Monday, September 8, 2008

Assault and Battery in Prospect Park II--Tupper Reponds

Mr. Jett,

I assume that you did report this attach to the Police because they are already familiar with her and her conduct. She has been ticketed but this is beyond our PEP and this is now a Police issue. I am forwarding your letter to the police as well but this is a very bad thing and she has overstepped all boundaries. You also have witnesses which is very different from the last attach which did not. I assume you are available to talk with the police. I am very sorry that this happened but glad you have reported it so we can perhaps finally have her behavior stop.


Tupper Thomas
Prospect Park
95 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY. 11215
Please note new email:
Ms. Thomas has no credibility. At the "last attack"--more anon--there were witnesses, if not to the actual incident, then to the aftermath. It's just that the police chose to ignore this, and, like Ms. Thomas, did nothing. Also, nothing we know, not just her persistence in running her dogs in the park and her conduct yesterday, makes us believe that she's ever gotten a ticket for her park activities, or if she has, that she's ever paid one. In addition, the tone of the letter--"this time, we'll do something", is consistent with her response in the past.

In April, 2007, we first sent Tupper a letter which said, in part:
At your invitation, last week I called Philippe Pereira, intending to report an encounter with a pair of off-leash terriers scampering through the underbrush in the Midwood. We have encountered these off-leash dogs and their owner many other times in the park’s wooded areas, including the Peninsula Woods and the Breeze Hill feeders. Attached are photographs; the picture of the dogs was taken over the winter. This time, the owner took exception at our photographing her and delivered what we took to be a threat. But Mr. Pereira did not return my call. We intend to keep photographing this woman and her unleashed dogs and would hate for this to turn into a police matter. We would hope that you will deal with this some other way.
On May 2, 2007, we wrote the following to Alessandro G. Olivieri, DOPR general counsel:
My letter to Ms. Thomas also refers to a woman with two terriers (pictures attached) who routinely flouts the off-leash restrictions. Today, my wife and I encountered this person again. This time, her terriers were behind the fence enclosing Lily Pond. When she saw my wife and her camera, she began to yell at the dogs, who promptly exited, one of whom was carrying something feathered or furry in its mouth. She leashed the dogs and the three then headed quickly towards the Midwood. These dogs do not carry toys; that object was a hunting trophy. This scofflaw is a menace to Prospect Park, and if Ms. Thomas declines to do something about her, you should.
In June, 2007, in an email response to a complaint about the attack, Ms. Thomas said:
I am surprised that you do not believe that we took you seriously. In fact PEP was asked to speak to her because you were not the only compliant [sic]. They spoke to her several times and warned her but could never catch her disobeying the rules. We worked with FIDO who also spoke to her at length. Apparently she walks there often and has also been stopped by my staff and asked to leash her dogs. . . . . Now that she is identified and the police know all about her, it will be easier for us to stop her from disobeying the rules.
And, also immediately following the attack, in a telephone call made at Commissioner Benepe's request, Mr. Olivieri assured us that procedures were being put in place to catch this woman, give her summonses, multiple if necessary, etc. Quite obviously, nothing like that was ever done.

Since then, we've heard that numerous times, lower-level DOPR employees have complained about her conduct, including vandalizing park property and threatening park workers, to the PEP and the police--and that they've been complaining since long before we started. And what we've heard is that the police and PEP have "spoken" to her, not ticketed her. The excuse has been "we didn't see her do these things so we can't give her a ticket."

But as we pointed out to Ms. Thomas last June, quite aside from last June's attack, vandalizing park property-tearing down fences, unleashing her dogs on park wildlife--and threatening park workers are crimes for which she could have been arrested without the cops themselves seeing her doing these things. Also, for the last several months--perhaps as much as a year--she has been routinely and openly carrying a weapon, a long stick with a sharpened metal spike at the end, through Prospect Park. Who exactly has been protecting her, and why? Why weren't these "procedures" to catch Marcia and deal with her once and for all carried out? One would think that the cops would have dealt with her long ago had Ms. Thomas not instructed them otherwise.

In short, Ms. Thomas has known about Marcia and her depredations for at least a year and a half and has chosen to do nothing despite assurances that Marcia would be dealt with. Her assurances now that this time is somehow different ring hollow.

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