With the majority of Sheepshead Bay’s employed residents heading to work on public transit, panhandlers and “subway bums” are familiar faces ’round these parts. Heck, at this point, it’s like they’re friends and family – though for some it’s like the in-laws you never want to see because they always want something.

They ride the same trains day in, day out – and so do we. Yeah, you might think they’d switch it up once in a while to get a new audience – and some new sympathy – but, hey, they must be having some success. Still, we wonder, who are these people?

That’s what we were thinking when Bites reader Kon wrote the following to us:

I think it would be interesting to start a thread about subway bums who ride on the Q train, and ask for money frequently. There are some that many of us regular Q train rides from Sheepshead Bay, probably have encountered on multiple occasions. For example, I once in a while encounter Daryl “EARLYBIRD” Johnson, and I’ve been seeing him on the Q for months now. He says he is homeless, but he somehow had a MP3 player, and new clean clothing each time.

Kon’s right. We know these guys. We’ve got stories about them. So let’s share. Let’s describe these characters, and our experiences about them, so they too are remembered for posterity.

So, got a story about a local panhandler? Share it below. Oh, and if you’ve got a photo, send it to me so I can add it to this post.

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  • gene77

    There is a Russian lady roaming around the neighborhood who approaches you with some papers and what look like bottles from prescription pills and tries to explain that her mother passed… her story is somewhat unclear but she is basically asking for money. She has been doing this for at least 4 years now, i called her out on it the other day, and she started yelling at me and told me she will call the police.
    Also the degenerates who hang out by the sheepshead bay train station are an eyesore.

    • Laurkins

      I saw, who I think is the same lady, on Kingshighway near Domino. I was in the car at a red light. She approached the car, knocked on the passenger’s side where my mom was sitting and started to tell her sad tale. When my mom told her, sorry can’t help you, she exclaimed, “Why did I even bother asking?”

      • http://twitter.com/nauticalstar Janelle

        Omg- I think I’ve seen her! She’s a light haired/blonde haired lady?

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        Nice touch. Probably makes some people feel terrible and they have to “force: the money on this grifter.

  • Ilan

    I can tell you the man standing by CVS has been there forever, also a small bald man who sleeps in the Chase ATM enterence to the bank on Sheepshead Road, the man by CVS along with a few others seem to have recruited others to wander the area; I see groups of them frequently. At night, between the overpass on Sheepshead road and the back entry, they are harmless for the most part (I only see them argue among themselves.) but there is one woman, blone bleached hair, a serious alcoholic, she walks around I believe prostituting (or attempting to); she takes a wizz infront of everyone in the middle of the street; last week she did it infront of my home on Z and I flipped out I yelled at her so loud, told her I’d get the cops on her if I see her pale floabby ass one more time doing this; things like that are ridicules. If any fo you ever see this woman commiting an act of public defecation tell her to get the hell away; she does it frequently, it’s disgusting and makes the quality of life here very poor. Other than that most of the homeless people are just “in existance”.

    One time a woman (seemed to be one of those fortune teller people) asked me for money as I left the bank, I gave her 2 dollars; I went to the store and on my way back down the street I saw her sitting on the steps by the bank, texting on her cell-phone. I walked past her and gave her a look which I think she understood, she never came up to me again. Unbelievable.

    • Eitan

      Ridicules, the often forgotten, scrawny brother of Hercules.

      But seriously, theres lots of them, and I think for the most part we should show more empathy for them. The gypsies, however, will never escape my ire. Theres this one older woman, too old to be a mother, who used to haunt the area around 7-11 on Y and Ocean with an empty stroller begging for money for her ‘child’.

      @Princessgina726 a few months back I watched the police tell the bag unloading guy at Stop & Shop that he couldnt be there, and that they told him a million times he can’t harass the shoppers. Havnt seen him since.

      When I was a teenager my friend and I befriended a bum and his girlfriend, nicest people, totally insane. They lived in the grasses and bushes to the west of McDonald Avenue, beneath the el, between Neptune and Shore Road, directly across from Warbasse, before that grey apartment building went up and it was a forgotten waste of land. RIP Old Man Bill.

  • Princessgina726

    There is an African American man who’s name is Charlie & he is always in Dunkin Donuts by the station. He barley speaks & is soft spoken when he does. Always asks for money. By the way..anyone know what happened to the guy that always shouted in the street & harrassed people to let him unload their bags at Stop & Shop maybe his name is David or “Pac man”? I heard that he got shot recently.

    • Guest

      This Charlie guy was harassing my wife for money one day this summer on Sheepshead bay road; he then started following behind her while saying crazy stuff. My wife called me right away, I came outside to meet her, this guy almost shitted his pants because I was about to break his jaws right there and then. They only tough with women.

    • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

      I’ve seen the Stop & Shop guy occasionally in the morning at Sheepshead Bay train station. I saw him the other day actually (Monday), but I’ve also seen him sweeping the floor at times at the auto shop across from Doody’s and Petco (K&S)

  • Nono

    I don’t like it when they just ask for money. At least perform or doing something. I gave money to the Mexican band on the train. They dressed up and made an effort.

