Deli Owner Who Took Pity On Thief Now Faces Fine For Selling Bongs

It’s been a busy few weeks for Mohammad Sohail, a Pakistani immigrant who owns and operates a Deli in Long Island, NY. On May 21st a masked man tried to rob him, but Sohail pulled a rifle on the guy. Then he made him promise to never rob anyone again, and handed him $40 and a loaf of bread.

Although not every news report mentioned this detail, he even got the robber to convert to Islam, albeit perhaps temporarily:

“When he gets $40, he’s very impressed, he says, ‘I want to be a Muslim just like you,’ ” Sohail said, adding he had the would-be criminal recite an Islamic oath.

“I said ‘Congratulations. You are now a Muslim and your name is Nawaz Sharif Zardari.'”

When asked why he chose the hybrid of two Pakistani presidents’ names, the Pakistani immigrant laughed and said he had been watching a South Asian news channel moments before the confrontation.

Sohail said the man fled the store when he turned away to get the man some free milk.

On Tuesday, the story broke across the mainstream media, and Sohail has been enjoying some hero limelight for his bravery and compassion.

That same day, however, his shop was raided as part of a city-wide drug bust:

The same day Mohammad Sohail’s big heart earned him nationwide fame, his store in Shirley, L.I., was one of seven businesses raided by town investigators.

Pipes and bongs were seized from Shirley Express on Tuesday night, and the 46-year-old was charged with breaking Brookhaven town codes, a civil violation.

He does not face criminal charges, but will likely have to pay a hefty fine.

The Associated Press reports that 3 times in recent weeks, undercover officers bought bongs and pipe screens at the deli, and that the violation is punishable by a fine of up to $30,000.

Well, we still think you’re pretty cool, Sohail. Maybe all the pot smokers of Shirley, Long Island should pitch in and help you pay off that fine! Umm, yeah, probably not.

Below is store security footage of the thwarted robbery:



“Merciful storekeeper changes robber’s mind, religion” [CNN]
“Mohammad Sohail, store owner who took pity on robber, busted for selling illegal drug paraphernalia” [Newsday]

Comments

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  1. WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave says:

    If I break into your store, and you pull a rifle on me, I will convert to any religion you like.

    I wonder what explains this man kindness more. The smoking, his Religion, or a combo of the two?

  2. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    Uh. Those are totally for tobacco. I swear. Yeah.

    • RandomZero says:

      @WiglyWorm: That’s exactly the excuse local head shops use – some of the touchier ones won’t let you /mention/ weed in the store. Including Mary Jane’s Smoke Shop, the one with the occasionally-changing psychedelic paint job out front and the thousands of bongs inside.

  3. Bluth_Cornballer says:

    Turns out the robber wasn’t really a thief at all, he was just confused by the FREE TOMMY CHONG t-shirts hanging in the window.

  4. gravitus says:

    Sell 2 foot lengths of screen and your in the home repair business. Sell little discs of that same screen and you are enabling pot smokers…

  5. gravitus says:

    *you’re

  6. LordofthePing says:

    I guess his fame went up in smoke…

  7. thnkwhatyouthnk says:

    If all the pot smokers in Shirley chipped in to pay off the fine, they’d only have to give about a dollar or two a piece. I used to live in the next town.. maybe I’ll stop by with a dollar or two =P

  8. onapartyock says:

    They should go after those fake roses in glass tubes, kids don’t buy those for the flower.

  9. Trai_Dep says:

    Glad to see there are no more murders, rapes or (ahem) armed robberies in the lovely town of Long Island, NY.

    • Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

      That’s what \\\\\@Trai_Dep:

      I have news for you …. Long Island is not a town. It is simply an island.

      Shirley happens to be a HAMLET, in the county of SUFFOLK, which is one of four counties on Long Island (Nassau & Suffolk make up the common “Long Island” but the island itself also includes Brooklyn (Kings County) and Queens (Queens County)

      [en.wikipedia.org]

      • Rhayader says:

        @Dooley: Wow, thanks for the geography/civics lesson.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @Dooley: With apologies to Brooklyn, anyplace that sends undercover cops to a bodega three times to bust a hero selling screens is definitely a “town”. With a cop with a beer gut the size of Texas, wearing mirrored shades who bullies pubescent boys and probably beats his wife.

