Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Update From Crusty Row in Tompkins Square Park....

NOTE : The above picture was taken on Monday night as we were interviewing , along with a reporter from the NY Times , some of those witnesses that had seen the violent events of last Friday night in TSP . The young woman pictured above is Bailey , a regular visitor to Crusty Row , and is not Lesia Pupshaw . A picture of Ms. Pupshaw can be found at : http://www.villagevoice.com/2000-12-05/nyc-life/stars-and-bars/

Police were on patrol in TSP Monday night , frequently stopping on Crusty Row to talk to and reassure a small group of uneasy Crustys and their friends . No one quite knows what might happen next in TSP . Young Hispanic males with water balloons were reported to have been in the park in the afternoon Monday . Water balloons have been seen in all the recent confrontations between the Crustys and their Hispanic male attackers . At least the police were there in the evening to provide some protection if necessary .
Of course the park was closed on time , at midnight Monday night .The Crustys and their friends left the park at closing time . Those without apartments to go to , ventured into the uncertain reality of a night on the streets of the East Village.
Several proclaimed eye-witnesses to Friday night's attack spoke with us this afternoon ,volunteering blow-by-blow accounts of the attack on Lesia Pupshaw , aged 26 ,who possibly died because of injuries suffered during this brutal attack .The attack appears from witnesses' accounts to have begun with a blow delivered by a bottle hurled at her head from 4 or 5 ft. . Then after Ms. Pupshaw fell to the ground her attackers continued the attack by kicking her and striking her with wooden sticks and perhaps a silver cane .
Ms. Pupshaw did get up after this severe beating and walk away , out of the park toward an apartment on 6th street where she lived with her mother , boyfriend and some other friends .According to one of Ms. Pupshaw's room mates Ms. Pupshaw was again attacked and beaten by the same young Hispanic male park attackers somewhere along 7th street between 2nd and 3rd avenue while on her way home .
Ms. Pupshaw's room mate said that an ambulance was called for Ms. Pupshaw from the apartment and that Ms. Pupshaw was taken to Belleview Hospital . Ms. Pupshaw was not seen by a doctor though because she impatiently left the hospital waiting area and returned to the apartment on 6th street where she later died . According to all witnesses Ms. Pupshaw was severely beaten and injured .
There were also several others that were injured in the TSP attack Friday night . Two males attacked in TSP , both bleeding seriously , were taken to the hospital by ambulance from avenue A .
Today there were rumors in TSP and along avenue A that police had determined that Ms. Pupshaw had died of a drug over dose and not as a result of the severe and bloody beatings that she suffered Friday night . We have heard in a round about way though that this may not be the case and that the Medical Examiner's Office has said that at this time they want to do some more testing to determine the actual cause of death .
It should be noted that according to friends , Ms. Pupshaw had indeed overdosed the day before the Friday night attack . Perhaps some heroin residuals and metabolites remaining in Ms. Pupshaw's tissues and fluids from the day before could possibly have misled some by causing one of the quick preliminary tests to show positive for heroin .We do not know , we only conjecture . We suspect though that the cause of death has not yet been determined .

it angers me that press like the Times have not covered this. if Lesia had been a banker or a marketing manager, living in one of the condos near the park, she'd be front-page news.

found this photo of Lesia in the Voice. at the time, she said she'd been clean for 9 months.

What a tragic story. Is this a picture of the poor woman that died?
Lesh - We will always love you and miss you sweetie and we know the truth about what happened.
Your friends,
erica and joel

we need to wake people up from their self indulgent apathy, they need to realise that people are people no matter what their label or economic status is. Lesia may not have been a perfect person but all she ever did was try to be nice and tried to be everyones friend, no one deserves what happened to her and the excuses can no longer be tolerated. there is no justification for senseless violence and murder, i do not care who someone is or what they do with their own body. everyone deserves to be safe and protected and everyone deserves justice. we will never forget this until these predators are caught and until people see that we are human too and start treating us as such.
First the young woman pictured is Bailey who has been pictured here several times in the past. Bailey spends a lot of time in TSP and was with the Crustys on Crusty Row last night with her friends there .

Second,a NY Times reporter was with us on Crusty Row last night . Whether the Times will run a story on these threatening and violent events in TSP we do not know .
I'm shocked to hear that Lesia is the woman who died after the TSP beatings.

I met her around 1997-98 before she got into drugs. Then she got involved with a guy squatting in Dos Blockos on East Ninth Street and started shooting heroin with him and became addicted.

She had a lot of problems with her alcoholic mother who always attacked her, so she logically sought a more supportive family experience elsewhere. I wish it hadn't involved drugs!!

Over the years, I watched with dismay as she swelled, her teeth went missing, and the scars on her body increased. She knew what that lifestyle (more accurately a "death-style") was doing to her, but I guess she was in too deep.

I will always remember her as being friendly and sociable to everyone. Lesia was a good soul. She did not deserve this, whether it was death by drugs or by violence.

