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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Panhandler’s Payday

Eddie Wise is one of those rare New Yorkers who have perfected the art of making a living without holding a job. He’s been called a panhandler, a mooch, a beggar, a bum, but he prefers the term hustler.

In December 2006, after all these years of hustling on the streets of New York, Eddie made the score of a lifetime. The city offered to pay him $100,001 if he dropped a lawsuit he’d filed against the police on behalf of himself and other panhandlers who’d been wrongly arrested.

He agreed, and now he is about to go from scratching out a living, a dollar or two at a time, to collecting a six-figure check, an amount that would take him a decade to earn if he kept on hustling.

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