NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An elderly Upper East Side woman claims a sanitation agent chased her, threatened her with arrest and slapped her with a ticket for putting day-old newspapers in a city trash can.
Darbe Pitofsky, 83, said she was on her way for a cup of coffee around 6:30 a.m. on June 25 when she threw a brown bag filled with old papers in a city litter basket near her apartment on East 71st Street.
She said a sanitation worker quickly jumped out of his vehicle and demanded her information to write a summons.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria with Darbe Pitofsky
“I froze,” Pitofsky told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria. “He just frightened the hell out of me, scared me to death, I was terrified.”
She said the worker demanded a form of identification and threatened to “put her away” if she didn’t comply.
Pitofsky said it took the worker 25 minutes to write the summons and when she complained that it would cost her $100, she said he threatened to make it $300.
A representative for the Sanitation Department said street baskets are for pedestrian use only but added Pitofsky can challenge the ticket if she thinks there has been a mistake.
Litter baskets across the city are marked with stickers that read “no household trash” or “no business trash,” along with a warning of a $100 fine for violation. The Sanitation Department has a platoon of enforcement agents tasked with enforcing litter basket laws. Their duties even include doing detective work on trash suspected of being illegally dumped.
Pitofsky said she has already filed a complaint.
Her story is similar to that of 80-year-old Delia Gluckin, who last December, was also fined $100 for “improper disposal” for throwing her newspaper in a trash can in Inwood.
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