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Saw-Wielding Man on Scooter Arrested for Cutting Down UWS Trees, Police Say

By Emily Frost | June 19, 2015 2:17pm | Updated on June 22, 2015 8:56am
 A man with an ax chopped down three trees along West 94th Street.
Trees Cut Down by Ax-Wielding Man
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UPPER WEST SIDE — A saw-wielding man riding a child-size scooter went on a rampage Thursday by cutting down trees along a quiet block before being arrested, police and locals said. 

Kester Jack, 28, a resident of West 94th Street, was charged with criminal weapons possession and criminal mischief for taking a saw to at least three trees on West 94th Street.

Police responded to 911 calls from residents saying they saw a man with a saw cutting trees in half on the north side of West 94th Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a sergeant from the 24th Precinct.

Jack was heard shouting at people, but no other damage or injuries were reported, police said. Officers followed him into Riverside Park and arrested him near the tennis courts at 95th Street about 4:45 p.m., police said. 

When a person approached Jack to ask what he was doing, he came toward the individual with his saw and replied, "You're a punk-a-- b---h," according to the criminal complaint.

Jack's attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The trees that were cut in half are relatively new and thin, explained Aaron Biller, a nearby resident and the president of the advocacy group Neighborhood in the Nineties

The branches of a fourth, larger tree on the block were also hacked, a resident said.

The man's actions amount to "murder," Biller said.

"People are devastated at the loss of trees and scared that we have such maniacs here," he said. 

The Parks Department said it was sending an officer from the Forestry Department to investigate the scene.

In March, a tree on West End Avenue at West 103rd Street was also irreparably damaged by an unknown perpetrator.

Correction: An earlier version of this story identified Jack as a Brooklyn resident based on initial information from authorities.