Problems of Housing Mentally Ill People Spill Into the Street

One evening last week, a restaurant owner in Washington Heights and two customers stood chatting on the sidewalk about the changes in the area over the last 25 years. The restaurateur, Peter Walsh, was telling the people, who were coming from a hospital on 168th Street, how much safer the neighborhood had become as he stood in front of his restaurant, Coogan’s, on Broadway between 168th and 169th Streets.

A surveillance video shows what happened next.