In the last couple of months in Park Slope — the baby bjorn-wearing capital of bourgeois-bohemian New York — a thief absconded with $200,000 worth of jewelry in a smash and grab, three boys stole a bunch of iPhones off of subway riders, a ticked off customer attacked the owner of a bike store, $6,000 was stolen from an auto shop, and a beloved pet was catnapped from a bodega on Seventh Avenue.
But it was the death of a golden retriever mix named Moose that activated the residents of the South Brooklyn enclave.
Early in the morning on August 3, Moose and his owner — Jessica Chrustic, 41 — were out on a walk when a homeless man who lives in the park gave chase. He hit them both with a large stick and threw a container of urine on Moose, while muttering about immigrants taking over the park. The dog died a few days later from internal injuries, after two emergency surgeries. The man who killed him is still at large.
A few weeks later, on August 20, Kristian Nammack issued a call to action on Nextdoor, a social media site for local organizing: “Do we want to organize a community safety patrol, and take our park back? Think what the Guardian Angels did to take back the subways in the 70s/early 80s. We may also get to wear cool berets. I’m being serious.”
Nammack, 59, had been part of the 2008 Occupy Wall Street protests, and his financial consultancy firm focuses on themes of “climate, renewable energy, gender lens, racial equity, economic advancement. “How about PARK SLOPE PANTHERS as a group name?” he suggested.