- Under Cover
- Special Editorial
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BY HEATHER DUBIN | Richard Pearson, a mentally ill man, who is infamous to residents and merchants in Soho/Nolita for verbally and physical harassment, is back to his old tricks after some jail time. Cops picked up Pearson, 48, on Jan. 10, at one of his favorite spots, D & D Deli & Grocery on Spring St. near Crosby and Lafayette Sts.
Pearson, who has been dubbed “the Soho wild man,” was released in late December after serving six months for possession of cocaine, but was not indicted by two grand juries on an assault charge alleged simultaneously.
Jason Menkes, a Spring St. resident, had not seen Pearson recently, and inquired about him at the deli. According to Menkes, a deli employee informed him Pearson was trying to bite people last Friday, and police were called to the scene. Pearson was then taken by ambulance to a local hospital and released.
“He sits on a milk crate in front of the deli, that’s kind of his go-to spot,” Menkes said. “Smoking a joint and asking for money, that’s what I’ve seen him doing.”
The deli manager, Jea Paik has also seen Pearson recently.
“He’s outside, he follows customers and everybody is scared of him. He follows people into the store,” he said.
Paik explained that after he calls police, which he has done twice already, Pearson takes off four blocks away.
“They don’t find him, and then a few hours later, he comes back,” he said.
Pearson also frequents Starbucks nearby, and Paik said the store manager calls the police daily.