Bad News Price Gougers, Looters & More Villains of Hurricane Sandy (PHOTOS)
The superstorm brought out the best in most people, but a handful of bad guys also emerged, from Staten Island looters to a guy who clearly never learned not to cut in line. See photos of the worst offenders.
In times of great distress, some people
rise to feats of great heroism, some perform acts of civic responsibility, and some offer deals on really cool T-shirts. Hurricane Sandy brought out the best in most people in the areas hit hardest by the storm, but a handful of bad guys have also emerged, from Staten Island looters to a guy who clearly never learned not to cut in line. The Daily Beast gives you the villains of Hurricane Sandy. Mike Segar / Reuters / Landov 1. Red Cross Impersonators
A 49-year-old man was busted trying to
pass himself off as a Red Cross worker on Staten Island as a cover while he allegedly ransacked the houses of people who had fled the approaching floodwaters, police said. Alfonso Manzo was picked up and charged with second-degree criminal impersonation when police saw him peeping into a house on Friday evening. He was also reportedly carrying six pills of what appeared to be methadone with him and was charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Andrew Burton / Getty Images 2. Gas-Line Gunslingers
Regular, premium, or a
chest full of lead? Those seemed to be the options when a Queens man tried to bully his way into a gas line in the New York City borough, then waved around a pistol when he didn’t get his way, police said. Sean Bailey, 35, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon for his alleged pistol-packing impatience, and he could face up to 15 years in prison.
Timothy A Clary / AFP / Getty Images 3. New York Road Runners Head Mary Wittenberg
The president and CEO of New York Road Runners, Wittenberg became the target of New Yorkers’ ire as the city grudgingly gave way on its decision to hold the New York City Marathon, originally scheduled for the Sunday after the storm. City tabloids had a field day with the story, reporting first that
hefty generators were being used to juice up the event’s luxe tent in Central Park, then that supplies that could have gone to the needy went unused even after the race was called off.
Scott Olson / Getty Images 4. American Apparel
Want to look unbearably hip while running from that next natural disaster? American Apparel has
got you covered. The purveyor of all things pastel made a flood-warning faux pas when it sent out a “Sandysale” email blast during the hurricane, promoting a 20-percent sale for shoppers on the East Coast, “in case you’re bored during the storm.” If only those deals had been for space blankets and granola bars, and not overpriced V-neck tees.
@comfortablysmug / Twitter 5. @ComfortablySmug
Want to earn the outrage of a city of 8 million, or, perhaps even the entire Eastern Seaboard?
Twitter user @ComfortablySmug got a taste when he purposefully sent out bursts of 140-character misinformation during the height of one of the worst storms in living memory—among them that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was “trapped in Manhattan” and had been “taken to a secure location.” Shashank Tripathi, a hedge-fund manager found to be behind the social network-fueled idiocy, later apologized, said his tweets were “irresponsible and inaccurate,” and resigned from the House campaign he was working on. Justin Lane / EPA / Landov 6. Coney Island Food-Store Raiders
Eleven men got caught with trying to make off with a load of
pilfered produce on Coney Island, police said. They were charged with trying to swipe toilet paper, candy, and diapers, among other items, in an area devastated by the hurricane. “I’m not a criminal,” one of the men reportedly told police at the time of his arrest. “What am I supposed to do? Let my grandmother starve?”
7. Fox Host Steve Doocy
Fox and Friends host got a Jersey smackdown when he asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie whether the prominent Romney backer would be touring the disaster zone—which stretched across the state—with the Republican candidate. “I have no idea nor am I the least bit concerned or interested,” Christie said. “I could care less about any of that stuff. I’ve got a job to do.” 8. Same-Sex Marriage Opponents
It was only a
matter of time. Opponents of same-sex marriage in Maryland, for which New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has voiced his support, lay the blame for Hurricane Sandy at his doorstep. “God is sending judgment,” Maryland pastor Luke Robinson said at a rally. An Orthodox rabbi in New York state also blamed the storm on same-sex marriage, calling lower Manhattan “one of the national centers of homosexuality.” 9. Price Gougers
Working hard for their money … or not. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an
official investigation following a plethora of complaints from residents who noticed jacked-up prices post-hurricane—from hotel rooms to gasoline. AAA, which tracks gas-price trends, says the national gas price fell steadily during the storm, suggesting the suspicious 15-cent rise in New York gas prices was just that: suspicious. (L) Bloomberg Buisnessweek (R) NASA 10. Us
That is to say, the things we do. While politicians danced around the issue as they’re wont do to,
spelled it out with a blaring headline: “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.” With more than 100 deaths in the United States, tens of billions in estimated economic losses, and hundreds of thousands of people displaced, Hurricane Sandy has many wondering whether, with irreparable harm done to the environment, we should just expect more of the same from future superstorms. Bloomberg Businessweek