Occupiers Defend Their Camp from Predators
Junkies are not welcome among the 99 percent. Some Occupy Wall Street protesters said they are tired of people who join them at their Zuccotti Park home base who use drugs and mooch free food and supplies.
“This has become a haven for squatters, fugitives and predators,” said Lauren Digioia, 26, of Clifton, N.J. “You can’t tell a potential occupant from a predator.” Despite a heavy police presence surrounding the park and internal security members, a Brooklyn man allegedly assaulted three protesters inside one of their tents Saturday night.
A 24-year-old protester from Williamsburg who goes by the name Star said she confronted Garfield Leslie, 19, around 8 p.m. Saturday when he went into her tent. Leslie refused to leave and punched her in the face, she said. A man and his girlfriend who came to Star’s aid were also punched by Leslie, according to Star and police.
Leslie was arrested on assault charges and for having two little bags of cocaine, police said. The District Attorney’s office said he had not been arraigned as of press time Sunday, and it was unclear if he had a lawyer.
Brendan Hunt, a protester who serves as a roaming security guard, said that the park is open to everybody who behaves like “a good neighbor.”
“Sometimes we smell some reefer or catch someone with some beers,” said Hunt, 27, of Bayside. “We don’t mind what you do, but take it out of the park.”