NYPD Cracks Down on Urinating in Port Authority Men’s Room

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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 21:  An entrance to the Port Authority Bus Terminal is viewed on August 21, 2014 in New York City. The Port Authority Bus Terminal, which opened in 1950, is New York City's largest bus depot and has long been derided as dirty and inefficient. Leaking ceilings, unsanitary bathrooms, late buses and a long standing problem with the homeless have added to the terminals reputation. While many commuters and transportation advocates are rallying for a new terminal, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced that they agency plan to spend up to $260 million on maintenance in the coming years.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt/2014 Getty Images

Be advised that the “broken windows” policy now extends to taking too long at the urinal. According to a service-y report from the New York Times, there’s been a sevenfold increase in public-lewdness arrests in the Port Authority Bus Terminal, with police increasingly accusing people of masturbating in the second-floor men’s room. The Legal Aid Society represents about a dozen of the 60 people arrested this year, and they say their clients were mostly just urinating, but an overzealous police officer decided they should pee faster.

Three of the accused say their arrests followed a similar pattern: A man, who they later learned was a plainclothes officer, watched them while using an adjacent urinal, gave them a strange look, then left the men’s room. “So I look over and see someone is smiling at me. It was like a smirk,” said Miguel, who was arrested in July and asked to be identified only by his first name. He was arrested outside the bathroom and claims the officer would only say, “Oh, you know what you did,” when he asked why he was being taken into custody.

Captain John Fitzpatrick, the Port Authority police commander, insists arrests are only made when officers clearly witnessed an act of public lewdness. “They are not sidling up to somebody, trying to sneak a peek and misrepresenting what the person is doing,” the captain said. “There is no mistaking their behavior.”

While the Times reports, “The bathroom is hardly a hotbed of sexual activity,” some believed they were targeted because they were gay. Cornell Holden, another defendant, said that after his arrest he heard a police officer refer to his plainclothes colleague as “the gay whisperer.”

The gross bathroom in the back of the bus suddenly seems like a better option.