The New York Post caught up with the parking hustlers of Fordham Road — men and women who ask for a dollar to keep drivers’ cars safe. They even get a quote from state senator Pedro Espada, Jr. “It’s pretty fucking funny, what these guys do here,” Espada says. “They ask me for money, but I say, ‘I don’t need your services.”” Other motorists are less cavalier; a beauty shop worker calls the hustlers “intimidating.”
The Post gives a credit to David Greene of Fordham News, which is as it should be, as Greene has been all over this story, especially the inaction in this matter of local cops, who may be shy about hassling the hustlers because of Eddie Wise, who got over $100,000 in recompense from the NYPD for interfering with his panhandling in the area.
Wise told NPR in 2007 he was “retired” and only panhandled irregularly to test himself (“Let’s see if I still got my skills, you know what I’m saying”), but Greene reports Wise now watches the door at a check cashing place on Fordham and Lorillard while others handle the parking beat. One hustler tells Greene, “You don’t have to worry about your car being broken into, or your wife being mugged” while he’s on the job.
Photo (cc) uberzombie.