Self-Proclaimed Subway Defenders Seen Fighting With Riders In Video


Three months after the Guardian Angels promised to step up their presence within the metropolis’s transit system, some members of the self-proclaimed crime-fighting group seem like harassing subway riders over political disagreements, in line with video and witnesses.

Demonstrators who gathered on the Stonewall Inn for a weekly Trans Liberation march advised Gothamist they observed a minimum of eight of the red-jacketed vigilantes “stalking” the rally on Thursday. Whereas that occasion dispersed with out incident, an argument on the prepare between demonstrators and two Guardian Angels later escalated into fisticuffs.

Patrick Bobilin, a former State Meeting candidate who runs the Higher East Aspect Mutual Help group, stated that the 2 males turned indignant after a passenger subsequent to him accused them of “concentrating on homeless individuals and farebeaters.”

“I took out my cellphone because the Guardian Angel begins to strategy us,” Bobilin advised Gothamist. “He is getting in my face, so I put up my arm and leg to keep up six toes [for social distancing]. He performs some sort of karate kick on me. This different man stands up and [pushes the Guardian Angel], after which the taller Guardian Angel squares as much as punch him.”

“A girl studying a e-book needed to intervene,” Bobilin, 37, added. “They have been doing the identical sort of violence that they are supposedly referred to as on to stop.”

Inquiries to the Guardian Angels weren’t instantly returned.

The group — based by Curtis Sliwa within the Seventies to battle, and generally invent, crime within the subways — has sought to burnish their picture as a pro-law enforcement group within the wake of this summer time’s George Floyd protests.

In November, Sliwa introduced that they’d have a bigger presence within the subway system, as a part of an “intervention program for emotionally disturbed individuals.” Additionally they not too long ago started patrols on the Higher East Aspect, in response to the arrival of a brand new homeless shelter.

Some New Yorkers say that the group’s efforts have lengthy been detrimental to marginalized communities. “They’ve all the time focused the queer neighborhood,” John Blasco, a Decrease East Aspect District Chief, wrote on Twitter. “At all times!”

Blasco advised Gothamist he recalled the group harassing individuals close to the Christopher Avenue piers within the early 2010s, in some instances holding younger children for alleged high quality of life crime till the police arrived. “How do they get away with residents arrests? As a result of they’ve a relationship with the NYPD, that’s how they get away with it,” Blasco stated.

Bobilin stated he did not file a police report on Friday, and an NYPD spokesperson didn’t reply to inquiries about whether or not they have been investigating Thursday’s incident.