The Post reports that a holiday party turned violent yesterday at the community center inside the Rutgers Houses. Three women were taken into custody following an altercation at the Pike Street facility, which is operated by the Chinatown YMCA.
A staff member told the Post that one of the women, described as a “grandmother,” allegedly hit another woman with a cane. “The girl that was fighting, her mother jumped in with her cane and just started bashing her face,” the source said. More details:
Before the fight broke out, the women had joined in the merrymaking by getting their faces bedazzled and painted alongside their children. A cop escorted the grandmother to a waiting police car — with a jewel bindi stuck to her forehead and blue and pink butterflies on her cheeks. Meanwhile, a cane, not face paint, had colored the victim’s eye black and blue. “Her eye was swollen shut right away,” the staff member grimaced. “She was bleeding a lot. Her face was cracked open.” … “[The victim’s] son was crying hysterically,” said the staff member. “He didn’t even want to look at her.”
The families attending the party were part of a support group for domestic violence.
UPDATED 12/15: The YMCA sent the following clarification to the Post regarding Saturday’s story:
It is inaccurate to say the incident occurred at the YMCA (“women brawl at the YMCA,” “a YMCA on the Lower East Side,” “in the Y at the Rutgers Housing Project,” and “in the small YMCA’s gymnasium”). The incident occurred outside the Rutgers Community Center, which is owned and operated by the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) and is in no way owned or operated by the YMCA. The YMCA is contracted to operate programs at the center during certain hours, but this party was held during a period of time where the Y does not operate at all. The party was a NYCHA-HRA (Human Resource Administration) event and in no way was managed by, or affiliated with, the Y. It is inaccurate to attribute quotes to an unnamed Y staff member. Although two Y staff members were present in the building, they were inside and did not witness the incident outside, were not involved in the management of the incident, and did not speak to any reporters.