By Bill Parry
The property manager of a Sunnyside condominium, which is the target of three separate investigations for Nazi and Confederate displays in its lobby, is back in his apartment following his arrest Sunday on stalking and harassment charges, according to the NYPD.
Neal Milano, 70, was busted at JFK International Airport Sunday as he returned from an overseas vacation over a separate complaint that he stalked and harassed a former tenant at 47-55 39th Place between September 2016 and this July.
Milano was arraigned at Queens Criminal Court Monday on attempted assault, stalking and harassment charges, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. Milano was released on $2,500 bail and he is due back in court Sept. 8. The NYPD is watching the building and community affairs officers from the 108th Precinct check on residents regularly. City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) was briefed by police and told that Milano’s apartment had been searched by the NYPD and weapons were confiscated.
“The people of this building have been terrorized for far too long,” Van Bramer said. “We have an obligation to ensure that tenants are safe in their own homes and that there are no acts of retaliation for speaking out against harassment and intimidation. With the arrest of Mr. Milano, I hope the people of this condominium can feel safer, more secure, and find peace of mind knowing that the NYPD and our city government are ready and able to act and monitoring the situation in the condominium closely.”
The probes were launched following reports from Van Bramer that tenants and condo owners were subjected to a hostile environment due to alleged harassment by Milano, who sits on the condo’s board.
Van Bramer rallied with community leaders last month after he saw the lobby Nazi posters, pro-gun and racist images, and tributes to President Donald Trump plastered on the walls. Van Bramer called it a “hate-crime scene” after he noticed the names of notorious Nazis Josef Mengela and Rudolph Hess in the building’s directory.
Milano is accused of harassing the unnamed 43-year-old woman 20 times, at one point warning he was “going to burn the building down,” according to the criminal complaint filed by the DA’s office. Milano allegedly attacked the resident on two occasions, grabbing her neck and arm and yelling threats and obscenities, according to the NYPD.
Meanwhile, the NYPD, the city’s Commission on Human Rights, and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office continue their separate probes of tenant harassment and intimidation at the Sunnyside condo. Under the city’s Human Rights Law, it is illegal to discriminate against or harass tenants because of their race, color, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation and other protected classes.
“The NYC Commission on Human Rights continues its investigation into allegations of tenant harassment and discrimination,” CCHR spokesman Seth Hoy said. “The arrest of Neal Milano over the weekend does not change that investigation.”
Residents of the building are also encouraged to submit complaints to Schneiderman’s office at 1-800-771-7755.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr