Strand Bookstore soaks homeless people with sprinklers


NEW York’s famed Strand Bookstore soaked homeless people with sprinklers to stop them from sleeping under the shop’s awning, the New York Post reveals.

“Every morning, we would tell [vagrants] politely to leave so we can put our carts out. Some were nice about it, and some were nasty and unstable. It was an annoyance for us,” one worker told The Post.

“We had to chase them away to do our work. They also left their mess, food droppings and containers, out there,” he said.

Workers first hung a sign reading, “Warning: Sprinkler System Will Run Periodically From 10:30 PM-9:00 AM,” on a wall outside the shop, at East 12th Street and Broadway.

Sleepers who ignored the warning were completely drenched.

Homeless people have criticised the Strand’s actions.

“A couple of my friends got sprayed over there. It’s messed up. I don’t think it’s right,” Mike, a 44-year-old homeless man who sleeps nearby, told The Post.

“They should call the police. [There’s] no reason to do that. Most businesses call the police, and when the police come, people move. It’s kind of extreme.”

For years, homeless people have been using the sidewalk under the awning as an overnight sleeping spot.

The spray-down likely came from a sprinkler system rigged to the awning with a pipe and hose.

A Strand employee, who requested anonymity, called it the only effective way to remove vagrants.

“It’s good, and it’s bad, but I can’t think of any other way. It was a good idea to deter them, but then again, there is an element of heartlessness,” he admitted.

“These are people who need a place to shelter. I feel sorry for them. The fact that they are out there on the street . . . I’d hate for that to happen to me.”


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