Bloomberg law tickets sitting people
Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)
It's sitting bull
Bronx man gets ticketed for resting on a milk crate
By BILL EGBERT and OWEN MORITZ
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
A lot of New Yorkers have outrageous stories about how the city is milking them dry with ridiculous fines - but Jesse Taveras has them all beat.
The 19-year-old Bronx man got a summons Sunday - for simply sitting on a milk crate on the Grand Concourse.
"I don't believe this," Taveras said he told the cop who handed him the ticket, citing him for "unauthorized use of a milk crate."
"'Don't blame me,'" Taveras said the cop told him. "'Blame Bloomberg.'"
The summons didn't say how much Taveras would have to pay for planting his bottom on the crate, which bore the imprint of Sunnydale Farms and a warning: "Use by anyone but registered owner is liable to prosecution, article 17A, General Business Law."
Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Joan Carey said a judge would decide the amount of the fine.
But Carey conceded she was stumped by the case of the sitting man. "I've never heard of this [violation] before," she said. "But I learned something new today."
She did note that an ages-old provision of the general business law deals with abandoned milk cans. It involves a $50 fine.
And a 1988 law calls for fines of up to $100 for stealing milk crates - but doesn't address the legality of sitting on them.
The summons from hell came days after the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association charged that beat cops are under pressure to write tickets and meet illegal quotas to help pump money into city coffers. City officials strongly deny those charges.
'Because you're sitting'
Taveras' descent into a bureaucratic Twilight Zone came about 6:30 p.m. Sunday, as he sat on the crate in front the Grand Concourse hair-braiding salon where he works.
He said he was asked for identification, which he showed the officer. The cop then called the 46th Precinct to see whether there was a warrant out for Taveras' arrest.
"I wondered if maybe I littered," he said.
There was no record and no warrant, he said. But he was then hit with the summons and immediately asked why.
"'Because you're sitting,'" Taveras said the cop explained. "'We have to make our daily quota.'"
The cop, whose last name was Payan, could not be reached for comment.
Taveras said the cop's partner told him not to worry. "It's not a big deal," she said. "The judge will throw it out anyway."
According to a Bronx police source, cops are enforcing a quality-of-life campaign called Operation Impact. "There have been complaints of people hanging out, sitting on milk crates, drinking beer, playing cards," the source said.
The summons could cost Taveras more than a few dollars or a lost day of work in court.
His court date is June 25 - when he expects to be in the Dominican Republic visiting his sick mother. He said he has paid $700 for plane tickets. "Regardless of what the fine is," he said, "if I have to cancel my trip, this ticket is going to cost me $700."
Although Taveras' friends and family were outraged by the ticket, Jogi Singh, 52, the manager of a Sunnydale Farms Food Store in Westchester County, had little sympathy.
"I'm going crazy," he said. "We lose 200 to 300 crates a year."
Meanwhile, the evidence remains at the scene of the crime.
"The crate's in front of the salon, where it has always been," said owner Michele Adams.
With Bob Kappstatter