(Left): Hot dog vendor and disabled U. S. Marine Corps Veteran Dan Rossi is arrested yesterday in Front of the Metropolitan Museum as part of a police crack down on vendors without permits. A 19th-century law allows war veterans to vend without permits in certain areas including parks. (Photo: Dan Brinzac)
According to vendor Dan Rossi, the NYPD said the area in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art between 79th street and 84th street was no longer city parkland but instead a city street. According to Mr. Rossi, this is the second time since August that the Bloomberg administration and the NYPD have made this charge. By law, any change of parkland ownership would require an act of State Legislation, with permission from the City Council - to alienate the land. A Walk In The Park checked, but was told that no such legislation has even been presented.
Mr. Rossi was arrested on Tuesday for the first time after battling the city for more than fifteen years. By his account the city violated the First, Fourth Amendments and section 1983 of the Civil Right Act. More on this story to come.