Two park workers charged with playground beatdown


Police arrested two on-duty city parks employees Sunday afternoon, accusing them of beating up a man for allegedly urinating in a park.

Yadhil Marrero, 41, and Damian Garner, 40, were charged with assault after allegedly attacking the unidentified man at Sachkerah Woods Playground in the southeast corner of Van Cortlandt Park on the fringes of the 50th Precinct.

While it's possible the 40-year-old victim may have been relieving himself at the time, the dispute appears to be more over garbage, said 50th Precinct commander Terence O'Toole. Video footage shoed the victim tossing trash behind the bushes before he was confronted and allegedly roughed up.

Marrero and Garner are not full-time parks employees, O'Toole said, but instead were seasonal workers hired to help keep parks tidy. The city's parks departments declined to comment or provide further details.

The victim was taken to Montefiore hospital, but had just minor cuts and bruises, the precinct commander said. He also didn't appear to fight back — "He was pretty much overwhelmed."

The playground is heavily used on weekends, at least based on the tremenous amount of trash that's removed on Mondays, O'Toole said. Yet, police don't see it as a place where violence often erupts.

This isn't the first time parts department employees have been accused of misbehaving in recent memory, according to published reports. City officials have opened up an investigation into parks department supervisor Michael Palamar over accusations he sexually harassed a 19-year-old seasonal employee between 2015 and 2017.