Banned from one mall, West Islip man walks at another
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Anthony Arcese still walks 31/2 miles every morning, despite a six-month ban from his normal exercise haven, the Westfield South Shore Mall in Bay Shore.
Now he takes his morning constitutional at the Westfield Sunrise Mall in Massapequa.
Arcese, 73, of West Islip, is "serving" a six-month ban imposed by the Bay Shore mall, and he thinks it's because of a dispute he had with a security guard about using a mall restroom one morning last month.
The mall isn't talking, at least specifically about Arcese's ban, other than to say that he is prohibited from being on mall property until July 15.
Arcese said he used one of the mall's restrooms before the mall opened on Jan. 15.
He said after using the restroom, he was taken by a security guard to the mall's office. There, his driver's license was copied and he was told by the security guard that he would be banned from the facility for six months.
Westfield spokeswoman Vanessa Mitton declined to comment specifically about Arcese's ban, other than to confirm he is the banned walker. The mall sent Arcese a letter about the ban, signed by mall general manager Suzanne Johnson.
In the letter, Johnson said failure to comply "may result in being placed under arrest for trespassing."
Mitton said the mall welcomes walkers, "loves for them to be on the property," but that they should obey the rules of the mall, including those that pertain to safety.
"We embrace having them here," she said of the walkers.
Except for Arcese, that is.
Arcese said he has had a stroke and quadruple-bypass surgery, and that his doctors tell him walking regularly keeps him healthy.
He's been walking the mall every day for nine years, and he's going to continue to walk -- only now at the Westfield mall in Massapequa.
It's a small inconvenience, about 5 miles longer, one way, he said.
Arcese said he's a little bewildered about being singled out.