This week, we spoke to several Union Square regulars and locals about Tyrone, a new addition to the park who claims he's a member of the Crips, and has been causing trouble by bullying and fighting people there all month. Normal Bob, the graphic artist and Union Square anthropologist, approached Tyrone last night along with Shaggy and another friend, telling him one of them was a fan from Cincinnati who saw Tyrone's fights on YouTube and wanted to take a picture of him. After charming him, Tyrone revealed that he believes he is a moral vigilante doing "God's work" by fighting people in Union Square (so he and Lloyd Blankfein have something in common).
Among other things, Tyrone discusses his beef with performance artist Matthew Silver, who previously told us that Tyrone has "already threatened to beat me up and kill me three times" (you can see video of one of those confrontations below). Tyrone said he was just policing the situation because of Silver's speedo act: "I told him, there were children out here. You have underpants on and you're swinging your shlong. A kid will come up and grab that shit, and I will fuck him up...yo, pants is good with me. You can afford more than that making money."
For his part, Silver seemed genuinely moved by Tyrone's answer:
I’m pissed off at him for obvious reasons. He’s violent and is preventing me from doing what I love, at an awesome park. But he’s not the bad guy, there is no such thing as good or bad. That polarity exist because the mind likes to judge. Like or hate. Holy or not holy. We all have opinions. This man fights people because he believes he’s doing God’s work. I believe by making people laugh, I’m doing God’s work too...I have to make him part of the act somehow. I want to make him laugh.
Tyrone also addressed the video (see below) taken by live streamer Recai Iskender that shows shirtless Tyrone beating up another man earlier this week. Or as Tyrone put it, "We occupied his ass." That man, who Normal Bob identifies as "Tits," is a homeless park regular and self-proclaimed Occupy Wall Street member (although as Bob points out, he "threatened to burn the whole thing down back in the Zuccotti days").
Throughout the interview, Tyrone refers to people "breaking the rules" of his park, and warns at one point, "if you come in the ring, anything goes." Bob and Shaggy ask Tyrone about the "Fountain Gang," the group Tyrone has been seen hanging with in the park (sources say they frequent the large fountain and the Gandhi statue). He denies ever hearing of them, but refers to himself (and his clique) as "The Mob"—a reference to Tupac meaning, "Men of business, money over bitches." It's also interesting considering that Tyrone claims he is a Crip, but "Mob" also refers to "member of Bloods."
Here's how he describes what he and his crew does: "The Mob is like, The Mob. Just like you and I. Like somebody like, took advantage of you. And the boys that come in time, which we know they don't do, who helps you? The mob or the boys in blue?" The two also asked how many fights Tyrone was in recently: "This week? At least 30...I dont really enjoy it, but it's God's work."