Coming as a surprise to exactly no one, one of the two men featured in last week’s Times Square crutch fight video is homeless. Shortly after the incident, New York Times reporters found the man, who didn’t give his name, begging for money in Times Square. He was attempting to raise the cash to get a new set of crutches, presumably because his old ones were broken in the fight. “Need your help please because my crutches got run over, so I need fare for bus and subway to see the doctor for pain and another crutch,” the man had written on a sign.
Viral videos, devoid of context as they usually are, make it all too easy for us to have a quick laugh at someone else’s expense without considering what the subject’s circumstances might be. As purveyors of all things internet, we are as guilty of this as anyone else. Regardless of whether or not the man was acting appropriately in the video, the sad fact is that a homeless man who once used crutches to get around doesn’t have them anymore. As ANIMAL editor Bucky Turco just pointed out to me, it’s indicative of the dichotomy that is New York–under the lively exterior, there’s often a dark underbelly.
But naturally, you’ll find the next video of crazy New Yorkers getting into crazy New York things right here at ANIMAL.
(Photo: Johnny Grimm/Flickr)