Pelham Bay shopper gets the boot

Bernard Sheridan found a boot on his car at Rite Aid in Pelham Bay after grabbing a cup of coffee on Crosby Avenue. Senator Jeff Klein persuaded the drug store to hand Sheridan a $50 gift certificate. Photo by Victor Chu

An elderly Pelham Bay resident, Bernard Sheridan, parked in the Rite Aid parking lot on Crosby Avenue. He strolled down the street to grab a cup of coffee, and then headed to shop at the drug store.

When Sheridan returned, he was met with a surprise – a boot was affixed to his car. Unbeknownst to the 85-year old Irish immigrant, Rite-Aid had received complaints from its shoppers regarding the lack of parking in the lot, and had instituted a stern new policy.

Although he’d planned to shop at Rite-Aid, Sheridan paid the drug store $50 to remove the boot. Sheridan tried to plead his case, but was unsuccessful.

“I shop at that drug store every day,” he said.

The store manager told Sheridan he should have shopped at Rite Aid first.

“It was a sting operation,” the Pelham Bay resident said.

When Sheridan returned home, he phoned Senator Jeff Klein. The senator phoned Rite Aid’s corporate headquarters to explain the issue. Soon enough, the Crosby Avenue drug store manager offered Sheridan a $50 gift certificate.

“I was very happy,” Sheridan said. “Klein got the money back for me. I think he deserves a lot of credit.”

Some people park at the Rite Aid and don’t return for hours; those people deserve the boot, Sheridan said. The 46-year Pelham Bay resident belongs to St. Benedict’s Church and a handful of neighborhood groups.

“Challenging a major corporation is sometimes tough and frustrating, mainly because it can be hard to find someone who will listen to your complaint,” Klein said. “In this case, Rite Aid executives were extremely helpful, acknowledging the misunderstanding and reimbursing Mr. Sheridan.”

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