping to any conclusions.

Finally, to try to resolve the underlying problem of our playing fields in a crowded society, we are putting more manpower resources into advance preparation of the fields so as to try to mitigate the impact of weather on scheduling and playability. There is a limit on what can be accomplished, but it seems to have worked better this past weekend, even with heavy overnight rain. Please! Everyone can do better.
Mr. Shane's statement is part of his column that appears both on this blog and in the Main Street WIRE. His full column will appear in whole later in the week.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Shane said: "The vilification of Public Safety by the supposedly responsible voices of this community does nothing to promote the common welfare, enhance domestic tranquility or have rational conversations about problem solving."

We probably all know who those "supposedly responsible voices" are. When are the next elections for RIRA president? I hope not too far out.

mushr00m said...

Hrm, doesn't seem to address the poor choices by Public Safety. After all, the Little League went over time because of maintenance issues. Shane would have us believe that there is a limit to what can be accomplished, but somehow we are supposed to forget that a deliberate choice was made to favor the interests one group over another. Surely, the sun sets late enough that there should not have been an issue if the BASL had gone over its allotted time by an hour? Surely, PSD would not have kicked them off the field at 6pm? Is it because the BASL was a pying customer, and Island management would prefer to bring out the forces of law and order than actually maintain the fields?

PSD was being "vilified" because they were making terrible choices.

And, on another note, what silliness to see not one but two PS officers on Segways in the middle of crowds during RI Day. As if something happened they were going to run after a perp on a Segway in crowd composed largely of children? Seriously?


I deleted the first comment on this thread because the writer continues to allege criminal and potentially libelous behavior against another resident.

This has happened several times in the past. PLEASE STOP!

It serves absolutely no purpose and taints any other comments you may express.

Anonymous said...

Please blame this entire incident on the idiot who does the scheduling for the fields in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mushroom, how is it that you beileve that "Island management would prefer to bring out the forces of law and order"? Didn't you read? Someone called PSD to the scene. I'm one of the first ones to say that the Little League games should be played in their entirety, and maybe you are right in saying that the other group could have probably gone past 6:00PM, but that doesn't justify us residents from not listening to Public Safety when they do arrive to settle a conflict. I guarantee that if it were NYPD who responded, everyone would have moved and nobody would have been brazen enough to stay on the field.

Anonymous said...

....if that happened, then nobody would have been summonsed or arrested and we would have nothing to talk about. :-(

Anonymous said...

The guy walks around with a blue beard .... enough said!