Woman fined $100 for improper newspaper disposal

July 6, 2011 4:40:48 AM PDT
There is ticket trouble for a woman on the Upper East Side. She says she threw away her newspapers in a city trash can, and seconds later a city worker came running over, yelling at her. She says she froze and didn't know what to do.

All Darbe Pitofsky did was toss her morning newspapers into the corner trash can, and boy, did that light a fire under a Sanitation Department supervisor.

"I was terrorized by this guy," Pitofsky said. "I didn't know what he was going to do next. He was crazed. He's screaming at me."

All of this happened at 6:30 on a Saturday morning late last month. The supervisor cited the 83-year-old for tossing household garbage in a corner basket meant for pedestrian litter only. The fine was $100.

"And I said to him, 'You're fining me $100?!' And he said, 'Oh yeah. You don't like it? How about I make it $300?'" she said.

Pitofsky, a former model who has lived in her East 71st Street high-rise for 31 years, says the supervisor's threat to arrest her and his belligerent attitude were completely unnecessary.

The Sanitation Department had no comment about the summons, but did say people can fight a ticket by taking the matter to the city's environmental control board. Pitofsky told Eyewitness News she plans to do just that.