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Homeless man terrorizes New York neighborhood

A deranged tramp is making life difficult for merchants and residents in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood with his outrageous behavior — as Mayor Eric Adams was publicly confronted Tuesday by a homeless woman who demanded he “do something” for the people who live on the streets.

The Post observed the Gramercy Park homeless man on Tuesday morning spending about 45 minutes wandering the neighborhood, muttering to himself and waving his hands above his head while being barred from entering three stores.

These included a Salvation Army thrift store on East 23rd Street, where the manager later explained why even the famous Christian charity turned its back on the obviously troubled soul.

“He pooped in front of the store,” manager Angela Kelly said.

“I keep the peace by keeping him out of the store… Something is clearly wrong with him.”

Megan Warshaw, who runs her family’s nearly 100-year-old Warshaw hardware store on Third Avenue, said she saw the man lying in the middle of the busy street, sitting “bare-bottomed” at a table in front of the bar next door.

A homeless man named "Howard" allegedly terrorized the Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan.
A homeless man named “Howard” allegedly terrorized the Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan.
Matthew McDermott

“This guy is known to be violent and has no decency,” Warshaw said. “He yells a lot, makes a ruckus and pulls his pants down.”

A Gramercy resident named Caleb said, “I always know he’s coming over because he’s yelling so loud you know when he’s in the neighborhood,” he said.

“I’ve seen him approach an old lady with two small dogs before. This lady was in her 80s and minding her own business. He started barking at the dogs, which made them angry… She could have fallen that day and broken her hip.”

"Howard" walks down a street in Manhattan.
The man is said to be extremely loud and often exposes himself.
Matthew McDermott

Caleb, who moved to the area last year, also said he had a cup of coffee with him on Sunday when the man “tapped my elbow twice and tried to get me to spill it.”

“I said, ‘Please don’t touch me. I know who you are. I live near here. I won’t be so polite in the future,'” he said.

The owner of Eleni’s Divine Greek Cuisine restaurant on Third Avenue and East 19th Street said the man had been harassing her diners outdoors on an almost daily basis for months.

Angela Kelly, manager of the 23rd St. Salvation Army, is forced to deal with him on a daily basis, but she tries to give him tough love, which she feels he responds positively to.
Angela Kelly, manager of the 23rd St. Salvation Army, said the homeless man pooped outside the store.
Matthew McDermott

“One day this homeless man pulled down his pants right next to a customer with a child,” said Eleni Vareli.

“Another time he pooped right in front of our restaurant. He pushed my servers.”

Vareli said she called the NYPD, whose 13th Precinct precinct station is around the corner on East 21st Street, but the cops never got there in time to catch him.

Locals said the man – who once scraped together money for a meal at a McDonald’s restaurant from guests inside on Tuesday – was the most troublesome of four homeless people living in the area.

Ed Warshaw, co-owner of the Warshaw Hardware Store, and his niece Meghan Warshaw deal with him on a daily basis.
Meghan Warshaw, pictured here with her uncle Ed Warshaw of Warshaw Hardware, says Howard is “known for being violent and having no decency”.
Matthew McDermott

They also expressed sympathy for his plight and frustration that city officials did not act.

“Homelessness has gotten really bad here, but the police say there’s nothing they can do,” Kelly said.

“The problem is that they need psychiatric care, but for whatever reason, they don’t get it. It breaks your heart.”

Warshaw said she occasionally saw the tramps being arrested by police, “but they’re done and right back on the road.”

Howard comes from a 7/11.
The homeless man told the Post his name was Howard and shook his head when asked if he’d been offered help from homeless workers or police officers.
Matthew McDermott

“Unfortunately, our city isn’t ready to take care of people who aren’t balanced,” she said.

“It’s terrible that all these people fell through the cracks. There is clearly not enough mental health care for them.”

Vareli said, “I feel sorry for this man because he is not well.”

“Why is nobody helping him? The city knows about the problem, but no one is doing anything. There needs to be more psychiatric help for these people,” she added.

Howard crosses the street between moving cars.
A business owner said she called the police about Howard after he pushed her servers, but they never came to apprehend him.
Matthew McDermott

A spokeswoman for the city’s homeless services agency, Julia Savel, said his staff had not met anyone who fit the man’s description and that visiting staff did not find him during a search of the area Tuesday.

The Post approached the man, who was leaning over the hood of a parked car, using his arms as a pillow for his head.

He shook his head when asked if he’d been offered help from homeless workers or police officers, then revealed a mouthful of missing teeth as he gave his name “Howard,” before refusing to answer any more questions, and went.

The troubling situation arose despite the mayor’s recent crackdowns on homeless people living on the subways and camping on the city’s streets, and the opening of a new 80-bed “safe haven” in the Bronx last month.

Howard walks down the street.
A Gramercy resident said he always knew Howard was nearby because he could be heard screaming.
Matthew McDermott

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But also on Tuesday, Adams was in Manhattan’s Financial District to tape a segment for CBS’s “60 Minutes” with correspondent and CNN host Anderson Cooper, when a middle-aged woman approached during a break while Hizzoner posed for selfies with tourists and other passersby posed.

“You have to do something about homelessness,” the woman said.

Adams was about to reply but was cut off by the woman, who explained, “I’m the homeless guy.”

During the exchange that followed, Adams said, “Every night we talk to people … We have good shelters.”

“I want you to talk to the people on the street and look at the apartments we have. It’s a new day. Share your information and we’ll get in touch with you,” he said.

The woman, who later identified herself as Sylvia Richardson, said, “I definitely will,” but then brushed off a mayor’s aide and walked away.

“This city is hell,” she said.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/05/scourge-of-gramercy-park-homeless-man-terrorizes-nyc-neighborhood/ Homeless man terrorizes New York neighborhood

JACLYN DIAZ

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