Drunk Directs Traffic in Midtown Manhattan

By May Wilkerson 05/22/13

A homeless alcoholic helps a transit worker catch some shut eye by taking over his duties.

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Hector Santiago is just helping out

A man who has been directing traffic at a busy bus lot in midtown Manhattan, while wearing an agency vest, is found to be neither a transit employee, nor sober. A daily commuter called up NBC4 to report the situation, telling them "the guy is clearly intoxicated and can't pay attention to the appropriate signs." The news station went to the bus lot on 37th street and 10th ave, at the "height of rush [hour]" and "caught the unthinkable" on camera: the man, wearing a bright yellow vest and carrying a red flag, occasionally ducking behind a porto potty to drink vodka, and then leaving his post to visit the liquor store. When questioned on camera, the man identifies himself as a homeless alcoholic named Hector Santiago, admits to regularly drinking on the "job," and takes a swig from the bottle. When asked whether it's safe for him to drink while directing traffic, he says: "I don't care...because I watch them." He explains that the NJ Transit worker at the lot, his "supervisor" Max Caramas, has been paying him to cover the post while Caramas, who works two jobs, naps on a nearby bus. Caramas at first denied knowing Santiago, but later admits he only wanted to help him. New Jersey Transit says that Santiago is not an employee and that he would be "removed" from the post immediately.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.