Infamous NYC Slumlord Steve Croman's Son Channels Asshole Dad, Screams at Uber Driver
Jake Croman, as taped by Uber driver Artur Zawada
Screenshot from video
Last week, University of Michigan student Jake Croman unleashed a profanity-laden rant at Uber driver Artur Zawada in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Croman, a member of the school's Tau Kappa Epsilon chapter, hurled the verbal assault at the Uber driver after he and his friends were refused service.
Zawada told the Tab that he recognized Croman from previous bad trips and wouldn't drive him again. The ride refusal wasn't caught on tape, but — unfortunately for Croman — the stream of invective was. Zawada posted the video to YouTube on March 23; since then it has garnered better than 335,000 views.
Croman alleges that the driver made anti-Semitic remarks (off camera), which led to his F-bomb tirade. Why take the high road when you can call someone a "minimum-wage faggot"?
Here's the full transcript of the rant:
Thanks to you, you're canceling us again. Why? For what? See, they don't give a shit about you. They don't give two fucks. There's fifty of you, and there's one of me here who spends the most money here, you little fuck. Yeah, fuck you, Arthur [sic], you little faggot fuck. You wanna kick me off? Kick me off, you little piece of shit. You're an Uber driver. Go fucking drive, you little fuck. Minimum-wage faggot. Go fuck yourself. See ya later. Go pick up another fuck. You working all night? Guess what — I'm gonna go sit on my ass and watch TV. Fuck you.
If Croman's name sounds familiar, it might be because his father, Steve Croman, has earned the title of one of NYC's worst landlords in the Village Voice. Twice. The elder Croman owns at least 100 Manhattan properties and has been documented using intimidation practices to oust longtime residents of rent-stabilized apartments in order to raise fees.
Back in 1998's rundown of the worst landlords, the Voice reported that "after Croman renovates his empty apartments, the rents skyrocket. Along the way, this brash young landlord is helping to redefine the face of these neighborhoods: pushing out struggling artists and immigrants to make way for investment bankers and corporate lawyers. And Croman is proving that a landlord need not turn his building into a crack den or physically assault his tenants in order to turn their lives upside-down. Croman declined to comment, saying he was too busy to be interviewed for this story."
Sixteen years later, in 2014, Croman ended up back on the Voice's list:
Steve Croman...seems to almost delight in playing the role of the villainous landlord. Over the years, tenants claim, he's initiated pointless lawsuits, ignored requests for repairs, and flat-out refused to renew leases, all in an effort to drive them out of their rent-stabilized units. If Croman had a mustache, he would have twirled it throughout — but what he lacks in diabolical facial hair, he makes up for in henchmen.
In 2015, Croman's tenants started a campaign against their landlord, posting flyers around town stating "BEWARE OF 9300 REALTY," the name of Croman's company. The Stop Croman Coalition claimed that Croman pushed residents through their leases as quickly as possible in order to raise the rent by 20 percent between leases thanks to a "vacancy deregulation" rule.
Now, in 2016, the younger Croman is making his own headlines. Watch the video of his recent Uber rant:
Just a chip off the ol' (rent-destabilized) block, huh?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.