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UPDATED: Outrage Over The Sanctuary’s Halloween Bash


Outrage over The Sanctuary’s Halloween bash swelled on Monday. Residents from as far as a quarter-mile away complained about noise. RIOC claimed PSD had everything under control, but a resident hotly disputes that, calling it an “absolute lie.” Video supports the resident.

Outrage Over The Sanctuary's Halloween Bash, trash left out in the rain as evidence.
Trash, including food waste was left out in the rain all weekend after The Sanctuary’s Halloween bash stoked outrage from residents.

“This is infuriating,” wrote Asha on a post here.

She was “kept awake by loud music… till 4am.”

Asha lives in Manhattan Park, a quarter of a mile distant from the venue.

“The music started around 9:00 p.m. and was constant until 5:00 a.m.,” said Octagon resident Olivia Rios.

“That is when the chaos ensued with the Uber pickup. The cars kept honking because there was no turn around for them.”

Video shot by Rios illustrates:

Between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m. Saturday, a traffic jam of cars, many for hire, clogged the fire lane bordering The Octagon. Partygoers weaved between vehicles on the dimly lit alley while a civilian struggled to direct chaotic traffic.

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Outrage over The Sanctuary’s Halloween bash aggravated by RIOC

Yesterday, before hearing from Ms. Rios, we reported on The Sanctuary’s careless dumping of trash outdoors during a rainy weekend. There was food waste and metal cans labeled “Liquid Death.”

But the circumstances were worse, and RIOC soon aggravated them.

“PSD officers were on the scene all night,” a RIOC spokesperson answered a query from The Daily.

“Other than a higher than usual number of people and cars in the area,” he continued, “there were no unauthorized vehicles at the location.”

Rios’s video exposes numerous cars illegally parked in the fire lane as a civilian with a flashlight struggles to unclog traffic.

“I did not see any public safety out there at all,” Rios wrote, “So, I called around 5:30 a.m.”

Told that The Daily had video proving its claims to be false, RIOC responded, “PSD is aware of that and have said they keep the lane clear because the fire lane is never supposed to be blocked.”

But it was, and for hours.

And if PSD really was present, why wasn’t anything done about music so loud it kept people awake in Manhattan Park until 4:00 a.m.? Why were numerous cars left illegally parked in the fire lane?

Why weren’t they out directing traffic out of the jam and making sure pedestrians were safely escorted along the fire line without sidewalks?

Outrage over The Sanctuary’s Halloween bash hit fever pitch when Rios heard RIOC’s claims about PSD presence during the raucous booze fest.

“Absolute lie,” RIOS reacted.

“I did not see any PSD out there.”

Concerned about the noise and obvious hazards, she called PSD at 5:30.

“The operator/ officer that answered had no idea that a party was going on at The Sanctuary. She said she would send a vehicle over. If there were such PSD, as claimed, wouldn’t the officer have told me that?

“It’s a blatant lie!” she added.

When you do things the right way, Island House Halloween Bash.

Sanctuary Owner Contradicts Resident Claims

In a report in the Roosevelt Islander blog, Frank Rafaelle, The Sanctuary’s owner, refuted residents’ complaints:

“There was a private party yesterday. It was very tame, orderly, upscale, and uneventful. We had security at the clients request. The security team was instructed to monitor for loud music but they found no issues. PSD came by on their rounds multiple times and also found no issues. It was a beautiful and stunning event… Nothing happened.”

Frank Rafaelle

Rafaelle’s fantasy matches a false report published by RIOC’s Public Safety Department.

In Conclusion

Disturbing as the beer bash and chaotic traffic were, both Olivia and Asha shared longer term concerns.

“This is a quiet, residential, park-filled part of RI, and that church is surrounded by apartments (filled by people who moved here for, yep, the peace and quiet),” Asha wrote.

Rios agreed.

“I moved to Roosevelt island to get away from the Manhattan noise, not for this,” she wrote.