        • Jessica Schwartz says:

          @Trai_Dep: What I don’t get it why they spent so much time busting weed paraphernalia sellers, when there is SOOOO much worse shit going on right now. Drugs run rampant through pretty much all the high schools around here, weed is the least of it.

          Product of Lindenhurst HS.

  10. Cocoa Vanilla says:

    I think I would have shot if he didn’t put the bat down. If he was armed as well then I would have shot, no matter what.

  11. VotaIdiota says:

    I’m just glad Consumerist reported it was a rifle. CNN reported that it was a shotgun. That’s some good journalism-ing right there.

  12. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    OMG BONGS!!!
    Yes, pot smokers are the problem with this country!

    Thank goodness police everywhere have their priorities right, busting people for pot and (OMG) speeding!!

    • WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @doctor_cos: So at what point is a law “not important”?

      I’m guessing from your post that you smoke and also got pulled over for speeding, but think that it’s OK, b/c everyone else does it. So I guess if a hundred people went to your house and started taking stuff, it would be OK, and the cops shouldn’t worry about it?

      • alstein says:

        @WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave:

        It’s not important when it shouldn’t be on the books, but people are too busy to get rid of it.

        We don’t enforce laws such as in one town it being legal to beat your wife on a Sunday at the public courthouse now do we? (On the books in Sumter, SC)

        • Anonymous says:

          @arstal: I’m pretty sure that one would be enforced… After all, SC enforces the “you can’t buy a matress on Sunday law, and that one is a victimless crime. I’m glad I moved notth to VA, although I do miss Charleston.. :(

          As for the “bongs” maybe they were Hookahs and the police are going after him because he is clinging to part of his culture. THAT’s the way to spin it!

      • bohemian says:

        @WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave: I don’t smoke anything and have not gotten a speeding ticket since the 80’s. I think pot laws and speed trapping are a waste of resources. At least the local PD has figured the second one out and they only monitor people’s speed in targeted areas where it is a problem.

      • doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

        @WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave: Pot smokers and ‘speeders’ are obviously the most dangerous criminals, then?

        I just like to point out how most drugs are legal (alcohol, tobacco, valium, etc.) but the ones that would be hard to tax are not. Hmmmmm.

        • CFinWV says:

          @doctor_cos: That’s irrelevant. It’s still illegal. The law already takes into consideration violent and dangerous offenders vs other offenses. Don’t blow it out of proportion just because you personally don’t agree with it.

          • jasonkarns says:

            @CFinWV: Yes it’s irrelevant if you think our only argument is that we shouldn’t enforce certain laws that are on the books. But you make the assumption that all laws on the books *should* be on the books. Perhaps some laws should be repealed. Like, say, laws that don’t make any sense. (Since the drug war began: drugs have gotten more pure, become more prevalent, caused more gang-related crime, and have simply wasted billions of taxpayer money. Legalizing them would: decrease underground trade, nearly eliminate gang-related crime of drug-dealing gangs, free up police resources, generate tax revenue. Pretty much all the great things that came about at the end of prohibition.)

            • Murph1908 says:

              @jasonkarns:
              I don’t completely disagree with you.

              I don’t smoke pot, or do anything harder. I haven’t done my research, but if the lasting effects of pot do not exceed that of alcohol, I would be on the side of legalizing it.

              But are you abdicating all drugs be legalized? Meth, which rots your teeth? LSD, which causes flashbacks and often the belief that you can fly? Where do you draw the line?

              If you don’t legalize them all, you will still have the same problems you mentioned.

              Where do you stand on prostitution? Many people make the exact same argument for legalizing it.

              • Atticka says:

                @Murph1908:

                If you had to draw a line, most people seem to think there is a clear line between naturally occurring (tobacco, marijuana, etc..) and chemically modified “man made” drugs (LSD, Meth, Coke, etc…).

                Also, prostitution is legal and controlled in many countries. This offers many benefits to the woman as they can get medical benefits of being employed (monthly checkups, free condoms, clean places to work, etc….).

                The argument has been made time after time, legalize and control is the way to go.

              • Bye says:

                @Murph1908: Sorry, I had to stop reading after your false comment about LSD “flashbacks”.

                Do a little research before you repeat falsehoods Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No group has injected into your veins.

