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.

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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.

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