Via Fox News:
Occupy Wall Street campers have made Halloween at a church in lower Manhattan simply too scary, church officials told FoxNews.com.
Citing an “abundance of caution,” the Rev. James Cooper of Trinity Church said the Episcopal parish at Broadway and Wall Street in Manhattan has canceled it popular Halloween activities due to safety issues arising from a sidewalk encampment in front of the place of worship.
“Canceling a beloved family event is not a decision taken lightly,” Cooper said in a statement issued Sunday. “Last year, more than 1,200 people took part. However, we are deeply concerned about the escalating illegal and abusive activity the camp presents.”
Linda Hanick, a spokeswoman for Trinity Church, said nine people have been arrested in connection to the encampment in the past two weeks, including a man who was arrested after he put an air horn to the ear of a longtime maintenance superintendent at the church on Oct. 11. The maintenance worker was “traumatized” by the incident, she said.
“The sidewalk is owned by the city, so we don’t have the legal power to remove people from the sidewalk, but it’s our responsibility to clean it,” she said. “We hose down the sidewalk and throw away the trash.”
Those cleanings, which occur twice daily at 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., typically lead to a “tense situation,” Hanick said.
“They will only get up if a white shirt — a lieutenant — is there,” she said. “It becomes a tense situation.”