                • christoj879 says:

                  @Rey: Agreed.

                  The cops are after the low-hanging fruit. What’s easier to bust – a calm stoner or a belligerent drunk?

                • Waiting4Vizzini says:

                  @Rey: Eh this from one of their comments above “I don’t smoke pot, or do anything harder. I haven’t done my research..”. It’s funny how people can admit to knowing little about a topic and then want to be taken seriously on their claims.

                  • Murph1908 says:

                    @Waiting4Vizzini:
                    What claims?

                    I was asking a question. Creating a dialog.

                    Ok, I made one claim…that legalizing some but not all, and we’d still have the problems that not legalizing any would.

                    And an excellent job of taking my quote out of context. The research I ‘haven’t done’ was in reference to the lasting effects of marijuana use.

                    How about you start adding to the dialog, instead of sniping at commenters.

                    • nakedscience says:

                      @Murph1908: ALL drugs should be decriminalized. Marijuana should be completely legalized. Harder drugs shouldn’t result in the penalties they do. We, as a country, need to start concentrating on REHABILITATION instead of throwing drug addicts in jail/prison. Do you know how fucking easy it is to get drugs in jail? Very.

                      Criminalizing drugs just makes it harder for addicts to get help. Period.

                      (I’m talking about users, not distributers, here.)

                    • nakedscience says:

                      @Murph1908: “How about you start adding to the dialog, instead of sniping at commenters. “

                      No one was sniping at your comments. They were pointing out your FALSE claims. You can’t argue with lies, and it’s not “snipping” when someone points out those lies.

              • Waiting4Vizzini says:

                @Murph1908: Do you mean “advocating” all drugs be legalized? I don’t see how he would be casting them off or renouncing a throne.

              • nakedscience says:

                @Murph1908: “Meth, which rots your teeth? LSD, which causes flashbacks and often the belief that you can fly? “

                Coke can rot your teeth. Mountain Dew can REALLY rot your teeth. Time to make ‘em illegal!

                LSD doesn’t really cause flashbacks. Please do some actual research.

                You can’t overdose from LSD.

                • nakedscience says:

                  @nakedscience: Also, alcohol can cause a beliefe that you can fly, or fight that 300 lb. bouncer, or drive even if you are impaired, and many other things. Alcohol can cause you to do things that you normally wouldn’t do. Time to make it illegal!

                • Murph1908 says:

                  @nakedscience:

                  Coke and Mt. Dew do NOT rot your teeth the way Meth can. There’s already the term Meth Mouth due to the effect.

                  I did some research on LSD flashbacks, and you are right.

                  But still. Why the ire? I just don’t get why you are so worked up about my questions. So I was wrong about LSD. Put that in the ‘ok to legalize’ category if you want. I don’t care. I’ll edit the offending paragraph to simply,

                  “But are you abdicating all drugs be legalized? Meth, LSD, crack, PCP, heroin?”

                  But legalizing marijuana will not stop drug crime. That can’t be your main position for legalization. It should start with the comparative effects to alcohol and other legal drugs. One aspect of that is the long term effects, which was all I was trying to get at with the meth and (incorrect) LSD references.

                  • Murph1908 says:

                    @Murph1908: Crap. Had a chance to correct my error, and didn’t.

                  • oneandone says:

                    @Murph1908: “Meth mouth” is media hysteria. There’s nothing in meth that rots your teeth. It has been shown to cause severe mouth dryness (by affecting your salivary glands, causing dehydration, and/or constricting blood vessels in your mouth) but not more than what some prescription drugs do.

                    Lots of meth users may drink excessive amounts of soda because of the dehydration & mouth dryness and many may also smoke tobacco, which can would exacerbate all the oral health problems + cause some more.

                    But does meth itself rot your teeth? No. It’s not good for you, but there’s nothing in the chemicals (or the contaminants) that will rot your teeth.

                    Jack Shafer does a much better job explaining it & outlining the panic:
                    [www.slate.com]

              • youbastid says:

                @Murph1908: “LSD, which causes flashbacks and often the belief that you can fly?”
                No, and no. Urban myths, both of them.

                • VPea says:

                  @youbastid: wait a minute but ive done a ton of acid and totally had some flashbacks for a little while. i really did! What the hell was wrong with me….

