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Landlord files, drops suit over East Village resident's Confederate flags

Bystander video captured one man hurling rocks at the windows of a sixth floor apartment at East Eighth Street and Avenue D.
East Village residents are outraged over one neighbor's Confederate flag display.
Neighbors of 403 E. Eighth St. are outraged over a resident’s Confederate flag display, including one man who hurled rocks at his windows. (Google Maps)

Updated, Aug. 22, 10:26 a.m.: The landlord of an East Village resident who has drawn the ire of his neighbors and others for displaying Confederate flags in his apartment windows filed — and dropped — a lawsuit against the tenant, DNAinfo reported.

According to the suit filed by Charles Yassky, the tenant identified as William Green is a “clear and present danger” to the building at 403 E. Eighth St. and its surrounding neighborhood.

In the lawsuit, Yassky also sought to evict Green, who has a rent-stabilized lease that dates back to 1996, citing that his actions that include blaring offensive music and other incidents, violate his lease’s “Objectionable Conduct” clause and the Rent Stabilization Code. 

While Green has reportedly had two Confederate flags in his sixth-floor windows for months, backlash reached a fever pitch last week in the wake of the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Bystander video captured one man yelling and cursing about the flags as he threw rocks at Green’s windows, and a man named Darren Keen was arrested Friday for breaking another window in the building when he punched it.

Keen posted video showing his bloody hands after the incident on his Instagram, writing, “I’m guilty of smashing out a white supremecists (sic) window.”

 

Had 2 go say IM GUILTY OF SMASHING OUT A WHITE SUPREMECISTS WINDOW

A post shared by Darren Wayne Keen (@darren_keen) on

The flags were removed after the incident with Keen, and Yassky dropped the suit on Monday, two days after filing it.

Original story: Aug. 17: As many U.S. states, including New York, are stepping up the removal of Confederate monuments after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, one East Village resident’s Confederate flag is causing a firestorm.

Neighbors of an apartment at East Eighth Street and Avenue D are fed up with a sixth floor resident who is displaying two Confederate flags in his windows, including a man who was seen on bystander video hurling rocks at the windows, the New York Daily News reported.

The unidentified man is heard asking passersby if that is their apartment, and when told it was one bystander's neighbor, the man shouted, “Tell your neighbor to take his flag down, or I’m breaking all those windows … my kids gotta see that s—.”

While the man continues shouting and pacing along the sidewalk and street, a child who appears to be his daughter runs up with a dog and urges him to leave, but he tosses more rocks and asks the gathering crowd why they don’t tell the resident to remove the flags.

Police arrive and are seen speaking to the man, who yells, “Where is the f—ing hate crime?”

A bystander near the woman shooting the video can be heard saying that the flags — which hang alongside an Israeli and colonial-era American flag — “have been there for years.”

Mike Schweinsberg, president of the ABCD Block Association, told the Daily News on Wednesday night that police were trying to speak to the tenant, who is said to be in his early 30s.

“The cops went up there. There was absolutely no response to repeated knocks on the door,” he said. “They’re going to reach out to the landlord and ask for something to be hung from the roof to cover it up. That way, hopefully he will communicate.”

Police will continue to monitor the neighborhood. No arrests have been made regarding the flags, and an NYPD source told the Daily News there’s not much the department can do to make the resident not display the flags.

“It’s not Nazi Germany,” the source added.

 
 
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