Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted Occupy Wall Street protesters Thursday because he says they fail to report crime in Zuccotti Park, the same day a protester told Metro three rapes have allegedly occurred within park limits.
Bloomberg said a number of illegal activities in the park have not been reported to police, endangering the lives of all New Yorkers.
“Instead of calling the police, they form a circle around the perpetrator, chastise him or her and chase (them) out into the rest of the city — to do who knows what to who knows whom,” Bloomberg said.
He called protesters who keep quiet “despicable.”
The mayor’s criticism comes after the arrest of kitchen worker Tonye Iketubosin, 26, for allegedly groping an 18-year-old protester on Oct. 25. Iketubosin is also suspected of another alleged rape in the camp, Bloomberg said.
Police Commissioner Paul Browne said protesters delay reporting crime because it is “OWS protocol not to report such incidents to the police until there were three complaints against the same individual.”
But protesters disputed his claim, saying it’s up to victims to decide if they want to report a crime.
“If there’s a rape, the survivor has all the decision power,” said protester Tashy Endres, 29. She said she knows of three rapes that have occurred in the park. Two of the victims went straight to the NYPD to report it, and the third victim has yet to report it, she said.
“Sometimes victims need time,” she said.
Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.