Thursday, April 13, 2006

Alleged Tenant Harassment Saga Continues

Updates on Benjamin Shaoul of Magnum Management keep coming in fast and furious. Polis readers know that I've been following the eviction of squatters from 120 St. Marks Place (including the well known Mosaic Man) by Shaoul using what tenants say are harrassing and illegal tactics. After my first post, I was then informed that legal, lease-holding tenants in a building on E. 5th St. are also alleging harassment by Shaoul. Now for the new info:
  • A tenant in a building also owned by Mr. Shaoul in Chelsea, 236 W. 16th St. contacted Polis to outline more allegations of harassment. One tenant said the gas has been shut off for two weeks. According to the tenant, there's a retarded man who lives in the building who is being routinely harassed by Shaoul and his people for refusing to take a buy-out. This person also overheard Shaoul barking on his cell phone about a reporter who is posting things on a blog about his tactics (i.e. Polis). Shaoul apparently has dragged several tenants into court as not really being legit tenants, which they claim is patently absurd.
  • Craig Lopez -- who vacated his storefront at 120 St. Marks Place today -- was confronted by Shaoul's people with a piece of paper demanding that he and Rachel Allen retract what they told me. Lopez and Allen refused to sign it. Because demolition of the building was underway while Lopez's store was still open in the building, per the agreement he signed with Shaoul, his asthma was aggravated and he had to to go the hospital.
  • The Villager, for whatever reason, still hasn't run the story the paper has supposedly been working on for two weeks now. New York magazine is now working on a piece about "The Cave," the artists group that existed in 120 St. Marks up until a few months ago, which one person familiar with the group said was more like a bunch of drunks than an "artist" colony. Nonetheless, Mosaic Man said he got the place cleaned up of all the drunks and things were settled down just when they all got harassed out of the building without "due process."
Mosaic Man and Other E.Vil Squatters Evicted [Polis]
Mosaic Man Update [Polis]
St. Marks Squat Trilogy [Polis]