A wild mob attacked at least three food vendors outside Washington Square Park — ripping down one victim’s American flag hanging on his cart and hurling a soda can at another, two of the victims told The Post Monday.
The mayhem erupted Sunday night as the rowdy revelers — fresh off Pride Parade celebrations earlier in the day — demanded Abdo Mansour replace his American flag with a Pride flag, he recalled.
“They said, ‘Take that f—ing flag down. Why don’t you put up my flag?’” Mansour said. “And they broke my American flag.”
“I called the cops. They didn’t want to come,” he said. “The cops stayed right there.”
“How many minutes the cops were waiting to see what happened? It was like 15 minutes,” he added. “A lot of people came. They broke stuff, they stole money.”
Another vendor said three women asked him for ice — and when he refused to give them any, they chucked a can of soda at him, leaving with him with a gash on his arm.
“I told them, ‘I have ice for the soda. That’s it,’” Hassan Gabr said. “‘You want to buy soda or water, no problem. But I don’t sell ice.’ One of them took a can of soda from the refrigerator and threw it at me.”
Gabr said the violent acts are “very upsetting.”
“It was my first day back at work since COVID and three hours in, this happened to me,” he said.
Chaotic footage from the evening shows a woman slugging a third vendor, a 65-year-old man, in the face, causing him to fall to the ground — as police step in.
Cops said eight people were arrested in the melee, including a woman who bit an NYPD lieutenant — the latest night of violence at the Greenwich Village landmark.
No arrest was made in the assault on the 65-year-old vendor, who was taken to Bellevue Hospital and listed in stable condition with nonlife-threatening injuries.
But the pandemonium didn’t end there — police said a 38-year-old man was slashed in the face earlier in the night on Sixth Avenue near West 4th Street.
For weeks, locals have been complaining about behavior in the park spiraling out of control — with unsanctioned boxing matches, drinking, drug use and dance parties dominating the area into the early morning hours and despite a midnight curfew.
“I wouldn’t even call it a park at this point,” Leon Miltzer, who works at a nearby repair shop, said Monday. “It’s more like a playground.”
“In terms of using it as a park, like, in the nighttime, it’s completely not recommended because it’s very dangerous in there,” Miltzer said. “It seems like, no matter what, they’re not able to just control the amount of people that are going in there.”
On Sunday night, Pride partiers clashed with cops in riot gear — with the officers deploying pepper spray on the unruly crowd.
John Manur, who owns a local art gallery, said he closed early on Sunday in anticipation of more violence at the park — which was also the scene of a pair of slashings earlier this month.
“The residents in the neighborhood, they made a lot of complaints I heard,” Manur said. “Because at night, according to them it’s too noisy and in a sense they’re right.”
Metro | New York Post
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