Brooklyn Artist Collared by Cops (Brooklyn Paper)
Police dragged a quirky Clinton Hill artist — and building code scofflaw — out of his home Wednesday, after the city declared his jerry-rigged, self-built mansion unsafe for him and his neighbors.
Arthur Wood’s famous ziggurat abode, “Broken Angel,” attracted the attention of the city Department of Buildings after part of it caught fire last week.
“The building is open to the elements, the floors are not complete and there aren’t stairways, just planks in some places,” said Buildings spokesman Jennifer Givner. “There are also two illegal additions. One is a 50-foot extension above the roofline and another is a 15-foot horizontal extension. The building is a safety hazard for him and for the public.”
Givner said her agency ordered Wood to vacate the building on Tuesday. When he refused, Buildings Department officials returned Wednesday — this time backed by the NYPD.
At 2:30, police cars blocked off both ends of Wood’s block on Downing Street, and officers knocked on the red wooden door that bears the cursive script, “Broken Angel.”
Wood peered from a narrow window 10-feet above the eight officers below. One of the officers gave him two options.
“Option one, you can leave the building and we’ll help you get into a shelter,” the officer said.
Option two was a bit harsher: Officers would forcibly remove Wood for obstruction of justice.
“There is no third option, Mr. Wood,” the officer concluded. “What option are you going to take? I’ll give you five to 10 minutes.”
Wood said he would not comply unless the officers had a warrant from “the Supreme Court.”
The officers had their orders, but like the fractured structure of his home, Wood’s arrest wasn’t smooth. At 3 pm, five officers entered the building and pulled him out.
“I told them they would have to arrest me,” Wood told The Brooklyn Papers hours later, after he had been arrested, processed and released.
“They had no warrant. They didn’t give me any paper with any description.”
Wood’s wife, Cynthia, looked on as her husband was taken out.
`She and the couple’s dog, Jack, joined Wood in the squad car. Later, Jack even appeared in Wood’s mugshot, he said.
Woods was charged with failure to comply with the city’s order to vacate — but neighbors said he was being arrested more for being an iconoclast in a straight-laced age.
“It’s his home and he built it the way he wanted,” said neighbor Brian Byrne.
“He’s being taken to court because of his lifestyle.”
Another neighbor, Wayne Corgan, added, “What are the charges that warrant handcuffs?”
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