A troubled vagrant has turned a Tribeca block into a revolting, rat-infested encampment that’s been a years-long headache to locals — who claim the city has done nothing about it.
The unidentified homeless man has been living on Murray Street for at least three years, neighbors said, and has taken to defecating and urinating in a phone booth while attracting what one merchant called “minion rats.”
“He’s been there for so long, and he pisses and s—ts,” said Shain Gallagher, who manages the Dark Horse bar across the street.
“At nighttime when I’m finished with work, I can see him with literally 10 or 20 [rats] around him,” he said. “He runs after pigeons now and again.”
The man’s encampment, near Church Street, runs the length of an entire storefront, with mountains of trash, traffic safety cones, a shopping cart and a chair surrounding a blue tarp where he sleeps.
“We don’t like it,” said Tribeca resident Alexis Williams, who lives on the block. “It’s not safe. It’s ugly and gross and disgusting.”
Last year, Mayor Bill de Blasio slashed $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget amid a nationwide “defund the police” movement — stripping the department of $4.5 million a year for its Homeless Outreach Unit, The Post previously reported. The move forced nearly 2,500 complaints to 311 about vagrants to be closed without any action by cops, the report said at the time.
Jacqueline Toboroff, who lives in the neighborhood and is running for City Council, said the encampment was an eyesore.
“All the residents are apoplectic because he is occasionally violent physically,” Toboroff told The Post Tuesday. “He’s blocking the entire sidewalk. He’s defecating. Now they’ve set rat traps specifically to deal with the situation.”
She blasted the city for doing nothing to address the issue.
“There’s no one to call anymore,” Toboroff said. “When I first started calling three years ago, before the NYPD was defunded a billion dollars, they would make an effort to see if he wanted to go with homeless outreach.
“There’s no effort anymore because there just aren’t the funds anymore.”
Officials at City Hall did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Additional reporting by Jason Beeferman