Can't the NYPD give small businesses a break? A man who devised a brilliant revenue strategy to reallocate the funds of subway riders was arrested last week in the Cortland Street R station. DNAinfo reports that 52-year-old Darrelle Lawrence shoved cardboard into the MetroCard fare machine and told straphangers that he could swipe them into the stop for just $2 cash. That's a .25 discount (.50 if you're a single ride!), enough to keep Foghat on the speakers for an extra four minutes. But instead of rounding up angel investors, the NYPD charged him with petit larceny, theft of services and criminal trespass.
Lawrence apparently has a long history of entrepreneurship: he's been arrested 44 times on charges of robbery and grand larceny among others. "[Criminals] like this area because there's a lot of tourism," Captain Paul Rasa of the NYPD Transit District 2 says. "[Tourists] don't know—they think this guy is helping them. It's a major inconvenience, and it costs the MTA thousands of dollars." Maybe the MTA should have thought of that BEFORE they hiked up the fare.