Upper East Side Woman, Darbe Pitofsky, Ticketed For Using City Trash Can

Says Sanitation Worker Was Aggressive, 'Frightened The Hell Out Of' Her

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.

Do you think the city’s enforcement of the rules are too harsh? Let us know below…

More from Carol D'Auria
  • John C

    How about if she takes her dog for a walk, picks up its poop with newspaper and puts it in the trash can?

  • Edwon

    The lack of courtesy by all sorts of uniformed bullies and by police is one of the reasons I left NY over 4 years ago, after having grown up there. There is no excuse for the lack of civility.

  • pat

    Well you elected the Mayor From Hell. Crime climbs, Unions thrive. The City dies.


    “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.”
    The city of NY is in debt up to its ears, tax everything trying to fill their coffers and cutting no expenses and waste of public money, but the city spends money on a “PLATOON” of enforcement agents protecting garbage cans and chasing and if necessary doing detective work on violators. How many is a platoon? How much are these city employed goons paid and how much does it cost for their benefit packages and retirement fund? How much do they spend on vehicles for these “detectives” and how much to keep them in good running condition and for gas? Do these people have to be uniformed? Does the city provide special badges for them to wear? And how much does it cost the city for the garbage/waste containers and those black plastic liners? Does the city have a special crew to place and empty them? and to maintain the condition of the containers and replace the liners? What’s the cost for all of these necessities? Seems it would be less costly to perform clean-up within the normal routine of city clean-up without forming a whole new bureaucracy that probably also have special office facilities to house the new employees and the cost of office staff and telephones, computers, desks, chairs, drapes…No wonder the city needs more tax revenues!

  • lobodude

    I think we have lost our minds to let something like this to happen in our country. We are now living in a police state. I am glad I do not live in NY city. Someone fine me a $100.00 for something like throwing an old news paper into a trash can would die from high velocity lead poisoning and then I find the idiot law makers that made that law and tar and feather them. Viva la revolution! We have too much government!

    • falconflight

      It really is turning into a policy state. There’r not much left but Gulags. DemProgressives are stinking vile pus-filled cysts.

  • MCK

    He threatened to “put her away!” Where was he going to put her? In the garbage can? Then he would have gotten a ticket!

  • Steve

    The sanitation workers are just lazy. I have seen trashmen at road rest stops become infuriated that people would throw trash from their car into the trash can.
    What are trash cans for?
    They didn’t want to go to the work of doing their job.
    Might as well just fire the sanitation workers and get rid of the trash cans.

  • sawnetbean

    Maybe the sanitation workers can show a little leeway and not jump all over 80 year old citizens. My guess is that they are relatively minor contributors to the sanitation problems of the City.

  • Hannah Abbott

    We are living in a very different world. . . a very scary world. … .no longer the land of the free . . . .

  • Fonger

    I think from here on in I will go OUT OF MY WAY to put my trash in one of these bins.. OR just toss it in the street.

    NYC is the first POLICE state in the USA

  • Alice Polarbear

    Little men given too much power become petty tyrants. I am SO thankful that I do not live in New York?

  • T.J.

    Wow. New York used to be a worthwhile city. Oh, well.

  • Gus

    He probably has an IQ of around 80. Such people are great at following orders to the letter, love uniforms, shiny badges and enjoy pushing the weak around. What else can explain the man’s behavior?

  • David B

    I smell a hate crime! Day bay prejodiss! Play the game like a liberal!

  • Curtis Quico Reed

    I understand that some residents may abuse the trash cans and try to throw their trash in there instead of paying for proper disposal, but this seems like the case of a low life sanitation worker abusing his authority. this is what happens everytime you give a government employee–and surely a union member–too much authority.

    fricking rubbish Nazis

  • Rod Anders

    It would be impossible to make this stupid sh$t up, folks.

  • SicknessOfChoice

    That is par for the course in Libnut Land! Here you have some gorilla haranguing and threatening an elderly lady for a stupid newspaper in the city can? Meantime the actual criminals continue to openly sell drugs, sell sex, mug people and steal cars down the street without anyone bothering them? Go figure!?

