Upper West Siders are baring their concerns about naked men roaming the neighborhood, most notably in Theodore Roosevelt and Riverside parks.
Five people spotted the birthday suitors over the past week, with three reports of a nude man outside of the 17 1/2-acre Roosevelt Park, which surrounds the American Museum of Natural History.
Last Saturday morning around 10:30 a.m., Maria Danzilo was walking east on West 81st Street between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues when she “observed a tall man wearing no clothing, except a brightly colored bucket hat and a black shirt draped behind his shoulders, heading toward me,” she posted to an UWS Facebook group.
“There were several pedestrians near me, as well as a number of people, including small children, sitting on the benches to the left of where the man was walking,” wrote Danzilo, who is running for City Council. She said she asked the man to “put his clothes on” and phoned 911.
When informed the naked man did not have a weapon, the 911 operator switched Danzilo to EMS, who advised her they had heard about him on “another call but could not locate the man,” Danzilo posted. She directed the medics to the location and was subsequently informed by someone she knew that he had observed the “erect” naked man “smoking drugs, possibly K2.”
Finally, as the two Good Samaritans “waited on the corner of 78th and Columbus … the man voluntarily agreed to go into the ambulance.”
Another Upper West Side woman posted she saw the naked man as she and her 8-year-old were “walking towards a kids birthday party right in the entry of the park.”
Two days later, there was another troubling sighting of a wild bare just a half-mile away in Riverside Park.
“A clearly mentally ill man was walking through the park completely naked. I can’t believe what has happened to our neighborhood and park,” posted a woman who saw the man.
“Saw him too and he chased me and my dog out of the park,” a frightened commenter responded. “Very grateful for the brave action of a runner who stepped in and eventually got us all away (and called the police). Not the best start to Monday morning.”
Cops made 375 arrests for public lewdness in 2019 compared to 178 in 2020, a 53 percent drop, according to the NYPD. As of June 6, there have been 78 arrests for public lewdness in 2021, the department said.
In June 2020, the NYPD arrested Washington Square Park’s so-called “Naked Jesus” after a nude brawl.
After days of looking the other way, cops moved in to arrest Matthew Mishefski, the homeless man who calls himself “Son of God Lord Saviour Jesus Christ” and who had taken up residence — often without the benefit of clothing — since May 2020 in the drained fountain at Washington Square Park.
Mishefski, now 26, told The Post at the time he is from the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania and has said he’s autistic.
“There are instances where people are in clear need of medical attention and there are instances where individuals individuals are taken into custody and arrested,” a police source said, adding “if someone is in the middle of the road taking drugs and naked or having a medical episode, officers would consider taking them to the hospital for treatment.”
Mishefski is not the not the one making nudes this time around, according to the witnesses descriptions; but the NYPD told the Post that “Jesus” had sinned once more since last year’s fountain fiasco.
On May 19, at around 8:15 p.m., cops collared a clothed Mishefski after he was observed writing graffiti — including “God has been found Guilty” — on the arch inside Washington Square Park, authorities said. Said an NYPD spokesperson, “He went limp when police took custody of him.”
Metro | New York Post