Long Island Mall Bans Elderly Mall-Walker For 6 Months

westfieldThe menace of loitering senior citizens in the New York City metropolitan area continues. First, a McDonald’s in Queens kicked out a group of neighborhood seniors who used the restaurant as an all-day coffee house, and politicians brokered a peace. This time, a 73-year-old man who walked laps around a Long Island mall has been banned from the property for trespassing.

Let’s back up a minute. Just being inside the mall before the stores open isn’t trespassing. Mall walkers exist all over the country: they’re mainly senior citizens who walk the climate-controlled, ice-free corridors of their local shopping center for exercise before it opens. This man says that he once had permission from the management to use the restroom before the mall officially opened, but they stopped allowing him to do so.

“This [security guard], I guess he has it in for me for some reason, but he escorted me to the security office and asked me for my license, took my picture and escorted me out,” he explained to News 12. He received a six-month ban from the premises: if he’s seen anywhere on the property, from the Sears to the parking lot to the IHOP, he’s not allowed on the porperty.

It’s not like American suburbia has any shortage of malls, though. The banned walker told Newsday that he simply moved to a shopping center in the town of Massapequa. That mall happens to be owned by the same company, Westfield. Maybe they have a more liberal bathroom policy.

Mall-walker banned from Westfield South Shore Mall in Bay Shore [News 12]
Banned from one mall, West Islip man walks at another [Newsday]

Read Comments6

Edit Your Comment

  1. Cara says:

    Huh. My local Westfield malls all have a sign near at least one entrance that says that one lap of the mall is equal to such-and-such distance. I take those signs to mean that they encourage people to walk around the mall for exercise. Otherwise I guess they enjoy posting signs of random facts?

  2. SingleMaltGeek says:

    “[The security guard] escorted me to the security office and asked me for my license, took my picture and escorted me out”.

    When are people going to learn that a security guard could be any random person? If you have done nothing wrong, you do not need to comply with anything a security guard says unless they ask you to leave the premises or they are detaining you for the police. If you did nothing criminal and they did not ask you to leave the property, they can go take a flying [leap].

    • radioone says:

      We’re not getting the full story….

      The guard could have it out for the guy or he’s over-zealous. The guy could have been routinely using the bathrooms (before mall opening) when he knew that policy has changed.

      I am continually surprised by people’s reactions to situations like this. They can’t fathom that a policy change applies to them. Or that a local higher-up in mall management decided to have the guy gone. It does not always have to be some mean dude who’s out to get you. Maybe, the guard is just doing his job.

      But if it that happened to me, I’d leave– but I would not give my license to him and if he did try force me to, then I’d call the cops.

      • kb says:

        Exactly. You don’t need a license to walk around.

        • CzarChasm says:

          That’s only kind of true, as of 2012, 24 states had stop-and-identify laws, you could be asked to produce ID in regards to an investigation. Although there is no penalty if you don’t actually have an ID with you, and it would only be in regards to police, not security guards.

          Security guards are pretty much like regular people, they can ASK you for an ID, or to search you, or hell, they can ask you to go have lunch with them, it’s up to you to say no.

      • SingleMaltGeek says:

        Right, I wasn’t saying he didn’t do anything to warrant being ejected, I was just saying that if they’re going to tell me to get off the property, they have every right to do that, but anything they say before that (no photography allowed, we need to see what’s in your bag/pocket/backpack) should be taken as just a request containing their condition(s) for me to stay.

        tl;dr version: Security guard != police, and even police have very specific limits on their power to search and detain.