              • jimconsumer says:

                @Murph1908: Prostitution should be legal as well. It’s a private business transaction between two consenting parties. I can meet a woman in a club, woo her with drinks and dinner, take her home and have sex with her and it’s perfectly legal. How is it any different if I skip the drinks and dinner and just give her the money directly?

              • Ratty says:

                @Murph1908: LSD does not cause flashbacks or the belief you can fly.

                @Atticka: Natural =/= safe. A worthless distinction.

                @Murph1908: People are advocating not being told what they can or cannot do with their own bodies and minds.

              • Anonymous says:

                @Murph1908: Meth rots your teeth? SO DOES SODA so why isn’t pepsi illegal? I smoke pot for pain relief from an injured back, and let me tell you I am way better off than if I had been taking pain pills for the past 10 years, I would be dead If I had continued to take those evil legal drugs. And obviosly you have never taken LSD because there is no such thing as a flash back, and belief you can fly are you joking, religouse fanatics believe that a man is going to come out of the sky and save your soul and wisk you away to heavan to have the best sex ever. I hope your not using a computer to type your stupid comments because if it wasn’t LSD your computer would not exist, along with a lot of other things that you can’t even begin to wrap your tiny tiny mind around

          • craptastico says:

            @CFinWV: i can’t speak for this particular town, but it’s perfectly legal to have a bong in most (as long as there’s no pot residue in it) since they are used for tobacco consumption, particularly by middle eastern immigrants. it’s no more illegal than a corn cob pipe

          • chargernj says:

            @CFinWV: @WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave: I think the point is more a matter of priority. Since there is only a limited amount of law enforcement resources to go around, what do you think they should be focusing on. Personally I think if you are going to keep pot illegal. It should be at the same level as jaywalking. Sure it’s illegal, but far from a law enforcement priority.

        • WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave says:

          @doctor_cos: So at what point should the cops actually work? Should they just sit in the station house and not proactivly seek people breaking laws? As for being dangerous, if someone is speeding doing 45 in a 25 mph school zone, there is NO WAY, w/o violating the basic laws of physics, for them to stop sooner than they would actually doing the speed limit and avoid hitting a parent/crossing guard/child.

          • Saboth says:

            @WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave:

            The problem is, they tend to focus on the “easy” money making crimes. They know people that do recreational pot and speeders are easy targets with huge fines. So obviously they would rather focus on that rather than staking out the crack house where they might get shot.

          • Waiting4Vizzini says:

            @WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave:
            I think cops should be out patrolling instead of sitting anywhere and that includes speed traps. All the crap I see going on as I’m driving to work and never a cop in sight. And these are the heavily populated areas and not the rural area in which I’m traveling from. I would think there would be more cops just riding around but again I don’t know how their time is allocated.

        • Murph1908 says:

          @doctor_cos:
          Why would pot be hard to tax if it were legal?

          • The Porkchop Express says:

            @Murph1908: can be grown everywhere, literally grows like a weed.

            • Murph1908 says:

              @Lo-Pan:
              Good point. The law would still need to make home-grown weed illegal.

              It’s the same with alcohol. I can make my own beer at home in a couple of plastic containers. Spirits can be distilled with a little more effort. But it’s illegal to sell it.

      • adamczar says:

        @WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave: I don’t smoke weed, but think it is asinine that it’s illegal, too. Show me a scientific study that has found the risks of marijuana (aside from impaired judgment, which isn’t even as bad as alcohol, there aren’t any).

    • edwardso says:

      @doctor_cos: Speeding is much more dangerous than pot, so I’m ok with enforcing that rule. People also don’t typically go to jail for speeding causing overcrowding

    • Murph1908 says:

      @doctor_cos:
      Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of accidental deaths in the US.

      So yeah, stopping speeders is kinda important.

      Besides, when was the last time you were pulled over for anything less than 10 MPH over?

    • H3ion says:

      @doctor_cos: To fan the flames it’s almost impossible to make illegal something that large numbers of people believe should be legal. The best example of this was Prohibition which was largely responsible for the growth of organized crime in the United States. I would legalize and tax drugs, and control its purity as well, but the question is which drugs? Can you legalize pot while keeping heroin on the illegal list, and why would you do so? Prostitution is another so-called victimless crime. It’s legal in Nevada except for Las Vegas and Reno. There are probably more hookers in Las Vegas (haven’t been to Reno lately) than in the counties in which it is legal. (That’s anecdotal, not statistical.)

