The extensive property damage at Manor Park was not the only violence that occurred on Friday, May 8. A Mamaroneck High School senior sustained a broken jaw in an altercation near the park that night. According to an unofficial source, the fight and the vandalism occurred sometime before 11 pm. (See: Vandals Attack Manor Park)
Larchmont Police Chief John Poleway reported on Tuesday, May 12 that investigations into the assault and the criminal mischief are ongoing. He anticipates a future “arrest or arrests, as the case may be.”
The chief would not confirm that the two incidents were related, but an unofficial source said a group of Rye Neck teens were responsible for both incidents.
What Started It?
According to a Mamaroneck High School student who requested anonymity because of fear of retaliation, a conflict began early in May between a small group of MHS students and another group from Rye Neck High School. The incident occurred off campus in the evening and escalated later at a Mamaroneck Village park.
Mamaroneck Village Police confirmed that they received a report of a fight at Stanley Avenue Park at around 5 pm on May 2. There were around 30 youths in the park.
The student said a handful of MHS teens faced a much larger number of Rye Neck kids who had been drinking in the park. A neighbor’s threat to call the police de-escalated the confrontation.
But some of the Rye Neck students attempted to re-schedule the fight.
“There was supposed to be a fight at around 9 pm this Friday,” said the MHS student.
Worse Fight Averted?
Mamaroneck Village police were alerted, possibly by someone from Rye Neck. Youth Officer Oscar Ramos convinced the MHS students to stay away from the fight.
Evidently, that didn’t stop a large group of Rye Neck youths from showing up en masse near Manor Park. According to the MHS student, when the other side didn’t appear, the Rye Neck students went on a rampage – attacking the fences and benches and then jumping an MHS student who was uninvolved in the original conflict and just happened to be near the park with some friends.
“People at MHS are really pissed that the park was trashed and they know who did it,” said the MHS student.
Other local teens are also blaming Rye Neck students for the damage.
Larchmont Police Respond
The Larchmont police would not comment on the MHS students’ narrative.
Chief Poleway did confirm that his department received two calls from park neighbors – both at 10:15 pm on Friday night.
One caller said there was a large group of youths in the middle of Park Avenue. Responding police found approximately 25 to 30 young people in clumps along the road.
After the youths dispersed, the officers made a cursory search of the park and surrounding streets to assure conditions were back to normal, said Chief Poleway.
Much later, at 3 am Saturday morning, the police heard from hospital officials that they were treating a youth who had been assaulted near Manor Park.
And a few hours after that, at 7:20 am on Saturday, the Larchmont police received a report of destruction of benches and fences in the park.
According to Lt. Antonino Rigano, he and other officers responded immediately. They found evidence of “criminal mischief” throughout the park, including fences that had been ripped from their posts. Beer cans and bottles were strewn from one end of the park to the other.
The police assessed the damage, took photos and began interviewing nearby residents.
“Our officers did a good job and are continuing to do a good job,” said Chief Poleway.
He was responding to what he said were untrue reports that the police had failed to respond to calls. He said there had been a review of department tapes and logs from May 8. Other than the two calls at 10:15, there were no other calls about Manor Park, he said.
There was a private security guard on duty the night of the incident, but he went off duty at 10 pm.
Manor Park is open to the public during daylight hours but is owned by a neighborhood association, the Larchmont Manor Park Society.
According to the newly installed president of the Manor Park Society, Karin Sherman, her organization had already scheduled an all night shift to begin on May 9.
“We do beef up our security this time of year,” said Ms. Sherman. “It’s mischief month.”
“But this came as quite a shock,” she said.