City Cracks Down on Street Vendor Days After Street Vendors Save City’s Ass


Seems like the City of New York has a bit of a short-term memory problem. Despite street vendors being hailed as heroes for alerting cops to that whole Times Square “situation” that might have killed a lot of people, not to mention royally fucked things up, Mayor Bloomberg didn’t take them to dinner or give them a key to the city or a massage or anything, until a group of Facebookers pointed out the injustice.

And now, Rose Gill Hearn, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation, has announced the arrest of a city-licensed general vendor on a charge of submitting a forged license for renewal.

“Using a fake license to bypass City street vendor requirements is not the way to do business in New York City. In fact, it is a reckless decision that will result in arrest,” said Gill Hearn.

Okay, not that we’re in support of forgeries (unless they got us into clubs that we really needed to get into to when we were 18 or whatever), but it seems like after some eagle-eyed vendors helped us out, licenses or not, maybe the profession could get a pass for at least another week?

Instead, Moussa Mbaye, who was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, may get up to seven years in prison. His license allowed him to vend anywhere in the city except midtown.

Updated: The DOI contacted us to let us know that “DOI’s arrest and the quick thinking by the street vendors in Times Square this weekend are entirely unconnected events, involving different individuals. Our arrests are announced when they’re made and ignoring the harms caused by forged and falsified documents submitted to the City is not an option.”

But does that mean they wouldn’t have arrested the Times Square guys?