Contractor washes away loiterers from Greenwich Village brownstone site

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114 Washinton Place
114 Washington Place

A Greenwich Village building owner has discovered a creative way to discourage drug users and loiterers from hanging out at his site’s stoop. They are discouraged by a high-powered water sprinker above the building’s entrance, The New York Daily News reports.

Gee Bee and Sons principal Andrew Blanke told the newspaper that “No Loitering” signs outside 114 Washington Place were not enough to keep undesirables from littering the front with drug needles and relieving themselves on the stoop.

The solution: The sprinkler, and a motion sensing device. High above the seven steps leading to the front door, Blanke installed a rapid-fire oscillating sprinkler that jets water on unwelcome visitors, the newspaper reports.

He has posted signs warning loiterers about the special shower. However, that didn’t stop at least one unsuspecting visitor from getting doused like a morning lawn.

“Drug addicts, they sit here all night,” Blanke was quoted as saying. “They have a party here. There are dope needles when we get here in the morning. The neighbors were complaining.

“If they sit on the stoop they get blasted. It’s pretty funny.”

Blanke had the option of building a shed around the steps at night to keep loiterers away, but said the sprinkler — which is also accompanied by a surveillance camera — is more effective.

“We could enclose the stoop with plywood,” Blanke said. “But we’d have to install it and remove it daily. That’s a lot of time and work.”

Neighbor Andrew Brill said Washington Place residents have been trying to keep the drug users away for years. He said Blanke might be on to something.

“We’ve done everything from Guardian Angels to lighting up the whole block,” Brill said. “It’s a brilliant idea. Everybody should do it. Last night, someone got sprayed. He didn’t get angry, but started to laugh. And he did go away.”

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