I’ll admit it. Private person that I am, I don’t particularly like being panhandled at a restaurant’s outdoor seating area . . . on the other hand, the streets belong to everyone and I really don’t like businesses owners that act like the sidewalk is their private property…or like the cops are their personal bouncers. So I’m with Ned Coll on this one:
By DAVID OWENS
The Hartford Courant
July 16, 2009
Ned Coll, the activist and sometime presidential candidate, was arrested about 11 p.m. Tuesday after getting into a dispute with the manager of Tisane, a Farmington Avenue restaurant. Police said Coll was a patron at Tisane when a panhandler who frequents the area walked by. Coll gave the woman some money, then began to speak with her. The manager of Tisane asked the woman to move along, police said. Coll became upset with the manager, and the situation escalated to the point that restaurant staff called police. Coll, 69, who lives in Hartford’s West End and has a home in Barkhamsted, was charged with second-degree breach of peace and first-degree criminal trespass. He was released on a written promise to appear in court today in Hartford. Coll said Tuesday afternoon that the woman approached him. “This lady came up to me, and she was poor, and I helped her,” Coll said. “This guy cuts in and says ‘don’t give her any money.’ That’s where I got ticked. It’s not his business if I’m helping somebody.” Coll, who founded an anti-poverty agency called the Revitalization Corps, said restaurant staff then attacked him and dragged him out. Jack Terry, the general manager at Tisane Euro Asian Cafe, said the panhandler has been an ongoing problem at the restaurant and has been arrested before. He said the restaurant’s assistant manager was escorting the panhandler off the restaurant’s property when “Mr. Coll began screaming at him, calling him a Nazi and eventually spit on him.” So restaurant staff decided to call police. Coll was arrested after he refused to leave the restaurant, police and. “I called the guy a Nazi,” Coll said. “I didn’t spit on that guy. That’s an outrageous lie.” Coll said he scraped his elbow while being removed from the restaurant.
Copyright © 2009, The Hartford Courant //