The party promoter behind the raucous raves in Washington Square Park shrugged off resident complaints about the landmark’s descent into lawlessness, defiantly telling The Post this week that if “Karens and Kevins” don’t like it — they should move.
“This is my response to the residents,” said David “Shaman” Ortiz, 28. “If you have an issue with amplified sound and you live in the downtown area, you live in the Washington Square Park area, then you should move.
“I’m not letting anybody steal our joy,” declared Ortiz, who has a hand in coordinating the unlicensed boxing matches. that have also plagued the park, which has become ground zero for the city’s descent into crime and chaos under Mayor de Blasio, as The Post chronicled last month.
Loud music, brazen drug use, fireworks, motorized vehicles and the unlicensed sale of alcohol proliferate nightly as regulations have gone unenforced during the pandemic, forcing the city to recently enact a nighttime weekend curfew.
“Now there are zero rules. Even with the public drug use, there are zero rules. It’s all out in the open. It’s chaos,” said longtime resident Adam Weprin.
But Ortiz, a Queens resident, dismissed those who complain as “Karens and Kevins” – a racially charged dig, typically referring to self-righteous white people.
And he referred to the NYPD as “the biggest gang in New York” in one recent Instagram story and claimed to be the person who got NYPD Chief Terence Monahan to kneel in the park last summer in support of Black Lives Matter.
Neighbors already outraged by conditions at the park vow to stand their ground, for now.
“We’re not going anywhere,” said William Abramson, the director of brokerage for Buchbinder & Warren Realty Group, the landlord for hundreds of residential and retail properties near the park.
Nearby residents have not been pleased with the litany of parties.
Many of those neighbors, he said, have awoken over the past year to find human waste in their doorways or addicts passed out on their stoops as problems in the park spill over onto neighboring streets.
Abramson’s firm hired a private security six months ago to patrol their properties around the Park – an effort he says is a response to the failure of local leaders to address complaints or enforce long-standing regulations.
One neighbor who lives on Fifth Avenue overlooking the park and its triumphal marble arch said “a militant group started taunting police” as soon as they got there to enforce the curfew Friday night. “It was a staged confrontation by the agitators, it was not some random event.”
The neighbor refused to give her name out of fears for her safety and her job. But she’s among those reaching the breaking point.
“I’m happy to sell my apartment to BLM anytime,” she said, referring to the group, which has staged numerous protests within the park since the police murder of George Floyd.
Metro | New York Post