Sunday, September 7, 2008

Assault and Battery in Prospect Park

Sunday, September 7, 2008 6:59 PM
From: "Rob Jett"
To: "Tupper Thomas"
Cc: "Adrian Benepe"

Ms. Thomas,

I am writing to you with the hope that you can help resolve a serious problem.

This morning I was leading a nature trip in Prospect Park for the Linnaean Society of New York. We had stopped for a moment near the bridle path at Rick's Place at approximately 9:15am. While I was pointing out some birds to a group of 5 individuals the animals flushed when a Jack Russell terrier ran through the wooded area at that location. The owner of the dog, as well as her second unleashed dog, had just emerged from the stairway that ascends from the Midwood. I said nothing, but took out my camera and snapped a photograph.

The woman's name is Marcia Scarnato:

140 Eighth Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215-1767
(718) 399-7818

She proceeded to threaten and harass myself and others in my group for "taking her photograph". I am currently recuperating from a fractured collar bone and my right arm is restricted to a sling. Ms. Scarnato carries a walking stick with a sharpened steel spike attached to one end. She used the handle end to poke me in my injured shoulder and threatened to assault me if I didn't give her my camera. At that point two people in our group called 911. I stated, very loudly, that I didn't have any interest in a physical altercation, but if she assaulted me I would have no choice but to aggressively defend myself. She backed off, only to go after a smaller woman in the group demanding that she hand over her cellphone, claiming that she had taken her picture. Myself and one other person stood in the way to prevent her from assaulting that woman. Ms. Scarnato repeatedly claimed to have family in the police department which, presumably, gave her immunity from prosecution for her illegal actions.

I am contacting you directly because I am aware that you have been informed of this woman's disturbing behavior on several occasions. She has assaulted, at least, one person in Prospect Park in the last year. Other abuses include lifting her dogs over fences erected by the the grounds crews to allow the animals to attack park wildlife. She is a general nuisance to park patrons and park workers. I have reliable information that she uses the sharpened steel point on her stick to kill rabbits brought to her by her perpetually unleashed dogs.

As the administrator of Prospect Park, I think that it is well within your authority to see that this woman's activities are brought under control. According to the report by "New Yorkers for Parks" entitled "Tracking Crime in New York City Parks":

"...40 violent crimes were reported in Prospect Park over the 18 months, closely followed by 39 in Flushing Meadows. However, the rate of violent crimes relative to the total crimes in these parks shows an important difference in the two sites. While 39% of Flushing Meadows’ crimes were violent, 70% of the crimes reported in Prospect Park were violent."

This woman is a menace, contributes to the crime statistics and needs to be stopped before someone is seriously injured or killed. Below is a photograph of her taken at Rick's Place this morning. I have 5 witnesses that will corroborate my recounting of the incident that occurred at 9:15am and, in the event she makes any claim that I assaulted her, I have also attached a photograph of my fractured collar bone. As you can see, it would have been impossible for me to do much of anything with my right arm, let alone attack her.

I look forward to hearing from you and your prompt resolution to this untenable situation in Prospect Park.


Rob Jett

Marcia also threatened bodily harm if her picture was posted on the web. She also claimed that she was being "assaulted" by having her picture taken. In a future post we will talk about her prior threats, an assault she carried out, and the reaction of Messrs. Thomas and Benepe--and the police--to these prior threats and assault.

* * * * *
6:35 P.M. today. 8 unleashed dogs on the portion of the Nethermead near Center Drive. Last Friday around 3:45 P.M., 2 unleashed dogs on Long Meadow and one at the dog beach.

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