DOCUMENT: Internet, Crime

NYPD Manhunt For Brooklyn Ax Murderer

Viral video shows man hacking 20-foot ginkgo

JUNE 10--New York City cops are on the hunt for a man who used an ax to chop down a Brooklyn tree early Wednesday morning.

The bizarre 2 AM incident was captured by a surveillance camera attached to a neighboring building in the borough’s Kensington neighborhood. Video of the tree assault (seen above) was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday.

The video shows the attacker taking a total of 53 whacks at the tree over approximately five minutes. On several occasions, neighborhood men can be seen seen trying to stop the ax wielder from downing the tree. It does not appear that the primary motive of the attacker was to steal the bicycle chained to the tree (though, 20 minutes after first striking the tree, the portly perp returned to the block and carried the bike away).

The group of men watching the arborcide of the approximately 20-foot gingko tree were congregating in front of 352 East 8th Street, a 24-unit apartment building. The property is within the jurisdiction of the NYPD’s 66th Precinct, where officers are investigating the ax attack.

As seen in this series of photos, when a TSG reporter today arrived at the crime scene, the tree’s corpse remained on the sidewalk. At abut 12:30, workers with the Department of Parks and Recreation's Brooklyn Forestry Division arrived and began cutting up the tree for disposal.

Neighborhood residents and the building’s owner identified the ax murderer as a former building resident named Francisco. The owner--who said he planted the $750 tree several years ago--told TSG that the ex-tenant was a “big problem” who continued to create trouble even after his tenancy ended.

The landlord told TSG that he filed a police report about the chopping down of the tree. The building superintendent reported that video of the attack was uploaded to YouTube by his 25-year-old son. One angry resident told TSG that he had tended the gingko for the past seven years, watering the tree and trimming its branches.

Detective Cheryl Crispin, an NYPD spokesperson, told TSG late this afternoon that cops were investigating the ax incident, but that no arrests had been made. (5 pages)

Comments (20)

So... A tree DOESN'T grow in Booklyn?
Police stop my car, Police stop my car....I want to wish you a sober Christmas, with no open bottles in my car.
What does race have to do with it? The white-trash who live in my area have done much more than the things Truthbearer describes. Anyone making too much out of this barely noteworthy or unsusal story needs to get a life.
Hey! A tree died! Cut down in it's prime. What did that tree do to the offender? It was no doubt innocent and didn't deserve to die like that (even if it had dripped sap or dropped a branch on the offender's head or vehicle). Why are you not feeling the tree's pain and calling for justice? I hope to Gaia that there weren't any baby birds in a nest in that tree, then PETA would be involved. You might want to ask Gaia for forgiveness Hooligan, for not caring about her other creations besides humans. Don't you know the power of Mother Nature? Don't you remember that margarine commercial when she got mad and sent a lightning bolt? The white trash where I've lived have done illegal stuff, too, but we happen to be talking about a race other than white in this case. Can't change the facts nor the race of the offenders in this incidence just because you're whining about racism. Not talking about it won't make it better and you're just burying your head in the sand like some immature child who doesn't want to face reality.
What I want to know is, was he handling the axe in a safe and proper manner, and did he have traffic cones set up and was there a safe distance between the work and any bystanders, and did he have proper licensing and permits and in place before doing the job.
Oh look. Who is doing this and who are his friends - his "people"? What are these "people"? What is their race? 'Nuff said.
Republicans are probably trying to pass a bill right now banning Mexicans from celebrating Christmas because they can't be trusted around pines.
When I lived in Las Vegas, my neighbor woke up on Christmas morning to find her 5 ft. pine tree beside her front porch had been cut down and stolen. We all knew it was the illegal Mexicans down the street because they were always taking anything they wanted, including tools, lawn furniture and toys if they were left outside on your porch, driveway or lawn. In Texas, another Illegal Mexican family (parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and kids) went Trick or Treating late on Halloween, ringing doorbells after midnight and even did it the next night, too until the police put a stop to it. The men leered at and tried to talk to any adolescent and teenage girl on the block and kept a goat in their back yard (in the city!) They threw loud parties every Friday night with blaring Mariachi music, left beer cans all over the neighborhood and fought each other outside which one time, left a couple of them with stab wounds. So, it's not just New York, of course.
Axe murderer? Am I missing something here? Chopping down a tree is murder?
As you view this video you ask yourself why none of the young Black males didn't just simply phone for the Police as they were trying to stop this crackhead, drunken Black bum from chopping down this tree. The answer is that all of them have some sort of a Police record and probably were out on the street in the early A.M. hours smoking pot and crack and none of them wanted to be questiond by Police about this situation, and other things that they were possibly into!!?? Had this happened in a White community, or an Asian community you can bet the Police would have been informed. Only in a Black American community could someone get away with a crime such as this!!
You're powers of perception are extremely weak. First of all his name was Francisco, and even though the video was black and white I'm pretty sure they were Hispanic.
Typical of this "street corner scumbags"...!! NOT productive citizens of the community.....just plain "thugs"....This trash belongs in jail with the rest of the garbage....!!! Get with it NYPD.....!!!
I believe the others were NOT unknown samaritans as suggested by the article. They were his friends and/or acquaintances perhaps trying to stop him. Watch it again and you can see them confronting him, likely trying to calm him down, but never more than one would a friend. When the tree was felled, even without audio you can hear the laughter of the onlookers, until they collectively decide to leave the scene. There is a little to applaud in their intervention; thankfully, they did not likewise strike at the tree. However, there was plenty of time for a 911 call of a man wielding an Axe, and contrary to inner-city mythology, cops would have been there in under a minute or two.
A portly male, not dressed nor employed as a lumberjack, walked down a street in Brooklyn, NY with an tree cutting axe at 02:00 AM and no one found that image was a strange sight to behold???? No one bothered to call the police??? What a bunch of useless jacka$$e$....
To be fair, at 2:00 am, it would have been difficult to retrieve his employee records......and as to the way he was dressed, he could be a trend setter in Lumberjack fashion attempting to show the Lumberjacks of the world that they don't have to dress butch to get the job done.....possibly he was rescuing the bicycle from the clutches of the tree.....
You know, that argument would probably work in a court of law in California. That's good....
The fat dickhead should be put down the same as he did in the tree. Mercy killing of extremely useless people like this should become the order of the day.
Random thoughts on this... "...some men can be seen trying to stop the ax wielder from downing the tree." No one has ever accused me of being too smart, but I would think twice, possibly three times, before confronting any ax-wielders in the city. And giving that dude a shove?! Wow. Not me. Like my dad always said: "Nothing good ever happens at 2AM." I love the little "test ride" one of the gentlemen took on the bike. It's amazing the stuff that goes on while most of us are sleeping.
drugs be the terrible thang. po tree gone run it mouth off one too many time.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - NOT!