NYC Shop Owner Complains of Threats From 'Occupy Wall Street' Protesters

Features New York Post

A business owner near the "Occupy Wall Street" encampment in lower Manhattan claims she has been repeatedly harassed and threatened with bodily harm by protesters after she and her employees refused to give in to their demands.

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"I've been told, 'Watch your back!' 10 times," said Stacey Tzortzatos, owner of Panini & Co. Breads, located across from Zuccotti Park.

She and her employees are terrified by the constant threats, which she said began after she demanded the protester stop using her shop's restroom as a place to bathe every day.

The final straw came about two weeks ago, when the demonstrators clogged the toilet and broke a bathroom sink, flooding the shop and setting her back $3,000 in damages.

She put up a sign saying the bathroom was out of order, but demonstrators tore it down shortly afterward, she said.
"I have the police in here 10 times a day, [and] I'm the bouncer. I've been called the spawn of the devil. It's unbelievable what goes on in here every day," Tzortzatos said.

Tzortzatos said that on Friday, a crazed squatter burst into the shop and demanded that workers fill a 10-gallon container of water.

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When they refused, "he banged it on the ground and started yelling" and threatened the staff, she said.
"He said he was entitled to have it for free."

Tzortzatos said the unsafe conditions begin at around 5:00pm every day, when "they come from the park drunk, under the influence of something."

"They use one of our doorways as a bathroom, and we have to scrub it down every morning," she said.

The protesters appear to be digging in, erecting three of what will eventually be more than two dozen, 16-by-16-foot military-style tents that will help them stave off hypothermia in the coming winter.

And they will have some entertainment Tuesday, when music legends David Crosby and Graham Nash are slated to perform an acoustic set of protest songs at Zuccotti Park. 

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