      Simply, if a law is on the books, it either should be enforced or repealed. Laws that are not enforced just create disdain for the legal system in general.

      Disclaimer: I don’t use any illegal controlled substances and I haven’t frequented the Las Vegas hostesses.

    • redkamel says:

      @doctor_cos: good job cops, way to be there to stop a robbery. But wait, always right on time for a bong bust! Should kept those feet on the street looking for robberies.

      • ohenry says:

        @redkamel: I actually had an entire class on the history of drugs and alcohol in the US last semester, and I wrote my term paper for that class on why they should legalize marijuana. If you really, really go into the research, it’s really amazing how weak the government’s published arguments are for keeping it illegal. They’re mostly based off of contradictions, anectodal evidence, or general myths. It’s pretty crazy actually. There really isn’t any more risk to smoking marijuana than there is with alcohol, except for lung complications if the pot is smoked in joint form (rather than from a bong).

        The only real reason that it wasn’t made legal is because it just never historically had the cultural footing that alcohol and tobacco did. Tobacco was big in Europe before the States came to fruition; it was a big thing with the upper class, and then when it became mass produced in America later on and became affordable for everyone, it became a deeply integrated part of the culture.

        Same with alcohol. Especially in the Americas; in the early days, people mostly drank light ales instead of water, because the water wasn’t very sanitary. It really never lost its popular status even when water was drinkable.

        So yeah, in summary…pot really isn’t that bad, it’s mostly paranoia from the 80’s and lack of a cultural foothold.

  13. arthurborko says:

    Say it with me now…”For Tobacco Use Only…”

  14. CFinWV says:

    @bohemian: Police don’t go around actively looking for people selling bongs. They either get a tip or they happen to see it in plain sight. Hardly a waste of resources.

    • jasonkarns says:

      @CFinWV: I suppose you didn’t read the article because you would have noticed that: “Prosecutors say undercover officers bought bongs and pipe screens at the store three times in recent weeks.” So clearly the police *were* going around actively looking for people selling bongs.

      • WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave says:

        @jasonkarns: Well, to get a warrant, you have to show cause to a judge. Being able to say that we bought items repeatedly over a period of time does that.

      • Murph1908 says:

        @jasonkarns:
        Which they probably started doing because of a tip. The point is, they don’t go into every bodega and ask for a bong. But when they get the tip, they gather the evidence.

  15. sanjsrik says:

    Gee, in some cultures a “bong” is also known as a hookah, stupid small minded idiots.

    • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

      @sanjsrik: Yeah I vote for the “it’s a hookah” defense.

    • jackbishop says:

      @sanjsrik: Actually, no. A bong is a fairly conspicuously different creature than a hookah. They’re both water-cooled pipes usually made of glass, but there the similarities end.

      A bong is an open-topped tube with water at the bottom, and a small (less than 2cm in diameter, generally) bowl which tapers into a stem into the water. Either the bowl is removable, or, less frequently, there’s a carburetion hole on its stem. A bong is smoked by putting combustables in the bowl, placing one’s mouth over the opening, sucking inwards and opening the carburetor/removing the bowl to rapidly inhale the full tube of smoke. It’s an efficient way to get a _lot_ of water-filtered smoke into your system rapidly, since one inhales a full tube of smoke when one opens the airflow.

      A hookah is an enclosed water chamber with a larger (typically 4cm in diameter) bowl on top, which is fitted to a brass tube that extends downwards into the water. A hose is attached to the hookah above the waterline. A hookah is smoked by placing smokables in the bowl, placing a screen over the bowl, putting a burning coal on the screen, and inhaling on the hose.

      For the TL;DR crowd, there are two fundamental differences in usage: a bong allows (and more-or-less requires) rapid inhalation where a hookah is designed for short puffs; a bong is smoked by actually setting fire to the smokable whereas a hookah is smoked by heating the smokable to temperatures at which it smokes by having a hot coal close to the bowl. The first difference points up a difference between tobacco and marijuana use: tobacco is generally puffed, and is best absorbed by small-quantity inhalation and exhalation, whereas marijuana is (at least in most folks’ understandign) best absorbed by holding a large quantity of smoke in the lungs for a significant period of time). The second difference is a practical one: hookah tobacco, which is a blend of tobacco, molasses and/or glycerine, and flavored extracts, does not in fact burn — it’s too damp, so the live-coal method is necessary.