…And it gets worse

Last week, Community Board 8 and its Street Life Committee voted in favor of The Sanctuary’s liquor license application. It still must be approved by the State.

But the resolution is filled with falsehoods, and Roosevelt Island CB8 rep Lynne Strong-Shinozaki, already embroiled in other controversy, did nothing to help residents.

“WHEREAS the inside will close at 2:00AM nightly and 3:00 AM for private functions,” the legally stuffy resolution includes as a condition.

The Sanctuary’s representative told the Street Life Committee that this was true.

But just two days later, The Sanctuary hosted the Halloween bash that outraged residents. Witnesses report, it raged through the night and didn’t stop until 5:00 a.m., two hours in violation of their promise.


  1. I thought you were a reputable news source. FAKE NEWS. Google search of Liquid Death reveals it is a mountain water with a ph of 8.2. NOT an alcohol fueled libation. Therefore this revelation renders your comment that the party was alcohol fueled, FAKE NEWS. Furthermore I think the moans and meows from the cat hotel will be a bigger nuisance than ubers. The uber issue can be resolved by blacking out the area in and around the octagon, forcing the sanctuary goers to meet their rides at Manhattan Park or Motorgate. We need more resolutions and less complaints. Don’t take this out on the people that protect this Island…PSD!

    • Well, that’s interesting because I thought you were a conscientious reader. At no time did I ever write that Liquid death was alcoholic. You made that up. I mentioned seeing the cans in the trash because it suggested the tone of the event, i.e., rowdy. So, you’re a Trumpster, howling and pointing fingers without being bothered by the facts.
      The rest of your comment is incomprehensible gobbledygook that’s impossible to respond to.
      As for PSD, I don’t see how they are protecting the Island by standing around chatting in front of the Deli while eBikes run stops signs unmolested right in front of them. They’re an excess expense that’s no longer worth the investment that Chief McManus made valuable. ]They rolled downhill fast since Jack got sick, and if they were really effective, no one would have to lie to cover up the screw ups.

      • David,
        You are correct you never write that Liquid Death is an alcoholic beverage, but as you just mentioned you think it “suggested the tone of the event.” You intentionally lead the reader down a path to believe “Liquid Death” was a mind altering substance. As previously mentioned, it is a can of water! It just so happens to have a catchy brand name that fits the theme of the current holiday – Halloween. You don’t agree that, “There was food waste and metals cans labeled “Liquid Death” (canned water)” is a more forthcoming, transparent, and truthful statement?
        I can’t imagine how you can determine one’s political party through a comment full of incomprehensible gobbledygook – but, if it matters I’m not a registered voter in this country. Just seems to be the role of the “news” is to spread only convenient facts or leave out pertinent information (I.e. Liquid Death is a can of living giving H20!) to project a personal agenda.
        While I do agree the PSD can be more active in some situations, you have to keep in mind they are “Peace Officers” and not “Law Enforcement Officers” – a very big distinction. I’m sure the Island would surely miss their presence.
        It seems I forgot about the Views part of the Roosevelt Island Daily “News and Views for a Broader Community”.

  2. Now you’re stretching beyond the limits of reality, and your premise that mentioning liquid death leads to anything is imaginary. Anyone who didn’t already know what Liquid Death is could look it up just as you did. The mention of alcohol was many paragraphs before that.
    And I don’t care what your political persuasion is — it takes all kinds to make a world – but your screaming FAKE NEWS twice is a Trump-style attack method. And it would be if Elizabeth Warren did it, although she has the good sense not to.
    You’re welcome to critique this or any other article and speculate on agendas. It’s all subjective, and you’re welcome to it. My goal is to inform my audience. A careful reader would know that I’ve published at least as many complimentary articles about RIOC and PSD as critical, but I only get whining about the critical ones.
    As for PSD, six months ago, I’d have agreed with you. Today, the only useful function I see them perform is acting as crossing guards. Oh, and riding around with their windows rolled up and nothing to do. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what other work they do. Maybe you have additional information.

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