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With floodlights, nudging, police enforce Washington Square curfew

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Police closed Washington Square Park without incident on Monday night.

Shortly after 11 p.m., there were still around 150 to 200 people in the park, mostly hanging out around the fountain plaza.

Groups of police stood posted under the illuminated arch and at the plaza’s western and southern entranceways. A knot of Parks Enforcement Patrol officers also stood on the plaza’s eastern side.

A couple of motorcycle riders hung out inside Washington Square Park on Monday night. (Photo by The Village Sun)
A group of police stood on the western perimeter of the fountain plaza about 45 minutes before the park’s curfew. (Photo by The Village Sun)

There was almost no amplified music. However, there was some coming from next to two people who had ridden their motorcycles into the park and were hanging out on the plaza’s southern edge; but the music was pretty low and not audible from outside the park.

Around 11:25 p.m., police turned on floodlights that beamed out from under the arch, illuminating the darkened plaza with a harsh light.

Police turned on floodlights, illuminating the fountain plaza in a harsh light, sending a signal that the park would soon be closing for its nightly curfew. (Photo by The Village Sun)
Sometime after 11:30 p.m., police Community Affairs officers started going around the park, telling people that it would be closing at midnight. (Photo by The Village Sun)

Shortly after that, police wearing cobalt-blue polo shirts with “NYPD Community Affairs” on the back in yellow lettering, started going around the plaza, politely telling everyone that the park would be closing at midnight.

Bit by bit, everyone trickled out of the park.

Lieutenant Piezana from the Sixth Precinct was once again overseeing the police detail in the park. Shortly before midnight, a man on a motor scooter with a woman sitting behind him, slowly drove around the park, with the woman holding up her phone and videoing police and news reporters. After they pulled up by the fountain, the lieutenant started strolling toward them. But once he got near, they zipped away toward the park’s east side.

As midnight neared, people made their way toward the park’s exit at Washington Square North and Fifth Ave. (Photo by The Village Sun)
A woman gave the finger and cursed as she was photographed leaving the park behind some skateboarders right before the midnight curfew. (Photo by The Village Sun)

By 12:07 a.m., Washington Square Park was empty. A police car, its blue and red lights flashing, took a final counterclockwise spin around the fountain plaza as officers did a check to see that the park had been cleared.

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