Comments: Time For Some “Broken Glasses” Policing

And if you ever go to New Orleans, do not take up a gentleman on Bourbon Street on his offer of a bet that he can tell you where you got your shoes.

"You got 'em...on your feet! Now gimme' my money!" ;-)

Posted by Dave J at January 23, 2005 10:17 PM

I ran into this guy on the Upper West side near Columbia right after Sept.11, 2001.
I told him I'd be happy to call a cop and let him help solve the problem.
Two years later ... same guy ... same glasses ... same scam. This time, I told him that his timing was off and he was better at it two years ago.
He looked at me and then smiled and said: "You crazy, man." And walked away.
Sorry you fell for it the first time.

Posted by w at February 25, 2005 03:05 PM

I found your log on a "Google" search trying to confirm if what happened to me today was a common scam. Sure enough, it seems so:

I took a walk at lunchtime on 13th St near 8th Ave... this guy "accidentally" bumps into me on the sidewalk... actually, I tried to avoid him, and he did a bad job at trying bump me accidentally. As every good New Yorker should know, I held my wallet tightly in my pocket, knowing that there's pickpockets who intentionally bump people to distract them.

Anyway, I heard something hit the ground when he bumped me, and there's a pair of glasses on the ground with one lens cracked. He accuses me of stepping on his glasses. I didn't fall for it, and told him while I was sorry his glasses were broken, it wasn't my fault, I tried to avoid him and that he seemed to intentionally bump me, and that I knew my foot didn't land on anything. I guess he knew I was onto his scam, because he yelled some stuff about how would I feel if my glasses were broken but never asked for money, and continued on his way.

Sure enough, I saw him a few minutes later hanging out by the A/C/E subway entrance at 14th Street probably waiting to try the same thing again on someone else.

Posted by Keith O at April 18, 2005 02:54 PM

Thanks for posting this on your blog. Today I was walking with an umbrella and felt it get jostled around 7th Ave and 58th St. I looked to my left and saw a dude bending over but I just kept walking. As I was waiting at a light he approached and told me how I had knocked his glasses off with my umbrella. For some reason he told me that he was a Monroe college student which did the opposite of what he intended and made me think it was a con because there was no reason to volunteer that info. I asked for his student ID which, of course, he didn't have on him. I gave him my work number in case he can produce his school ID since I was a bit flustered.

In retrospect, I've had my glasses thrown to the ground tons of times and they've never broken (especially the way he'd broken his).

If he does call, I've got caller ID so reporting him to the police would be sweet.

Posted by bt at June 17, 2005 12:36 AM

Same exact thing happened to me this morning. I told the guy to pound sand. He didn't even argue and returned to 5th Avenue to prey on some tourists.

Posted by Happado at September 2, 2005 09:29 AM

Same scam over at Bryant Park. Guy made a move into my path as if to go into the park, claimed that I bumped into him with my swinging arm and knocked his glasses down. The glasses skidded across the ground but he picked them up to show me a large crack through the lense. Mistake was picking a guy who has worn glasses all his life. Total scam.

Posted by Karru at April 5, 2006 07:44 PM

This happened to me in Boston recently. I was totally caught off guard. He claimed he was from out of town and that there was no way for him to pay upfront for his glasses and for me to get him the money after I got the receipt of his glasses.

I ended up giving him $200 for supposedly half of the cost of his glasses. I asked him for his number in New York but he probably made it up. I should've asked him for his ID or maybe brought a cop into the situation. I would much rather legitimately give $200 because it was judged as such rather than on the spot in front of the person who probably is scamming me.

Posted by boston at September 11, 2010 11:05 PM
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