Mentally ill man trying to destroy trees in Brower Park — Brooklynian

Mentally ill man trying to destroy trees in Brower Park

This morning people bringing their dogs to Brower park were dismayed to find numerous trees splashed with bleach, blueing, Pine sol etc. The bottles were lying around the trees and blue splashes marked the trees affected. We collected the bottles and were about to call the police when a man was spotted pouring more Bleach and drain cleaner on an already splashed tree. Parks personnel ran over to take pictures of the man and after an altercation, police were called. The suspect "hid" out in the mens bathroom. Numerous calls were placed to 911. After 30 minutes of no response from the police the perpetrator left the bathroom and ambled slowly down Brooklyn Avenue towards Bed Stuy. He was followed to Atlantic Avenue where a police cruiser from the 79th Precinct was hailed and police questioned the guy and admonished the perp not to go to that park again. (!!)

Parks officials have been notified of the damage and are washing the trees to remove the chemicals.

I am shocked at the lack of police response and the indifference to the damage to trees, and potential harm to children, dogs, squirrels etc. that this caused and that this guy is let off the hook with a stern warning. What do you think?


  • All those chemicals must have cost that guy a pretty penny. He must have been quite angry at the trees to spend money for that. But, you can't expect the police to show up for this that quickly if there are more pressing calls. Hopefully the parks personnel didn't touch this guy otherwise they could get in trouble. I would think that the chemicals might not do too much harm to a grown tree as the roots run deep and all sorts of crap gets into them after every rain.

  • My thoughts exactly, theres worst problems and crimes going on than a mentally ill person trying to "wash" trees with harmful chemicals. Maybe people that see such things happening should stop complaining and take matters into their own hands, like people who dont have access to police 24/7 do. Maybe talk to the guy? Ask him what is going on in his brain? Incarcerating or punishing him isnt going to make him a better person, or smarter. Most time people just need someone to talk to and instead go to extremes to get peoples attention, and thats when police ruins their lifes for no reason.

  • Despite the fact that this is upsetting -- Brower Park has some beautiful old trees that should be protected -- I'm not surprised by the lack of police response to what legally amounts to vandalism. Did anyone take pictures or video of him in the act? That would be helpful in making complaints to 311, the Parks Department, and the 77th Precinct's community affairs.

  • While it is just vandalism, folks should remember that the park is used by plenty of children and animals and these are caustic chemicals that can result in burns, scaring, etc. While it may seem harmless, the wrong person touching a tree covered in bleach and then touching an eye or rubbing it on their skin could be pretty bad. Imagine a pet or child running into a tree bed unexpectedly, and this crime starts to take on a different dimension.

  • This insane action is definitely serious and this person needs to be arrested and taught a lesson before he tries something even more dangerous. The next day he could be throwing bleach or acid on people. Most police ride around on patrol with nothing to do most of the time and they certainly can handle this arrest. The harm to passing animals, including pets, is also a danger. I can tell you from personal experience that if this happened in the well-patrolled Prospect Park the perpetrator would be in a holding cell right now.

  • Pictures of the person were taken. He was confronted. He was followed, he was questioned by the police of a different precinct. (cops said they heard nothing on the police radio regarding the numerous calls)

  • This sounds eerily similar to the guy who used to break the branches in Prospect Park. Maybe speak to some of the people who helped with that case. They may have a plan of action that you can follow.

  • I was involved in that effort.

    So far, my only comment is that this incident seems like it was well handled by all concerned.

    Hopefully this will be an isolated incident, and the rain will dilute the chemicals.

    It sounds as if the Parks staff handled this situation really well. As a result of dealing with homeless folks so often, the Parks staff is actually quite skilled at working with decompensating persons.

  • Send him back to San Francisco. He can run for office. Seriously though, at some point being all "what about the children?" while frantically calling police isnt amounting to much. Share the pics, share the videos, and make everyone aware of the perp. Maybe someone else will "ruin his life" instead of the Police. Peace out Wendy.

  • Sadly this all to typical of the NYPD. They don't care about the lives of humans they are sworn to protect so I'm really unsurprised to learn they don't care about trees. I'm glad the Parks people were so professional. Hopefully the guy will get arrested in the future.

  • While others may not share my view, I don't feel the NYPD acted inappropriately.

    Tsarina, I was able to find this flyer from last time.




    We weren't able to make definitive conclusions about whether it was effective, but it helped the effort in other ways.

  • Whynot so you're totally cool with the NYPD choosing to completely ignore 911 calls reporting destruction of public policy?

  • A response time of over 30 min in this type of incident does not surprise me.

    The police have long ago concluded that they should take the mentally ill into custody when they are an imminent risk to themselves or others; They have been told to ignore lesser offenses.

    The Department of Corrections is part of the chorus. They have also stated "stop sending us the mentally ill if at all possible", and the NYPD has responded "fine with us".

  • Can we exorcise the police dept. of stop and frisk and their quota system?

  • You are welcome to modify the flyer as you choose.

This discussion has been closed.