If the "crusties" were treated with more respect by police, roving gangs might not feel that they could get away with their random violence on a group of undesirables the police don't appear to give a damn about and who the police have been pushing around for years. That sort of shit emboldens the thugs who look for easy prey.

Rest in peace, Lesia....
despite the depressing news carried in this story, i am not surprised that this story hasn't appeared in the press yet, for various reasons including the fact that tons of depressing things happen everyday that aren't reported. although, i am surprised the villager hasn't written anything yet - does anyone know if they are planning to?

press aside, most concerning is that these same kids continue to show up in the park and taunt/harass/threaten people. are the cops doing nothing about this?
Very very sad.
You published a link to his photo -- the same photo as mine with a more expensive camera and my coverage of Karen and you credit him.

Before that he deleted my comments on NYU.

I was so a head of the game and he did is on kind of robbery and murder that kind that doesn't count as most violence towards women seems not to count until we are murdered.

Bob Arihood writes in the third person which should give you a clue there is something really wrong there.

Yeah, I get what feels like a lot of violence directed towards me -- why?

Because I am outspoken, smart and outspoken. These guys were so in to me and than they kind of did their nasty. Bob's site is dedicated to Jim Mosaic Man Powers but I have to update
him on Jim because he doesn't know. When Cooper Union kicked Jim's memorial planter to the curb, I told Bob -- he went and took almost the same photo and did not give me credit and that
is the pattern.

When I read the latest on this young woman I was sickened by Bob Arihood and Jeremiah not his real name and thought what a relief to condemn the NY Times -- most relieve them
from their own guilt -- their own violence and murder but oops it doesn't count. Nothing counts I have found out first hand as a woman until we are murdered.

I will never stop speaking up.

The police need to report to professional reporters not sick angry men, one that writes in the third person and one that doesn't have the courage to use his own name -- you both helped yourself to my work, my blood sweat and tears and hit the delete button.
Hey "Anonymous" female who keeps attacking Bob and others -- you shouldn't be using the death of this young woman as a platform to rail against your delusiuonal perceived injustices toward you by others.

You could use some serious therapy.
I can tell you one thing: none of the folks this unfortunate woman was with at TSP that evening were her friends. Had they been her friends, they would have defended her, or at least escorted her to the hospital and forced her to be treated properly. If they had done either of these things, she might be alive today.

Shame on them.

As for the police, don't point fingers until the ME's final report is published. Damn you for making me defend police procedures, by the way, my father would spit in my face, and my grandfather is spinning in his grave over this.
This is terrible news. And, I've only read about it here - maybe I've just missed the story in the papers and on TV?

Thank you for covering this story. I was in the park last night and there was an obvious tension in the air. People are nervous and with good reason, but it seems no one outside a few blocks cares. A woman has died for chrissakes, and regardless of her lifestyle, this is sad and not right. Take back the neighborhood.
there is a photo of lesia here, from 2000:

RE: L'Emmerdeur

'eh, i wasn't clear enough. my feeling is that regardless of whether or not the death was caused by the beating or an OD, the fact remains that "a group of kids" are in the park harassing people. the cops should be doing something about it so that this type of behavior doesn't continue. i've seen cops give people tickets for all sorts of mediocre violations in the park (panhandling, drinking in public, riding a bicycle) surely they can give some sort of "punishment" for overly rowdy and aggressive behavior.

i wasn't in the park during any of these events and other than the swirling stories i've heard here and on the street - i don't know exactly who did what. however, based on behaviour i've seen in previous summers (though usually late july - into august HOT summertime) , i do know that roving bands of kids/teens being way too rowdy often occur (ie: throwing bottles AT people).
If this was a well off white women from the suburbs we wouldn't even be having any type of argument like this, but since it was some punk/street/drug user ect. the police just don't care and don't do anything and they will blame it on anything besides violence. Treat everyone the same no matter what or what back round you come from. A life is a life and should be held in the highest regard.

i took this pic in the summer of 2007.
-selena hao
This anonymous female who seems to be obsessed with Bob and his blog needs serious therapy and/or medication. She posts here often ripping Bob apart and seems to crave attention and recognition, even in the face of a MURDER which sickens me.
It ALMOST made me laugh though when she says jeremiah is a "sick man" because he doesn't use his real name, while she posts here anonymously.
This post was about a murder and this crazy stalker is whining about no one crediting her "work?" Jesus Christ lady! Seek Help! You need it!
Based on past procedures in different places it would not surprise me if these thugs are actually paid provacateurs. Cops don't want things peaceful. They need reason to go bash heads and further harrass the citizens. It may seem far fecthed but those of use who were involved in punk rock in the 80's remember how the cops planted nazi skinheads in the scene.
I just found these. Here are some pictures i have of Lesia and some friends from the summer that we first met each other.




It is true that some of these young males may be very young . Some witnesses have estimated ages as young as 12 years of age .

It is highly unlikely that the police are in any way causing the problems in the park or were involved in the atack Friday night .

All officers that we have talked to are trying to solve this case and are certainly also attempting to prevent any more such attacks from happening .

