NYC parks worker exposes himself at playground while high on PCP: NYPD

Parks and wrecked.

A perverted parks worker went berserk in a Manhattan playground, exposing himself to a mother and toddler, urinating on the street after which laying down in the midst of Broadway visitors to fondle himself, based on witnesses and video footage.

The on-duty, uniformed worker, Jeremy Soto, 36, instructed cops, “I’m high on PCP,” after he was arrested for exposing himself in May in Fort Tryon Park in Inwood, based on a replica of the police grievance.

He was busted two days later for allegedly hugging a lady from behind on a Bronx subway platform, grabbing her breasts and kissing her neck, information present.

Why Soto was on the town payroll at all — not to mention allowed to work inside playgrounds — is a thriller. He has 15 arrests on his rap sheet relationship again to 2003, and in January he was charged with — and pled responsible to — twice grabbing the butt of a lady strolling close to the identical park, cops mentioned.

“Why was he placed in a playground?” requested a lady who witnessed the May 1 incident contained in the park. “I teach my children that if they get in trouble in a public place to look for someone in a uniform, and the idea that they could have gone to him is horrifying.”


The mother of two mentioned the sordid occasions unfolded on a peaceable Saturday morning as about 15 folks had been having fun with an outside Zumba class at the park’s Anne Loftus Playground.

As the instructors led the category from a park constructing patio, Soto walked out of the constructing in a jacket which mentioned “staff” and began transferring to the beat.

“He was sort of dancing, gesturing to the music,” the witness mentioned. “Everyone sort of laughed. The teachers were good natured about it.”

They ushered Soto away gently, however then he got here again.

“I noticed he was focusing on one of the teachers who was a female. He was staring at her in a way that made me uncomfortable,” she mentioned. “He was sort of walking around after her in a menacing way.”

Soto was shooed away once more, however didn’t go far. He wandered over to a close-by set of swings for infants and toddlers.

“He took his penis out of his pants,” the witness claimed. “I saw him take it out and start swinging it around and gesturing, lewdly. Crude gestures. Sexual gestures toward a mother and her toddler on the swings.”

He was calling out to the mother to attempt to get her consideration, the witness mentioned.

Jeremy Soto has pleaded to 15 crimes, and was hired by the Parks Department despite his long rap sheet. (NYP)

Jeremy Soto has pleaded to fifteen crimes, and was employed by the Parks Department regardless of his lengthy rap sheet. (NYP)

“It was awful. I was shocked,” she mentioned. “An older woman next to me was very upset.”

The Zumba class members reached for his or her telephones to name police as Soto went to exit the Upper Manhattan park.

Phone video exhibits him standing on Broadway, relieving himself earlier than strolling stiff-legged to the striped median, laying down and, along with his left hand, enjoying along with his uncovered penis.

Eleven vehicles drove by, most not even braking. A metropolis bus did decelerate to take a look.

The witness mentioned Soto’s fellow park staff arrived and tried to coax him to stand up shortly earlier than the NYPD got here.

Soto, who lives just a few blocks south of the park, was cuffed by cop/s and brought into custody. He was issued a summons for publicity.

Soto has racked up a laundry listing of offenses starting with fare beating in 2003. He pleaded responsible to fifteen crimes, together with crack possession, over 18 years, serving only a few days or perhaps weeks of jail time for a number of the offenses.

Despite his prolonged report, he was employed by the town in 2016, when information present he was in a job coaching program for the Parks Department incomes $12 an hour. He additionally labored in this system in 2017, 2018 and 2019, information present. A Linkedin profile for a Jeremy Soto lists him as a park worker from August 2017 to current.

Soto was employed in his most up-to-date stint as a seasonal upkeep worker on Feb. 23, 2021, and didn’t reveal the January arrest, mentioned Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor. She mentioned Soto was fired on May 1.

“Sexual assault has no place at Parks. As soon as we found out about the arrest, Parks took immediate action to terminate Mr. Soto,” she mentioned.

As for why he was employed within the first place, the spokesman mentioned, “If someone does list previous arrests on their application, we will look into them for any red flags, and further investigate as needed. We don’t automatically deny a candidate based on an arrest or conviction, and we don’t consider arrests where the case was dismissed. We also do background checks.”

The Post has lengthy reported on the Parks Department’s historical past of hiring these with prison backgrounds. In 2006, the division employed Michael Palamar, who killed an aged neighbor throughout a botched housebreaking when he was 17. The division saved him on after he was charged in 2009 with groping a lady while she was doing group service. Palamar was accused in 2018 of groping a seasonal parks worker who claimed in a lawsuit that he had grabbed her thigh and nipple.


The lawsuit was later dropped. Lalor mentioned an investigation didn’t substantiate the girl’s claims and that Palamar continues to be working for the division.

A lawyer for Soto didn’t return a request for remark. Soto couldn’t be reached.

To learn extra from the New York Post, click on right here.


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