Panhandler with ‘I Need Weed’ Sign Accused of Stabbing Rival
NEW YORK (KTLA) — A man was arrested Friday after an argument between two panhandlers in Times Square turned violent with one man allegedly stabbing the other with a pen, authorities in New York City said.
Justin Long, a man holding a sign reading “Help! I need money for weed” and a man holding a sign reading “I need beer” got into a fight over panhandling turf, police said.
Wayne Semancik, the man holding the beer sign, told NY1 the dispute escalated when the other man spit in his face.
“When you spit in my face, darling, I’m going to hit you. I don’t care who you are, how big you are, I’m going to hit you,” Semancik said.
“So the man, he pulled out a pen because I was hitting him, and he started stabbing me in the face, and I have five stab wounds in my face right now.”
The incident was witnessed by two men dressed as Alien and Predator, who gave police a blow-by-blow of the bizarre altercation.
Police arrested Justin Long, aka Weed Guy, and Semancik was treated for lacerations to his face at the scene.
The fight happened just three days after a woman was stabbed to death in Los Angeles, at Hollywood And Highland, while taking pictures of transients.
Christine Calderon, 23, of Lynwood died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center early Wednesday after being attacked a day earlier, at the popular tourist destination.
Calderon and a friend were attacked while taking pictures of transients holding offensive signs while begging for money in Hollywood, Los Angeles police said.
The assault occurred shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday at Hollywood and Highland, where attractions such as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre draw tens of thousands of tourists each year.
Calderon and her friend began taking pictures with their cellphones after spotting the transients holding signs with obscenities on them while asking for money.