    • Rod Anders

      Here’s how I figure. Criminals always pick the weakest victim … that’s why this city worker picked the little old lady.

    • Joe D

      Real criminals tend to be armed and can fight back causing great harm to a law enforcement officer. Can you really blame them for sizing up the individual before they decide whether to confront? Granny was no threat to anyone. She probably looked like she wouldn’t swat a fly. Therefore sher was the perfect target for a gutless goon. He didn’t even have to call for back-up.

    • Joe D

      Real criminals tend to be armed and can fight back causing great harm to a law enforcement officer. Can you really blame them for sizing up the individual before they decide whether to confront? Granny was no threat to anyone. She probably looked like she wouldn’t swat a fly. Therefore she was the perfect target for a gutless goon. He didn’t even have to call for back-up.

  • david5300

    This is only another countless reason not to live in new york

  • djmissouri

    Hey New Yorkers,
    Get the hell out of there, they don’t want you unless you will pay their high taxes and fees for over zealous laws.

  • Bill T

    If this were the former East Germany, I’d say the punishment was about right. But we haven’t sunk that low — or have we?

  • Riquin

    Beam me up Scotty …..there are no intelligent life forms in this planet.

  • Finbar

    This is why I routinely stuff all the recyclables I can into the trash can. I drop a couple plastic bottles in the recycle can just for show. You should see how I dispose of CFLs.

  • OldOllie

    It’s like this: if she throws her paper in the city trash can, it has to be picked up by the sanitation department, but she throws her paper in her own trash can, it has to be picked up by the sanitation department. See the difference?

  • Ruth Canon

    Boy, am I glad I live in Texas where people are blessed with common sense!

    • Jimmy

      Yeah, right. You’re Republican Governor who is running for President was Al Gore’s campaign manager — and most Texans aren’t even aware of it. Also, your state elected an avowed globalist, Rick Perry, as your Governor. Your slogan is “Don’t mess with Texas.” Unfortunately, your state is one big contradiction.

  • crazy stuff these days

    these trash baskets are not to dispose of a whole bag full of news paper. This lady was wrong. HOWEVER, this sanitation worker could have used a little of common sense in ticketing an old lady like this. He could have just issued a warning…. that’s all. You can’t change an old horse’s manners…..

  • GF

    The lady should have just said” No hablo Ingles, gracias, adios amigo”

  • Digitalbob

    To the hoosegow, granny.

  • Grey Panther

    Anyone lady who makes it past 80 and is still living in and walking the streets of Manhattan, why God bless her, and let her do pretty much any darn thing she wants so long as it’s not seriously physically or financially hurting anyone.

    This is the logical continuation of the rightward, authoritarian drift of American political discourse (aided and abetted by Tea-Party brown-shirts).

    • Josh

      Tea Party brown-shirts? I thought they were strict Constitutionalists who believe in God, limited government and liberty. It seems to me your mayor has much more in common with those who favor a communist-style, control-freak police state. He is your mayor after all.

    • William

      Boy, do you have that wrong. The authoritarian drift is moving headlong to the Left — the home of Statism, Socialism, Marxism, and Communism — where all things are controlled, regulated, authorized, scrutinized, and criminalized by legions of Big Brother. The Tea Party, my ignorant friend, is home to deregulation, self-reliance, tolerance, and limited government oversight. Those Brown Shirts, you mention, are historically part and parcel of the brand of government you embrace.

  • ron jackson

    it was mostlikely the new york times that ius why the gestoppo agent went after her typical brown shirt lib trick

  • Bernie Sanders

    think of the jails we have to build for this crime lol

  • Charleston Voice

    She should arrange a dollar-a-month payment plan. Good job security for a city union accounting clerk.

  • Charleston Voice


  • http://inthepublicinterest.wordpress.com tnmccoy

    Did the asinine trash police put the bag of newspapers back on the street where Darby Pitofsky found it?

  • John McGraw

    If she was walking – that makes her a pedestrian.

  • chrisl58

    No doubt one of the lazy sanitation workers who left the streets unplowed during the blizzard.

