Police: Woodhull St. ‘mayor’ arrested for hurling glass bottle at neighbor

City: Resident keeps trespassing to clean our dirty lot!
Community News Group / Max Jaeger

You can’t fight in this “City Hall.”

Police arrested the unofficial “mayor” of Woodhull Street and one of his neighbors after the pair allegedly hurled bottles at the other in a fight over a parking space on Sunday afternoon.

The argument allegedly began when George Psarras tried to park outside neighborhood character Louis Formisano’s Columbia Waterfront District house between Columbia and Hicks streets, but found it was taken up by another car, so went into the notable local’s garage to complain, Formisano’s lawyer claims.

“He was not satisfied with the amount of room that was available,” said attorney Jay Schwitzman.

The spat escalated and Psarras allegedly threw a water bottle at Formisano’s head and missed, according to Schwitzman — and the resident allegedly responded by pitching a glass bottle back with more accuracy, hitting and cutting Psarras’s head in an injury that later required several stitches, according to a criminal complaint.

Cops then arrived and collared both men. Formisano was charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon, while Psarras was charged with menacing and criminal trespassing, according to police reports.

Formisano is well known to many in the area and to readers of this paper, both for his acts of neighborliness, such as plowing streets pro bono during snowstorms, as well as more divisive deeds, like the time he tidied up a decrepit city-owned lot and turned it into his own private park — which some celebrated as vigilante gardening, but others considered vandalism and trespassing.

“He considers himself to be mayor of the block and some people consider him to be that way too,” said a neighbor who asked not to be named out of fear of retaliation. “Anything that’s going on he’s going to get in the middle of it.”

We could not find a way to reach Psarras or his lawyers for comment.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill