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Washington Square Park squatter is arrested after a nude brawl with two other scantily-dressed men

A homeless man squatting inside Manhattan’s Washington Square Park fountain was arrested following a nude brawl Saturday, bringing an abrupt end to his bizarre weeks-long occupancy of the famous tourism haunt. 

Matthew John Mishefski, a 25-year-old originally from Wyoming, Pennsylvania was arrested by officers from the NYPD at 9:30pm yesterday night after he became ensnared in a physical altercation with two other scantily dressed men.

A total of 12 officers responded to the scene and Mishefski was strapped to a gurney and taken away from the landmark in an ambulance. One of the men Mishefski was entangled with was also seen being taken away from the scene by EMTs, with a large amount of blood sprayed over his chest.

Mishefski, who refers to himself as ‘Son of God Lord Saviour Jesus Christ’, had been living in the drained fountain since May. 

City authorities, including NYPD, Parks Department staffers and homeless outreach workers, failed for weeks to get him to voluntarily abdicate his makeshift thrown despite several visits. 

Matthew John Mishefski, a 25-year-old originally from Wyoming, Pennsylvania was arrested by officers from the NYPD at 9:30pm yesterday after he became ensnared in a physical altercation with two other scantily dressed men

A total of 12 officers responded to the scene and Mishefski was taken away from the landmark in an ambulance

A total of 12 officers responded to the scene and Mishefski was taken away from the landmark in an ambulance

A man who was seen sparring with Mishefski was also transferred to an ambulance at Washington Square Park on Saturday

A man who was seen sparring with Mishefski was also transferred to an ambulance at Washington Square Park on Saturday

Members of the New York Police Department take Matthew John Mishefski into custody, ending his weeks-long occupancy of the famous fountain

Members of the New York Police Department take Matthew John Mishefski into custody, ending his weeks-long occupancy of the famous fountain

Mishefski, who refers to himself as 'Son of God Lord Saviour Jesus Christ', had been living in the drained fountain since May

Mishefski, who refers to himself as ‘Son of God Lord Saviour Jesus Christ’, had been living in the drained fountain since May

City authorities, including police, Parks Department staffers and homeless outreach workers, failed for weeks to get him to voluntarily abdicate his makeshift thrown despite several visits

City authorities, including police, Parks Department staffers and homeless outreach workers, failed for weeks to get him to voluntarily abdicate his makeshift thrown despite several visits

During his residency, Mishefski amassed a collection of tables, six chairs, a pink recliner, a box of clothes and a beach umbrella - all protected by the metal barricades surrounding the fountain

During his residency, Mishefski amassed a collection of tables, six chairs, a pink recliner, a box of clothes and a beach umbrella – all protected by the metal barricades surrounding the fountain

Matthew John Mishefski pictured atop the center of the fountain on Friday, June 26, just a day before his Saturday arrest

Matthew John Mishefski pictured atop the center of the fountain on Friday, June 26, just a day before his Saturday arrest

His makeshift home now included a table, six chairs, a pink recliner, a box of clothes and a beach umbrella - all protected by the metal barricades surrounding the fountain

His makeshift home now included a table, six chairs, a pink recliner, a box of clothes and a beach umbrella – all protected by the metal barricades surrounding the fountain

New York homeless service visit with the man to see if they can get him assistance

New York homeless service visit with the man to see if they can get him assistance

Mishefski is covered with fake blood as he lays on a unicorn plush. Demonstrators from a nearby BLM protest shared that he stole red paint from him

Mishefski is covered with fake blood as he lays on a unicorn plush. Demonstrators from a nearby BLM protest shared that he stole red paint from him

During his residency, Mishefski amassed a collection of tables, six chairs, a pink recliner, a box of clothes and a beach umbrella – all protected by the metal barricades surrounding the fountain. 

‘It’s a representation of the altar to god,’ Mishefski, who is autistic, explained of his temporary home to the New York Post.  

Mishefski was previously arrested by police on June 13 at around 12.15am after he reportedly refused to leave the park after hours. 

The transient – who first moved to NYC in 2017 – was charged with criminal trespass and failure to comply with signs. He was later released on bail and returned to the park. His next court date had been set for September 14. 

The park is one of New York’s most iconic locations, and popular with tourists. It has featured in a host of movies set in the city, including Ghostbusters and Avengers: Infinity War. 

‘Obviously the commanding officer [of the local 6th Precinct] is aware with many 311 calls and community members reaching out,’ a NYPD spokesperson previously said. ‘He has made numerous calls to Parks Department and several attempts to provide services. They are trying to get him help.’

