False Report By PSD Aims To Discount Reporting

Protecting Hudson Related and The Sanctuary, RIOC Turns Its Guns on The Daily

Updated 3 weeks ago David Stone
Dayspring Church under repair on September 12th. Conversion from a church to an event space, RIOC claims, required only "minor repairs" ...and no building permits.
Dayspring Church under repair on September 12th. Conversion from a church to an event space, RIOC claims, required only "minor repairs" ...and no building permits.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Given more than 48 hours to come up with a credible story about PSD's involvement in The Sanctuary's out of control Halloween bash last Friday night into Saturday morning, RIOC published a provably false report aimed at undermining resident claims and our reporting. Bottom line, RIOC will defend Hudson Related's abuse of the space, even going to the extent of submitting a false report for public consumption.

Keep pace: Roosevelt Island News, updated and fresh all day.

As we reported yesterday, a raucous, alcohol-fueled party raged at the badly misnamed Sanctuary from 9:00 p.m. Friday until nearly 5:00 a.m. Saturday. A loud, horn-honking traffic jam followed in the fire lane until well after 5:00.

Time stamped video as well as resident complaints about noise from as far away at Manhattan Park at 4:00 a.m. verify the facts.

Yet, with more than 48 hours available to concoct a story, RIOC's Public Safety Department came up with a report that not only absolved it of negligence, but also cleared The Sanctuary.

Here is their verbatim report as it was offered to local media:

Chief Brown has conducted a thorough investigation of the event that took place at The Sanctuary from Friday, October 25th through Saturday, October 26th.

PSD officers became aware of an event when the first noise complaint came in at approximately 11:15 PM. PSD officers patrolled the site until the event ended at 2:00 AM and people began to disburse. An officer also returned to investigate noise complaints at 4:30 AM, but at that time, the only people on site were the workers who were finishing their clean up after the event. A third complaint was registered around 5:15 AM when workers were leaving the premises.

Breaking Down the Falsehoods

  1. The event did not end at 2:00 a.m., as Chief Brown claims. Time stamped video* shows dozens of people weaving through Ubers and private cars illegally parked in the fire lane just south of The Octagon at 5:00 a.m. This time frame may have been conjured to contradict our reporting that The Sanctuary was in violation of its pledge to Community Board 8 that private events would end by 2:00. There is no other known explanation for this falsehood than RIOC/PSD protecting The Sanctuary.
  2. Chief Brown reports that "the only people on site were the workers who were finishing their clean up after the event..." at 4:30 a.m. This claim is important because the video clearly shows partygoers leaving at 5:00 a.m., not clean up crews. The fire lane is packed with for hire vehicles trying to pick them up, a civilian directing traffic, partygoers weaving between cars in the dimly lit fire lane and numerous illegally parked cars that were left with out tickets by RIOC overnight.
  3. The 5:15 complaint Chief Brown reports was not about workers "leaving the premises." That call came from an Octagon resident disturbed by Uber and Lyft drivers honking their horns in frustration as the traffic jam continued.
* You can see the video in our report Outrage Over The Sanctuary's Halloween Bash.

The Real Trouble for the Roosevelt Island Community

Residents ought to be deeply concerned about RIOC's failure to control this event and the overt attempt to cover up negligence with a provably false report.

When The Daily told RIOC's spokesperson that the report was "not truthful on several points," he shot back, "Please stop trying to shape events to fit your agenda." 

Apparently truthful reporting is, in RIOC's eyes, an agenda, and that Trump-style accusation of fake news reporting throws the same abuse at residents who took the trouble to report.

Poor performance by PSD is one thing, a correctable issue, but submitting a false report to cover it up and protect Hudson Related and its partner at The Sanctuary is far worse.

This shows that RIOC has taken it on themselves to protect The Sanctuary from violations. As we reported on September 30th, there are numerous reasons why this venue is completely inappropriate for its intended purpose as an "event space," speakeasy and alfresco beer garden. 

We also pointed out that RIOC appeared either unwilling or unable to manage the pending hazards, and this weekend's event bears that out.

As we predicted, it has already disrupted community life in its first month, and neither Hudson Related, RIOC nor vendor The Glow demonstrate any likelihood of protecting the community from more of the same...

...and worse when the speakeasy and outdoor beer garden open for daily operations in the spring.

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