NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have to eat his words after a broken promise to a disabled Vietnam vet who runs a hotdog cart.
Last month, Hizzoner vowed to help Dan Rossi keep his spot selling hotdogs in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but the only thing that has resulted since has been a flurry of tickets.
When asked about the situation on July 19, Bloomberg told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer that “[Rossi’s] rights should be protected and he should not worry about it.”
“We’re talking to him. I’m personally not going to make the bed, but he doesn’t have to worry about it and we’re going to take care of it,” Bloomberg added at the time.
However, Mayor Bloomberg definitely has not taken care of it.
When the mayor first addressed the issue, Rossi had been sleeping in his cart every night for five weeks, trying to protect his prime location in front of the MET because the city refused to enforce his legal right to the spot as a disabled Vietnam veteran.
Ever since the mayor vowed to protect him, Rossi said he has received a ticket a day.
But it’s not just any ticket, it’s a $1,000 ticket. Some described the city’s apparent war on Rossi as absurd. One of the tickets was for selling t-shirts even though he said he doesn’t sell them.
“It doesn’t make any sense — so it’s almost impossible for me to try and say it,” Rossi said.
So far, Rossi has gotten about $50,000 worth of tickets. He said he hasn’t had a decent night sleep in what seems like forever.
“I’m still sleeping every night in the cart,” Rossi said.
Rossi said Thursday will mark seven weeks since he started sleeping in the cart.
Just after CBS 2 cameras left Rossi, the hot dog vendor, was slapped with another $1,000 ticket.
Late Wednesday, the city said it was sending its Community Affairs Unit to talk to Rossi to see what they can do to straighten things out.
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