In Dem Paradise, 'Drooling & Pungent' NYC Homeless Man Gorges on Stolen Food as Staff Look on Helpless To Stop Him


New York, New York. If you can gorge yourself on wares at a Whole Foods hot food bar there, you can do it anywhere.

Or, well, not.

Yes, NYC is probably one of the few places in America where a man described by the New York Post as “[a] drooling and pungent homeless man” could steal what he wanted from the pricey supermarket and face absolutely no consequences for it.

And it’s not that there weren’t any staff around to stop him. It’s that they were helpless to do so.

The Post got the footage because one of its employees was at the store in Midtown Manhattan when it happened.

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“A Post photo editor had just plunked down $17 for a jerk chicken dinner at the store across from Bryant Park on Sunday night when he spotted the grungy gourmand ignoring numerous ‘No Sampling’ signs to treat the bar like his personal feed bag,” the Monday article read.

I’ll spare you any remarks on a $17 jerk chicken dinner at Whole Foods and just leave that out there for summary judgment.

Pray tell, what did the employees do about it? Kick him out? Call the cops?

Do you think the police should have been called in this situation?

Neither, according to the photo editor.

The employees were apparently “smiling and laughing” since they were powerless to stop him.

“Oh, he comes here all the time,” one employee said.

“We can’t do anything about it, we were told.”

This wasn’t just stealing, either. It was ridiculously unhygienic, as well.

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“The unidentified chowhound pounded mac-and-cheese and mixed veggies, at times using serving spoons to pack multiple dishes into a plastic cup he’d brought with him from the outside,” the article claimed.

“But at other points, he simply dug in with his visibly dirty mitts, grabbing food from the trays and shoving it directly into his mouth, wet with drool and framed by a scraggly beard.”

Workers told the photo editor that the food on the trays was thrown out, although they apparently hadn’t done that by the time the reporter left.

“I just throw out the tray, that’s our routine,” a store supervisor said. “We address the situation and throw the tray out and put a fresh one in the bar.”

As for comment, a store manager — “declining to give his name, despite wearing a tag on the uniform that gave it away as Yoichi,” the Post reported — said to contact the corporate office.

The corporate office, meanwhile, didn’t return the newspaper’s calls.

One would guess that confronting the homeless man over the theft of the food was apparently seen as more trouble than it’s worth for the workers.

And why wouldn’t it be? What are the odds that this would be at the top of list if the New York City Police Department got called?

Homelessness is always a problem inasmuch as it’s a basic human concern.

That said, it hasn’t been as much of a headline-grabbing capital-P Problem since the 1980s.

New York City is hardly the only metropolis that’s seen a spike in vagrancy. San Francisco in particular gets singled out for its homeless problem, but Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle are certainly no slouches in that department either.

It’s also kind of superfluous at this point to go through the causes behind it.

Lack of jobs? Check.

Expensive housing with housing stock kept artificially low? Check.

Hard-left local governments? Check.

Law enforcement not enforcing statutes preventing people from defecating on the streets, using drugs in public, gorging themselves on a “free” meal from Whole Foods and other fun stuff like that? You bet your bippy.

Would this sort of thing be acceptable in most places in America?

Of course not. If the staff didn’t deal with our grazing friend, the po-po certainly would.

That, apparently, just isn’t an option in New York City.

This is your liberal paradise, Gothamites.

At least the New York Post was able to make lemonade out of the situation as only they could, starting off the story with the semi-classic Post-ism: “Bum appétit!”

If you’ve been picking up $17 jerk chicken at the Bryant Park Whole Foods, I imagine you might find the whole thing less humorous, however.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture