BAY SHORE - A West Islip man who enjoys going for strolls around a local mall says he's been unfairly banned from his favorite shopping center.
Anthony Arcese, a 73-year-old widower, says he was told he can't come to the Westfield South Shore Mall for six months.
Arcese claims that mall security had told him he was allowed to enter the mall before it opened to use the restroom if he left immediately afterward. He says that was all he planned to do until a guard stopped him.
"This fellow, I guess he has it in for me for some reason, but he escorted me to the security office and asked me for my license, took my picture and escorted me out," Arcese says.
The mall sent Arcese a letter warning that he could be arrested for trespassing if he enters onto any mall property, including its restaurants.
His fellow mall-walking friends say a six-month ban is too harsh. "He didn't steal anything, he didn't hit anybody, he didn't destroy any property," says Marie Mattia. "Maybe he didn't follow their rules to the limit, but does that deserve six months that this elderly man should not be with his friends in a social environment?"
Arcese says he recognizes that he technically broke the rules, but he and his friends are hoping the mall will have a change of heart.
News 12 Long Island contacted Westfield South Shore Mall's security team, which said to contact the mall's management. So far, the management has not responded.