A coalition of bodega owners has released surveillance footage of a recent violent encounter that took place in the Bronx.
“The group said two young men were chased into the store by other men with a machete and fought back to stay alive until police arrived,” CBS New York reported.
The video footage shows the dangers bodega owners and their customers face from criminals on the city’s streets, according to the coalition.
“They plan to make an appeal for more protection at a news conference Tuesday,” the CBS report stated.
In August, members of the United Bodegas of America said the New York City Police Department (NYPD) had abandoned deli owners and their employees, citing numerous violent incidents, shoplifting, and harassment, according to CBS New York.
“We are scheduled to meet with Commissioner [Dermot] Shea. We are waiting for a date and a time because we want to know from him what options do we have?” group spokesman Fernando Mateo commented.
When asked if he would speak with them in person, Shea stated, “The calls have been made and will meet with anyone.”
However, keeping criminals who are terrorizing bodega owners off the streets is harder than it used to be, the commissioner noted.
“When someone goes into a bodega today in New York City and steals they’re going to be issued a desk appearance ticket. They could do it the next five times and that’s exactly what’s going to happen then,” he told reporters. “That’s a little crazy. We need commonsense standards. We need the police to be able to police.”
Bodega owners met with Shea in September, but the meeting did not have the outcome they expected, according to Spectrum News.
“What we got from this meeting is, fold your arms and let it happen because there’s nothing we nor the cops can do about it,” Mateo said at a press conference.
“So, we are left in limbo. Not because Commissioner Shea doesn’t want to help. He will help us as much as he possibly can, but it’s the court system, it’s the judges,” he concluded.