  • JackVegas

    The sanitation department has their own cops? Geez. Bet they want their own SWAT team too, just in case granny insists on a warrant or her Miranda rights. Oh silly boy, I forgot. They don’t need those anymore. Just declare er a terrorist and ship her off to Guantanamo.

  • b

    Did they vote for the democrats? Then then fully deserve it

    • Frank

      Amen. Who else but a liberal would allow sanitation “officers” to carry side arms while striving to take guns away from law-abiding citizens, believing it makes society safer?

    • David B

      good one b!

  • Ghostsouls

    What a bunch of idiots, that want to feel like they have some power. Instead of ticketing little old ladies, why don’t these cities go after all the black, teen, youth, mob crimes going on all over the country? It’s an epidemic…..

    • Hal

      Only an inadequate coward would go after the weakest among us. That pretty much describes the garbage man with a gun.

  • lenski

    “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” — Tacitus (A.D. 55?-130?)

    • Ron

      Police state here we come. Notice how many pinheaded goons have been given the authority to harass good people in the past 10 years or so? Notice how good people just take it, rather than say something. Oh, I forgot. The so-called officer (an alleged public servant) will beat you to a pulp, charge you with resisting arrest and get away with it. Only on rare occasions he might get a warning, just to appease the public who might make a little fuss if the story makes the news. Welcome to the “New Normal”. This is what our nation has become, and it will only intensify.

  • Karl

    New York City sucks! The woman is the “City of New York”, her taxes help pay for the clean up of the city. She, has every right to dump her trash there. It’s not like she’s bringing bag upon bag of trash from home. Come on New York, smarten up. From where I sit New York and Clifornia both appear to be worthless States!

  • Blyo Blokovich

    I’m sure Obama has time to spend designing NYC sanitation laws. Shad-Up with the Obama stuff already. Blame the bloated government bureaucratic ranks that have been working there since Truman was President.

  • Kile

    If you can’t throw trash in a trash can, why is it there?

  • Mercridi Anabosto

    Mercy, stop saying elderly people should be cut a break! Ever see sweet little old ladies in fast food restaurants filling their purses with condiments? Like my elderly aunt who knows exactly what she’s doing and knows exactly how to play the age care if she’s caught. Give me a break. Age is no excuse for bad behavior!

  • Beaumont Livingston

    Why shouldn’t she should have to pay it? Is she above the law because she can walk and take out her trash at 83? I say no, do I get a break because I’m 7?

    • wes

      Lets put this in perspective. She dropped some newspapers into a trash can. Not the street. Not in some alley. She put them into a trash can.

      If those are not for trash, then why even have them?

      The city has run amok. Common sense apparently does not reside in NYC

    • Karl

      Why don’t you grow up idiot! She is already paying for it in taxes. You would never make it down here in Texas, we would throw your rear out our State pronto! Beaumont, you had a break when you were born. I am sorry that the rest of us have to put up with the likes of you.

  • wes

    From soup nazi’s to trash nazi’s. LIfe is good in Obama’s America.

    Forget the fine, her case should be reviewed by a death panel. She is 83, after all, and can not have many useful years remaining. Plus with a violation like disposing of trash on her record, I am sure she would want to redeem herself.

  • John

    Typical NYC fecal matter.. I am so glad I do not have to live in that “place”

  • Capt. K. R. Kollman

    This is the reason that I left this pathetic “Peoples Republic of NYC” – took my business and all the jobs with it. These jack booted thug Nazi polizei types make me sick with their miniscule amount of power that they want to shove down honest God fearing citizens throat! Enough is enough!

    • Roland

      This disrespectful looney Mayor we have has transformed Manhattan into a tourist chasing bike park. He’s narrowed all our avenues and has put all our traffic lights out of sync. He has chased away 2 million millionaires out of NYC. All the libs are in love.

  • chester

    I love all the people IN New York!

  • Sheri

    Your tax dollars at work!

  • Jane

    “Pitofsky can challenge the ticket if she thinks there has been a mistake.”

    Administrative law is evil. NO there is no mistake, and who cares? She should be able to march these guys right into court because what they are doing is IMMORAL. Here’s another situation— $25 ticket for drinking in public, $25 to contest the ticket. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

    City workers can’t be challenged in court easily, and it’s wrong.

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