Via the EVG inbox ...
The LES Dwellers, a grassroots community group of residents of the Lower East Side, released videos [yesterday] that illustrate how bad the Lower East Side's Hell Square continues as late night bars and clubs continue to foster a SantaCon-style environment of binge drinking, public urination and vomiting, brawls and arrests every weekend.
The rampant party and hoards of drunks in the area drains police resources, forcing them to focus their time and attention to thousands of people who descend on the Lower East Side every weekend to party without regard to the local residents and businesses.
What is depicted in the videos is not outside the norm but is the norm. The bars, lounges and "restaurants" in this area over serve alcohol creating a dangerous environment.
The LES Dwellers called on Community Board 3 to address the issue immediately by working with the NYPD, the State Liquor Authority and local bar and business owners to resolve the recurring problems in Hell Square, which is the area bordered by Houston and Delancey, and Allen and Essex streets on the Lower East Side.
"This weekend was an outrage — ranking as one of the worst on record: It was SantaCon without the costumes," the group said in a statement. "Assaults and crime are up in our neighborhood due solely to the proliferation of late night liquor licenses in the neighborhood. And what's worse, on a day when NYPD lost two officers, the last thing the city needs is for the police to spend time and resources policing a man-made mess of debauchery. Police resources are wasted every weekend to babysit a bunch of drunks," the group said.
One video, filmed for a continuous 11 minute period at 3:30 am EST on Sunday, Dec. 21 on Ludlow and Stanton Streets, features a group of drunks stumbling north on Ludlow street and approaching Piano's Bar to enter. They're told that the bar is closing and they can't enter, so they leave the bar yelling obscenities and stumbling into the wall when the cops show up. Disregarding the police presence, the group gets into a knock-down brawl in the intersection of Stanton and Ludlow and police arrest 2 of the fighters. The video's hashtag is #11minsofhell.
Dozens of police arrived at the scene where the video captures a woman who has fallen and hurt her leg on the street and is struggling to get back up, followed by music blaring out of the front door of the Dark Room bar. Then, as the police continue to deal with the fight, a man is seen within 15 feet of the police urinating in a boutique clothing store's doorway and virtually falling asleep standing up.
And now for your viewing pleasure...