A man was caught on video hustling patrons at Philippe Restaurant (East 60th Street & Madison Ave) by illegally selling parking spaces. He's seen blocking off the spaces with orange cones, then selling the spots to customers for $40. Gothamist spoke to the restaurant's owners, who had this to say:
"He does not work for us and I've called the police a thousand times. This was happening over the summer. In the beginning he told us he was homeless and hungry so we would make him a hot meal. Then he started his own business on the street...That's when we warned him not to do this and then finally involved the police after he became hostile towards my staff. It hasn't happened since the police threatened to lock him up. He comes by and we tell him please do not hang out here, or we have to call the police."
However, it kinda looks like a restaurant employee is communicating with the man, and it looks like the cones are being stored on the restaurant's property. Strange, but the police are looking into the man and his hustle.