Shelton J. Haynes with PSD Chief Kevin Brown

After an assault, RIOC Public Safety’s clumsy cover-up move


Late Monday, more than two days after the apparent assault, RIOC’s first stride at a clumsy cover-up of what they call a “Parking Incident,” tumbled into email boxes. “Guessing this is about your post?” one resident wrote. “Guessing they remain incapable of even writing an advisory or press release?” But it was worse than that.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

A Clumsy Cover-Up

Bread & Butter Market where Saturday’s incident took place.

The first hint of a clumsy cover-up in progress was the timing. It was almost 6:00 in the evening, after normal working hours. That’s when RIOC normally releases “advisories,” likely to reach fewer readers and get less notice. Here it is in full:

“Parking Incident”

“The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) takes all public safety incidents of this nature very seriously and we will conduct a thorough investigation into this matter. A preliminary review of the incident has been conducted, however we will continue to review all allegations/complaints, along with any additional video footage.”

RIOC Advisories

But as one reader noted…

“Just received this cryptic RIOC alert……I assume it relates to the PSD assault matter at B&B that you highlighted yesterday. However, this cryptic official notice provides no clarity if that’s the case or if there has been some other traffic incident that should be of concern to me as a resident. As always, incompetent and cryptic go hand in hand at RIOC.”

More Than Simple Confusion and Evasion

Although RIOC is referring to our report on Sunday about a small woman delivery driver cornered by three burly Public Safety officers and pressed against a refrigerator case in the Bread & Butter Deli, their advisory calls it a parking incident.

Third-party reports say they went after her because her Frito Lay truck was parked illegally, but that is not confirmed. We do not know, at this time, what provoked what observers believe is an assault. No charges have been placed, as far as we know, against the officer involved nor has any disciplinary action been announced.

But along with the obvious deception, there was a plain and simple lie.

Making the clumsy cover-up dishonest as well…

There had been no “preliminary review of the incident” because PSD Chief Kevin Brown did not even visit the deli until after the “advisory” was released. He never talked to witnesses, and when he finally paid a belated visit, he “…came after 6 pm looking for more footage.”

More than two days after the Frito Lay driver pleaded with his officers to let her go. According to a manager who talked with Frito Lay management, “They were not pleased at all.”

But no one could confirm whether the driver, whose name RIOC couldn’t bring itself to use, was still working for the company or would be willing to work on Roosevelt Island in the future.

The officers did not know they were being recorded, of course, but even after seeing the video and reading the story, RIOC would not answer press inquiries nor did they share any reports.

RIOC’s Greta Garbo-like chief executive Shelton J. Haynes remained in hiding.

And now, after keeping all conversations hidden with the supersecret state agency protected like a vulnerable infant by Governor Kathy Hochul, they only wanted to know about additional video footage.

It’s a clumsy cover-up in progress, and until when and if Hochul fixes her local nursery school, expect more of the same.

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