      As for actual usage: I’m sure there is somebody, somewhere, who has actually smoked (pipe or cigarette, not hookah) tobacco from a bong. It seems neither an efficient nor pleasant way to take in tobacco, but I’ll bet someone’s done it. there are plenty of people who smoke marijuana from hookahs, but it’s actually a pretty bad idea, since it (a) generally doesn’t get hot enough to efficiently extract the cannabinoids, (b) leaves a burnt aroma and flavor in the brass fittings and hoses which it’s nigh-impossible to remove.

      Apropos: since a bong-style waterpipe (head shops &c. scrupulously avoid calling them “bongs”) can be used to smoke tobacco, it’s traditionally been given a pass by authorities, and for decades that’s been the state of commerce in the US. The DEA patted itself on the back a few years ago for an enormous nationwide paraphernalia bust (Operation Pipe Dreams), which was pretty silly if you looked close: “Congratulations! You changed your interpretation of the rules and decided to be bastards to people you already knew about from years of greenlighting their business! What an investigative triumph!”

      • jackbishop says:

        @jackbishop: An addendum to my perhaps already overlong message: I’m not familiar with delis per se, but I know a number of Mediterranean, middle-eastern, and western Asian groceries, minimarts, and suchlike places (the sort which might have Bosnian coffee, Greek tinned dolmades, Russian confections, samovars, and 10-pound sacks of red lentils) stock smoking paraphernalia. Hookahs and hookah-related equipment (spare hoses, hookah tobacco, bowls, coals, and screens/foils) are common; hand pipes (the small “art-glass” types) are moderately uncommon; actual bongs are vanishingly rare. None of the pictures or articles are nearly specific enough about what Sohail stocked, but I’d lay good odds that they were not in fact bongs.

  16. giantnegro says:

    A store owner gets robbed: no cops around.

    A store owner sells bongs: a SWAT team magically appears!

    Gotta love the USA.

  17. grandzu says:

    This is from the same city that hands out needles to facilitate shooting up (complete with tourniquet, alcohol prep pad, and instructions)and condoms to expedite sex.
    This guy is just doing his part for the overlooked people.

    • oblivious87 says:

      @grandzu: I understand what you’re saying here, but I still don’t think its fair. NYC provides these services to curb the HIV infection rate and since these services have been put into place, the spread of HIV in heroin users has decreased by over 50% and I don’t know the statistic for prostitution and young irresponsible people having sex.

      NYC is one of the first major cities to ackowledge that the war on drugs isn’t working and neither is preaching abstinance in schools. Honestly, I would rather have my tax dollars go to providing clean needles and giving the proper instructions to lessen the risk of infection for herion users and giving condoms and some proper education about safe sex practices. Otherwise, my tax dollars are going to a $16k/second war on drugs, to pay for those who have HIV but have no money or insurance but still get hospital care, and going to welfare programs to pay for morons like the guy in Tenn. who has had a billion kids before he was even 30!

      The only problem I have with your comment is that this guy wasn’t doing anything to make drug use safer, he was just profiting off it. Do I think its wrong, no… you can use these things for tobacco and last time I checked, I could buy all of this stuff by going to a local headshop and even online.

      If I were this guy, I’d be sitting in the city hall meetings complaining about how the police have so much time to stop his business, but not protect and serve like their job description states.

    • nakedscience says:

      @grandzu: “and condoms to expedite sex.”

      What the fucking hell does that mean? How does a condom “expedite sex”, exactly?

      • hedonia says:

        @nakedscience: Shirley is not near NYC, its about midway out on Long Island, around 60 miles. I’m pretty sure that Brookhaven doesn’t hand out needles.

    • The-Joker says:

      @grandzu: i fully agree with you, and also the condom part as well. People who smoke weed aren’t “shooting up” and spreading HIV, but they are getting punished more than heroin users who in my opinion should all be executed or shot “accidentaly” by the police.

      This truly is a backward country. I can’t wait until i have some money to go to Japan. At least there when someone does something wrong they just commit suicide.