There may be adults involved though in the young attackers activities . Often adults use children to commit crimes that make money for the adults because children are treated differently by law in the courts ; the punishment is less severe and less long lasting for children .

It is possible that these kids are members of groups that are used by criminal adults to commit crimes . The adults get the money , the kids get to have fun...and make a smaller amount of money .

We do not believe that this is what happened in TSP Friday night, though in other activities these same young males may well be working with "adult supervision" . .
I like your street reporting and the death of this woman is sad and those guilty should be charged. I do wonder if you are kind of glamoring the losers a bit with the whole crusty tag. At the end of they day they are deadbeat druggies who are bringing down the area.
We aren't trying to glamorize any one anonymous .WE are just telling a story . Trying to report facts which no one else is doing in this part of town .

the reality in TSP and on the street is ugly , brutal : not friendly and fuzzy and loveable .The Crustys and an indiviual named Markey whom we talked to tonight and will soon write about were beaten by some young male s Friday night .There is one dead person and several others recovering from beatings . There is something going on in the neighborhood these days that is very wrong , dangerous and deadly .These individuals are all caught up in this situation with no way out of it .We simply present them as human beings in this very unfavorable situation .

We have certainly tried to humanize Crustys and others here .To tell this story it is necessary to do so .They are real people . We are all people with at least the expection of a reasonable amount safety . Markey and the Crustys and of course others right now do not have this expectation . that's what we are writing about . No on is being glamorized .
I am a relative of Lesia. My family still lives in the East Village. I enjoy going back but I can't shake what Tompkins Square Park and some of the surrounding area was like when I was a teen in the 1970s. Even cleaned up now it still has an aura of drugs and danger, and moreso, of a lot of lowlife hanger-ons. Seems those are the kind Lesia hung out with, and that's a shame and waste of life.
I am Lesia's cousin, and very saddened to hear the news of her death. I hadn't see her in years, but growing up with her, she was a good soul, with a good heart, she didn't deserve to die like this. She was 26, she was a baby. I saw a picture on here when she was 18... young and beautiful, and that is how I want to remember her. RIP Lesia, you will never be forgotten.
I think I know why those boys beat poor Lesia to death. I think the Latino boys hate the way Crusty Punks flaunt poverty, dirt, hunger, drug abuse, all the things that have afflicted the Loisaida for a long time. Those are things that people in the projects (and those projects are still there, despite the gentrification) try to hide -- and here are (mostly) young white people who "should" have it all, according to the way they are portrayed in society, flaunting the horrors that the minorities in the projects had to suffer through, tried to hide. Maybe that is what the Latino boys are attacking when they attack Crusty Punks. Suffering that kind of deprivation, then seeing people voluntarily choosing it when they don't have to, because they are young and white (that is how the thinking is -- I am NOT saying that the thinking is valid) creates rage, or stokes a rage that is already there for other reasons. All these things that breed violence. I am NOT blaming Lesia or the Crusty Punks AT ALL. I am just giving my theory. Honestly, I hope they find the kids who beat Lesia to death and lock them up for a long time...maybe forever. I hope and pray no one else gets hurt.
I will always Think of Lesia as the little catholic school girl with glasses who Followed Us around and wrote about us in her diary.We where all between 4&8 years older then her.I remember thinking she was such a smart kid with so much potential and wondered why she was trying to hang out with losers like me and my friends.The years past as some of those losers stayed losers others grew up started families,carrers Got educations and stayed clean.Over the past dozen of so years I would run into people who saw Lesia and tell me stories about how bad she was doing Hanging out with Low lives who just used her and losing her psyical and mental heath due to drugs.I hoped that one day she would come out of it like some of us from the older generation did.I hoped that she would have stuck around long enough To build her self esteam and realize her potential.

Violance between subculture people and the indiginious (Puerto Rican) Community is nothing New. In the late 1980s early 90's. Past avenue A there where few Whites. We fought many Puerto Rican gangs in bat and Knife attacks just to co-exisit in that area.People threw Tv sets,drity dipers and bleach at us from Windows Towards the mid 90s
Many punk rockers and skinheads in the area started forming gangs and alling themself with puerto rican gangs.but, then again we where all from New York and Lower income people.Alot of people In the L.e.s of all races have always resented the crusties who blew into Town from where ever.Alot of people might take out gentraification on them,but are to Ignorant to Realize that these people are wanted out by developers,Yuppies and so on as well.
Maybe if she didn't do drugs this wouldn't have happened.
i had heard from one of her friends that Leisha had been considering getting an order of protection against her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend.
I hang out in the east village, so i know everything that goes down over there. The guys that beat Lesia were young,I heard they were about 12/13 years old. People like that feel as if they can fuck around with crustys because they look down upon them. And the cops arent doing anything to stop this, the boys that beat her didnt get in trouble or anything, and its not that hard to find them, alot of locals knew what the kids looked like, and that they were from somewhere on avenue D. The cops do nothing to prevent these kind of attacks because they dont care about crustys, and in the east village the cops fuck around with crustys and punks more than anyone, i know this from experience. Sad.
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