A spokesman from the city Department of Homeless Services said that workers had tried to persuade the man four times to leave on his own volition, but he refused. 

Black Lives Matter banners were hanging in the park as a backrop for Mishefski, who has squatting there since May. Demonstrators with the Black Lives Matter protest in the park told DailyMail.com that the transient accosted them as they put up the banner outside the barricade of the fountain. 

They also added that the man stole red paint that they had been using, turning it into a ‘fake blood’ prop for himself. 

Black Lives Matter banners were hanging in the park as a backrop for Mishefski, who has squatting there since May. Demonstrators with the Black Lives Matter protest in the park told DailyMail.com that the transient accosted them as they put up the banner outside the barricade of the fountain

Black Lives Matter banners were hanging in the park as a backrop for Mishefski, who has squatting there since May. Demonstrators with the Black Lives Matter protest in the park told DailyMail.com that the transient accosted them as they put up the banner outside the barricade of the fountain

Mishefski was arrested by police on June 13 at around 12.15am after he reportedly refused to leave the park after hours. He was charged with criminal trespass and failure to comply with signs

Mishefski was arrested by police on June 13 at around 12.15am after he reportedly refused to leave the park after hours. He was charged with criminal trespass and failure to comply with signs

He has since been released on bail and has returned to the park, with his next court date is set for September 14

He has since been released on bail and has returned to the park, with his next court date is set for September 14

'It's a representation of the altar to god,' Mishefski, who goes by 'Son of God Lord Saviour Jesus Christ', said of his living arrangments

‘It’s a representation of the altar to god,’ Mishefski, who goes by ‘Son of God Lord Saviour Jesus Christ’, said of his living arrangments

‘We remain undeterred and will keep coming back to build trust, make those breakthroughs, and help them get back on their feet,’ said spokesman Isaac McGinn.

Parks Department had a different energy behind the man’s presence, with a spokeswoman adding: ‘Being homeless in a New York City park is not a crime.’  

She continued:  ‘We are working sensitively to encourage this individual to comply with Parks rules.

The spokeswoman did assert that there are rules prohibiting the erection of tents, shelters or camps at the park. 

A spokesman from the city Department of Homeless Services said that workers have tried to persuade the man four times to leave, but he refuses

A spokesman from the city Department of Homeless Services said that workers have tried to persuade the man four times to leave, but he refuses

Parks Department had a different energy behind the man's presence, with a spokeswoman adding: 'Being homeless in a New York City park is not a crime.' She did however say that rules prohibit setting up a tent in parks

Parks Department had a different energy behind the man’s presence, with a spokeswoman adding: ‘Being homeless in a New York City park is not a crime.’ She did however say that rules prohibit setting up a tent in parks

'This is a spiritual zone,' declared Mishefski

‘This is a spiritual zone,’ declared Mishefski

The Washington Square Park conservancy shared that it was aware of the encampment since early June, with representatives adding that they have been talking with the Parks Department and the NYPD.

Parks has said that it is working to remove the various pieces from the fountain. 

Mishefski has only been at the park for a few weeks, according to the Parks Department, who said that the man travels between parks. 

Mishefski has only been at the park for a few weeks, according to the Parks Department, who said that the man travels between parks

Mishefski has only been at the park for a few weeks, according to the Parks Department, who said that the man travels between parks

An American flag sits near a table that Mishefski has inside the fountain

An American flag sits near a table that Mishefski has inside the fountain

‘This is a spiritual zone,’ declared Mishefski, who had been living in shelters until November 2017 before deciding to just stay on the streets. Life in the shelters did not seen like safest option, Mishefski shared.

‘People bring in knives, weapons, they say they’re going to hurt you if you say something they don’t like, if you look at them,’ he said. ‘I had a staff member pull a knife on me.’

Mishefski said he suffers from autism and added that he has been in and out of psych wards. He even had a brief five-week stay at the Woodhull Hospital around September 2019.  

Mishefski said he suffers from autism and added that he has been in and out of psych wards

Mishefski said he suffers from autism and added that he has been in and out of psych wards

Mishefski reads in the middle of the fountain as New Yorkers enjoy a day at the park

Mishefski reads in the middle of the fountain as New Yorkers enjoy a day at the park

Iron Man battles it out in front of the Washington Square Park in Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War

Iron Man battles it out in front of the Washington Square Park in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War

Ghosts attack Washington Square Park in 1984 film Ghostbusters

Ghosts attack Washington Square Park in 1984 film Ghostbusters

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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