Violent groups lead city to close Washington Square Park early, police say

GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Washington Square Park will be closing earlier, due to various safety concerns, police announced.

On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the park will now close at 10 p.m. instead of midnight. Additional officers will be there to close the park.

The decision was made in light of several recent incidents where large, and sometimes violent groups refused to leave the park. Officials say the behavior has included jumping on vehicles, making threats to officers and throwing bottles and other objects at police or nearby responding FDNY and EMT vehicles.

The decision to remove the closing time will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, police say.

The Parks Department released a statement saying,

"Our Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers are collaborating with NYPD to address large gatherings, amplified sound, and other conditions in the park on weekends. We will continue to adjust our approach as needed."

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