I am pissed off!
This is the view from an outer borough: One day last week, a deranged, apparently homeless man screamed bloody murder outside the Marriott hotel in Downtown Brooklyn.
“I need a dollar!” he shrieked. “I need two dollars! I need to feed my kid!”
There was no child present. But the man, who appeared to be in his 30s, bore the unmistakable aroma of cigarettes and urine. He singlehandedly drove the horde of lunchtime pedestrians from the hotel’s plaza.
There was no cop in sight.
On Smith Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, one afternoon, a disheveled man who looked to be in his 20s demanded spare change, but not from people exiting the F subway train station. He targeted women pushing small kids in strollers, causing his vulnerable marks to scatter as if avoiding a virulent disease.
The scourge has grown intolerable. Emboldened vagrants all over the city terrorize mothers, frighten children and erode the quality of life for everyone. The official neglect that perpetuates these offenses to our senses is not just a form of neglect — it is cruel to avoid forcing people to move inside.
If that malodorous man using the sidewalk as an al-fresco urinal on the Upper West Side were your son, would you allow him to disgrace himself? If that scary dude bedding down in a Brooklyn Heights park were your father or grandfather, would you avert your eyes? If that woman holding up a baby like a human prop on the subway in The Bronx, seeking pity and spare change from strangers, were your sister, the kid your niece, would you enable this woman’s begging?
Well, city officials have pinpointed the perpetrators of his large-scale assault. Hint: It’s not the folks commonly referred to as “bums.” It’s Post reporters.