The Real Deal New York

Hotel Chelsea renovation turns violent

December 08, 2011 01:29PM

Video may include explicit language (Source: Arthur Nash)

Hotel Chelsea’s controversial renovation has taken a barbarous turn.

When a long-term resident took pictures of non-union workers performing construction at the historic hotel, he was pushed and shoved in an altercation that spilled out into the street, police and witnesses told DNAinfo.

The non-union construction workers assaulted resident Arthur Nash, and smashed his girlfriend’s camera, police told DNAinfo (see video clip from the alteraction above).

When contacted by The Real Deal, Nash said he had brought union representatives to the site in order to document what he feels are unsafe conditions in the building, caused by the demolition. But the presence of the union representatives angered the demolition crew, which is non-union, Nash said.

After the initial confrontation, Nash left the hotel, only to be followed and attacked again, he said.

“About six of them jumped on me,” Nash said, adding that he was struck several times, including once in the back of the head.

When Ed Hamilton, another Hotel Chelsea resident and witness to the attack, jumped into the fray, he said he was knocked down by the non-union workers as well. “They were punching and kicking me,” Hamilton told The Real Deal.

Both Hamilton and Nash were treated for minor injuries, DNAinfo said. Police confirmed to DNAinfo that a complaint was filed with the 10th Precinct, but said no arrests have been made.

The hotel’s security guards, hired by the new owners, were not available to protect Nash at the time of the scuffle, he said. “[The guards] just seem to be there to intimidate us,” Hamilton told The Real Deal. “They disappear whenever there’s trouble.”

Nash added: “It really makes you feel unsafe in your own home.” — Candace Taylor and Guelda Voien

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