    • Lattegal

      I would give money to that guy on the train any day just to stop playing and singing…

      • http://twitter.com/Lostinservice Lostinservice

        Mariachi is the one of the most annoying forms of panhandling, second only to that kid (probably under 20) who rides between Kings Hwy and Newkirk Ave. who plays awful renditions of Pink Floyd songs and other classic rock. I’ve once given him a few bucks to stop playing so he doesn’t ruin those songs for me.

  • Anonymous

    I am going to try this. I will have a cup with Sgeepsheadbites sticker on it.
    I will work Friday and Saturday nights. Get them after partying.If there is any $ left.
    Hey Ned, can I sell some stickers so I won’t be just begging.
    10% of profits for your help. No, that’s too much for the advertisement. I will pay for the stickers.

  • winson

    i have known two bummers recently. some guy at CVS who I think Ilan is referring to and the guy on the Q who is mentioned in this story. Most of them usually walk a way after you say no, but there are a few who will harass until you give them something. I just give them a dime or quarter to get them out of my way.

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    A reader e-mailed me the following, and I should preface it with “he was not a panhandler”:

    Dancing Freddy was a fixture in The Bay and environs about a generation ago. He was a middle-aged fellow who always carried a radio (that’s how long ago it was) and always seemed to be dancing and telling jokes. He would dance at the Sheepshead Bay train station; at Brighton Beach; everywhere and always. He was not a panhandler, and surprisingly, was married with children and had what would be called a nice, normal family.

    He was a fun and sparkling personality, always approaching strangers, and made everyone in The Bay that he met smile and greet him in return.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Yep, I remember him. Just an extremely extroverted person.

  • http://twitter.com/nauticalstar Janelle

    I haven’t seen any “regulars” on the train, since I’m out of work…but I did catch one, and the article was posted on here about a year ago. A guy who would sit in his Rascal scooter, begging for money by the train station on KH & E.16th- He lives around the block from me and is a drug dealer. He’s an obvious fake. He walks perfectly fine, not a thing wrong with him. One day I actually saw him walking home, pushing the scooter because apparently, the battery died! LMAO. Since that article was posted, I haven’t seen him pull that stunt again.

    Second one was this woman who used to (or still might) get her drugs from this guy mentioned above. Her name is Deena, and she used to live next to me with her drug addict boyfriend. Both addicted to heroin. She was standing outside of Stop N’ Shop begging for (drug) money. I see her now w/her significant other, now with NO teeth in her mouth and looking worse than a muddy rag. And who knows where they’re living – but keep an eye out for her by Stop N Shop. If you see her, ignore her. You’re only helping her drug problem.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      I think I know the second one, she’s been working her stuff for years.

      Rather pathetic people. I suppose that from time to time they’ll kick their habit but they always return to it. Well maybe someday they’re straighten out for good.

      It does happen.

      • http://twitter.com/nauticalstar Janelle

        She always has her hair pulled back in a ponytail, and well, looks like sh*t.

        They’ve been addicted to the drug for years, they’re not kicking that habit any time soon. She was arrested on prostitution about 2 years ago in Coney Island, and he’s a deadbeat dad who owes unreal amounts of money in child support towards his two children. I’m honestly surprised they’ve survived this long.

  • Guest8

    While this isn’t around sheepsheadbay I am sure everyone has seen this guy pan handling on the Prospect Express way right before you get onto Ocean parkway. Its really sad and pathetic, and gives those in real need a bad name. I tend not to give money to pand handlers and usually only give if they ask for food.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/but_fake_vet_limb_flam_man_SRdm9m4V2RRTY0jA7ziJxO

    McMahon has two arms — and was seen using them last week to count the wads of cash he took off kindhearted New Yorkers.

    He is not crippled, as was readily apparent when he swiftly dodged inquiring Post reporters.

    And it seems he never served in the Marines nor in Vietnam, according to Corps and Veterans Administration officials who could not find any record of him.

    • Gene

      i knew it!!!

  • Guest8

    While this isn’t around sheepsheadbay I am sure everyone has seen this guy pan handling on the Prospect Express way right before you get onto Ocean parkway. Its really sad and pathetic, and gives those in real need a bad name. I tend not to give money to pand handlers and usually only give if they ask for food.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/but_fake_vet_limb_flam_man_SRdm9m4V2RRTY0jA7ziJxO

    McMahon has two arms — and was seen using them last week to count the wads of cash he took off kindhearted New Yorkers.

    He is not crippled, as was readily apparent when he swiftly dodged inquiring Post reporters.

    And it seems he never served in the Marines nor in Vietnam, according to Corps and Veterans Administration officials who could not find any record of him.

  • ggg

    Don’t forget that Kurt Cobain lookalike kid who plays lefty-guitar and butchers Beatles songs. He always appears on the Q around Kings Highway and graces us with his offkey melodies.