      Anyway, about the condom thing, this is ruining a very good source of revenue in that people should be buying their own condoms, not getting them for free by the city. Those condoms break easily and thus makes it harder to contain the spread of AIDS. Buying trojans or lifetyle will help the economy and make you sex life better.

  18. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    Long Island, Staten Island & Jersey are such wastes of LAND! DUMPS! ABSOLUTE DUMPS!

    H8 2 H8…but it’s true..trust ME!

    • YarrrSquiddy says:

      @WatchOutNow: Depends on what parts of Jersey and Long Island your talking about. Though I agree, can’t find many redeeming quailities about Staten Island (I kid).

    • H3ion says:

      @WatchOutNow: Had a geology professor in college who was adamant that Long Island was glacial waste, or the world’s most expensive landfill. He wasn’t right about much else so he may have been wrong here too.

    • Andrew Ghobrial says:

      @WatchOutNow:

      staten island i can understand, but long island is one of the highest income areas in the entire country, just cuz u live in a shitty part of long island doesnt mean the whole thing is like that

  19. Corporate_guy says:

    Who was calling this guy a hero? The robber clearly was after drug money. Signified by the fact that he took the 40 bucks and left the bread. This store owner was tricked by the robber. The owner had a gun on him and was still managed into being robbed. He is a fool.

    • Tiffani Noel Warren says:

      @Corporate_guy: He didn’t leave the bread. He took it. He just left before the convenience store guy could give him the milk.

      You don’t know why the robber took the money. It could have been drugs, it could have been for his family, etc. I definitely think the convenience store owner did an admirable thing:

      1. He was charitable, which is a virtue in most religions & belief systems.
      2. He showed forgiveness to someone who had wronged him.
      3. He did not judge the robber.
      4. He likely prevented – or at least attempted to prevent – the robber from both continuing to steal or worse (and deal with the effects of a guilty conscience, which can be destructive, not to mention the fact that he’d hurt the people from whom he was stealing) and from becoming ensnared in the penal system, which often just teaches criminals how to be better criminals.

      Ultimately? Yeah, I think this guy is a hero. And while I am not religious, I think that what he did is an admirable reflection on both his religion and him as a person.

  20. YarrrSquiddy says:

    Are they just more uppity about this sort of thing the further out on Long Island? I’m in Queens and have no less than 4 delis within walking distance of my apt that sell mini hookas and pipes (with the obligatory “for tobacco use only” sign, of course).

  21. tard says:

    Looks like the owner pulled a Keltec Sub 2000.

    Nice!

  22. B1663R says:

    is it just me or does that dude look like an ompa lompa from the remake of that charlie and the chocolate factory movie?

  23. Rhayader says:

    Maybe all the pot smokers of Shirley, Long Island should pitch in and help you pay off that fine! Umm, yeah, probably not.

    Hey thanks for perpetuating the “lazy, apathetic stoner” stereotype. Marijuana legalization activists are just as organized, dedicated, energetic, and intelligent as people lobbying for any cause.

  24. Murph1908 says:

    @Waiting4Vizzini:
    Oops. Yep.

  25. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    This guy isn’t a “hero” or a “saint”… he’s a nutjob. If you gave me the choice of being shot or converting to Islam (or any particular religion), I’d take one to the head and then four to the abdomen when I’m laying on the ground. Were the people in the Inquisition “heroes” for waterboarding and ripping out nails to get someone to convert? Drown me and call me a witch, but keep your mercy and superstition.

  26. FrankenPC says:

    @doctor_cos: I don’t know about other states, but if they didn’t do that in California, California would go bankrupt.

    Cops here are just revenue generators. I’ve never gotten any useful services or support from a cop. IN FACT! I’ve even asked one for opinions related to setting up personal security for my home and the last cop I spoke to (before giving up on them as a whole) said “I’m sorry, we aren’t allowed to give any opinions” PERIOD. What a waste.

  27. djkatscan says:

    The towns of Shirley/Mastic have bigger drug problems then a few pipes being sold in a deli. What a waste of time.

  28. ngwoo says:

    It’s illegal to sell drug paraphernalia in the US?

    El oh el.

  29. Murph1908 says:

    @Ratty:
    “People are advocating not being told what they can or cannot do with their own bodies and minds.”

    And I never argued to the contrary.