Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

A homeless intruder...


Recommended Posts

I live in Manhattan, on the lower west side.

My neigborhood is residential, all 'brownstones' (just like the Cosby's).

We live in the third floor of a walk-up, where there is no door-man, and visitors have to be buzzed in.

So, last night, I took my dog out at about midnight. As she did her usual race down the steps, she stopped dead in her tracks...

There, on the second floor, was a hooded-homeless man, simply hanging out in my hallway. Lexi (chocolate lab) froze, I froze, and the homeless man started to get up...

He was shaking terribly; he dropped half of his stuff on the way out the door...

So, I wanted to tell this story to the board because I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.

On the one hand, it's less than 10 degrees outside, and the guy just didn't want to freeze to death. I can understand that.


He actually popped the lock to our front door to get in...he broke in to our building. Not to mention that we have no idea who this man is, or how desperate he can become.

Also, he left a trail of trash in our hallway. After I 'kicked him out,' I know that he returned later last night because he left even more trash in the hallway. Not to mention the smell.

So, I feel sorry for the guy, but he did actually break into my living space. And it's a really 'effed up feeling when someone invades your space like that.

I mean, this guy was a complete stranger. Even when I confronted him, he reached in his bag, and I almost attacked him. It was a wierd situation.

So, although the super has since come and fixed the lock he jimmy-ed, he can easily come back and pop the lock again. I am concerned, not only for my safety, but for my live-in girlfriend's well-being. She is real shaken up about the whole thing.

So....I open the discussion to extremeskins. Any thoughts, ideas, advice???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by freakofthenorth

Yeah, good point Art. But my landlords suck. They do the bare minimum; just enough to keep the tenants from complaining.

My concern is that he will return, and bust the lock again. I suppose if that happens, I will have a better case for them to switch to a heavier front door lock.

Not to be a smartass, brother ... but, if that's true .... complain. :)

Or just casually let it slip into your next conversation that your lovely lady wanted you to call the cops, but you didn't because you knew how responsive and concerned about their tenants security your landlords truly are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hear ya Om.

The problem is, most of the other tenants don't really care! They are calloused from the city so much, that these types of occurances are commonplace.

This past summer, my truck was broken into right in front of the apt. I mentioned it to the other tenants, and they didn't give a flying eff. They basically said, 'why are you telling me this?'

Katja (my lady) mentioned to our neighbors across the hall the situation, and he simply shrugged it off. So, it may take some serious convincing to get these landlord to do anything. They have bsically seen it, and heard it all.

But, you also have a good point- if it happens again, I will call the police, and maybe they can 'suggest' to my landlords that they replace the lock w/ something more secure. I think that it will have to come to that.

And Cheif Skin, you are absolutely right on. They are cheap as sh*t. It's expensive, and you don't get the service that you would expect w/ that type of price tag.

And Big Z, I would actually like to hook this guy up a bit, and that's my dilemma: the second I give him special treatment, he'll come back. Just like if you feed a stray cat.

Although I feel bad, I also feel like I wasn't aggressive enough w/ him, because he returned. I should have really scared him away. Instead I just stood there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you catch him there again....warn him... tell him that you realize it's cold outside, offer him an old sweater or old jacket you don't wear anymore, and then tell him not to come back. Let him know that the next time he returns, you intend to make sure he regrets it... either via broken ribs and a split whig or by charges placed by the police.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if you could have scared him enough. If he really was freezing...I mean what would you do in his spot?

I can't say what I would do outside of calling the police and perhaps filing complaints with the housing commission if the landlord won't put on better doors and locks.

The thing is why would he stop coming back if he was freezing? What else can he do? I don't know if it would work, but perhaps telling him he would be better off in a homeless shelter for the night (if you know where one is)?

I know there's a tendancy to think I should have scared him or been mean to him to make him go away. The only question I'd ask is : Is it worth risking injury to myself to scare him off. I guess to some extent it comes down to how desparate you think he was. If he looked desperate or sounded desperate when you mentioned shelters, I'd be reluctant to deal with it. I'd make the police do it. I know that sounds soft, but...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sarge, that's a little extreme. But it is effective...

Cskin...I think this may be somthing for the NYPD to deal w/...I mean, it is a B & E, which is a felony. Maybe jail will treat him better than where he is now.

Plus, as gbear mentioned, what does he have to lose? He seemeed pretty desperate...

I'm serious man. Just confronting someone who has invaded your space is a unique experience. I've never felt like that before. It was strange...

If there are signs tonight that he has returned, then I will contact the NYPD and file a report...maybe they can periodically patrol the premises temporarily, until they require my landlord to improve the security.

I'll keep you guys posted...

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I've been through that exact experience several times when I lived on Franklin Street in Richmond. The builing I lived in had the same set up with the buzzer, but the lock was rarely working correctly. Getting the building Super to fix the lock was lock pulling teeth, and when he did, it wouldn't take long until somebody broke in again.

I agree with you that there aren't many wierder feelings than finding a dude sleeping in your hallway, or looking out your window to see someone hanging out on your fire escape.

Most of my visitors would move on after one night, so I would just let it go, but I did have one guy set up camp under the stairwell on the first floor. After a few mornings of running in to this guy, I wound up giving him a coat, a few bucks, and going upstairs and calling the cops on him. Never saw him again. The wierdest thing about the guy was that he had a cat that followed him around, and when the cops came and got him, the cat stayed. It hung around the building for the rest of my time there. I called him Buster.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by big z

I woulda put a saucer of milk down there and called animal control..... I hate cats.....:laugh:

Never fed the cat, but it hung around anyway. If you feed a stray cat in Richmond there will be 20 of them there tomorrow.:laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to be unsympathetic, but I'm sorta with your neighbors: that's life in the ol' city.

Of course you should do your best to pressure the landlords to strengthen the locks. Maybe pointing out a potential liability on their part will help. After all, they've now been made aware that the locks are insufficient so if anything bad happens thay can't claim ignorance. And you can call the cops, but if the guy's long gone you'll get a big yawn and maybe not even a written report.

In the end, these kind of incidents are almost inevitable in city life. If the guy comes back throw him out without hesitation - there's plenty of free shelters available - and step up the pressure on the landlord. And if it freaks you out too much, that's why God made Jersey, Connecticut and Long Island.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Nothing noticable has happened. My landlord fixed the lock pretty well this morning, and although no additional/new locks were added, it seems to be sufficeint.

I hear ya Jimbo!

I completely agree w/ you..you have to be able to shrug it off. That's the city...


Yeah man, I was really taken aback by the feeling of having someone invading my space. At the same time, you do feel this level of sympathy...so like you said: give him a few bucks and call the police!

Seems all is well now...

Sometimes it takes situations like that to really put things into perspective. Meaning, a few hits off the crack pipe, and I could find myself in the same boat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...