Mob Squad

What Would You Have Done If You Were in Central Park During the Wilding Incidents?

image Anna Castro
Age 40
Resides Bronx
Occupation Physician's aide

Could a gang of women be this violent? A group of women would never have attacked a man unless a man was egging them on. Women are told to respect men; sometimes they do it too much. The macho thing keeps women in a second-class position.

Were you ever in a group that lost control? I was in Tompkins Square Park when the riot broke out, but I saw that it was about to happen and got out of the park in time.

Have you ever intervened in a mob situation? Yes, a girl in my neighborhood was being hit up for cash by her boyfriend. I told her to put her money back in her pocket. He told me to back off, that it was none of my business. I said, "I won't accept that. This is my community. I'm a woman and she's a woman, so it is my business."


image Neil Goldberg
Age 37
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Artist

Could a gang of women be this violent? I'm suspicious of making blanket statements about gender.

Were you ever in a group that lost control? I was in ACT UP demonstrations but nobody ever lost control.

Have you ever intervened in a mob situation? No, but I've had regrets about not stepping in to defuse a street confrontation.


image Alexis Mullen
Age 22
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Student

Could a gang of women be this violent? Yes, but that's not even the issue. It's about how many men are brought up to think about women. For instance, some people can look at porn and know it's an image, and some can't make that distinction between an image and reality.

Were you ever in a group that lost control? No, but I've sensed the energy of a group shift. That is a very powerful feeling.

Have you ever intervened in a mob situation? I was at a bar where a man was beating up on another guy. I actually had to intervene to protect the perpetrator from the mob.


image Marco Place
Age 32
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Law firm manager

Could a gang of women be this violent? No.

Were you ever in a group that lost control? Yes, at a march against the Gulf War in San Francisco. We converged on the Chevron headquarters and things got nutty, but a lot of it had to do with the behavior of the police.

Have you ever intervened in a mob situation? Yes, just last night I called 911 on my cell phone to report a fight at Astor Place.


image Ray Gutierrez
Age 27
Resides Staten Island
Occupation Patient-care associate

Could a gang of women be this violent? No, it was a mix of alcohol and testosterone. It was a day when everyone was feeling good and free. The guys were drunk and it all spun out of control.

Were you ever in a group that lost control? Yes, in the mosh pit where there are a bunch of guys and suddenly the energy changes.

Have you ever intervened in a mob situation? No, but I'd do it. In that minute you have to look past your fear and just go in.


image Suzette Seepersad
Age 32
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Writer

Could a gang of women be this violent? No, women aren't as violent. There are always excuses being made for this behavior; today they're saying Central Park was "testosterone and stupidity," but it's really just another way of shifting responsibility for men's sexuality onto women.

Were you ever in a group that lost control? Not exactly, but at carnival in Trinidad men use the enormous number of people as an excuse to touch and fondle women.

Have you ever intervened in a mob situation? We were once crossing a river and men groped my friend under the water. When we reached the shore, we had to intervene to keep her brother from going after them. He was so angry.


image Maurice Jones
Age 32
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Radiographer

Could a gang of women be this violent? Yes, if they were drunk. I think this entire story is about alcohol.

Were you ever in a group that lost control? No, I try never to put myself in those situations.

Have you ever intervened in a mob situation? Not a mob, but the other day a 50-year-old woman was walking down the street without a bra and a man yelled at her and told her that she needed to be wearing one. I told him to leave her alone and apologized to her on his behalf.

 
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