Pipe-wielding "anarchists" allegedly trying to smash in the windows of an East Village Starbucks clashed with police on Saturday night, sending three men to jail and two officers to the hospital with minor injuries, officials said Sunday.
Police said they intervened when a group of 25 protesters, some donning masks and dressed in black, attempted to break the windows of a Starbucks on Astor Place at about 8:45 p.m. Cops said customers hid under tables during the skirmish, though a manager at the store told amNewYork Sunday there was no damage done and that the only “panic” was outside the store.
As a number of protesters chanted, “F--- the NYPD” and “All pigs must die,” they began swinging eight-foot-long pipes and tossing bottles at uniformed and plainclothes officers, according to police. An NYPD sergeant was slammed in the head with a pipe, and a lieutenant also sustained unspecified injuries. Both were treated and released at local hospitals Saturday night, and cops were still searching Sunday for two suspects who fled the scene.
The police began following the protesters after they left an anarchist book fair at Judson Memorial Church, across the street from Washington Square Park. As they marched toward the Starbucks, police said, a group of about 150 tipped over garbage cans and spray-painted “anarchist symbols” on buildings.
Alexander Penley, 41, of Harlem, and Nicholas Thommen, 30, of Salem, Ore., were arrested on charges including assault, menacing and incitement to riot. Eric Marchese, 24, of Brentwood, Long Island, was arrested for criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. A representative for the National Lawyers Guild, which often represents protesters, said the group was aware of the arrests, but didn’t know whether its lawyers would be representing the individuals in question.
A nearby 7-Eleven on St. Marks Place had a window smashed Saturday night, witnesses said, though police were uncertain whether the vandalism was related to the other incidents.
(With Amanda Dallas)