Homeless traveler caught shaving on NJ Transit is getting a leg up
TRENTON — A Washington lobbyist is allowing the public to help the NJ Transit rider who was mocked online after being caught on video shaving on the train.
Anthony Torres, 56, was recorded by commuter Pete Bentivegna as they rode the Northeast Corridor to Trenton last Thursday. The video went viral after it was posted on Twitter.
Torres was attacked online — but then we learned his story.
Torres said he had been homeless and staying in a shelter in New York City. He'd reached out to his family for help. A brother gave him money for a train ticket, which he was using to get to another brother in Atco in South Jersey.
Jordan Uhl initially created a GoFundMe account for Torre, saying he had arranged with GoFundMe to have donations go "to a shelter or facility that assists people transitioning out of homelessness in his area" if Torres turned down the money.
Since then, Uhl said that he has been in touch with Torres' brother, who will accept the donations on his behalf.
Uhl told NJ.com that he was motivated by Bentivegna saying on Twitter that he was going to license the video, a move he called "disgusting and vile" because he was profiting from Torres' misfortune.
Bentivegna later said on Twitter that he would donate any earnings to Torres, according to the New York Post. Bentivegna's account is no longer available for the public to view.
Uhl said he set up the GoFundMe with the cautionary tale of Bobby Bobbitt Jr. in mind.
Kate McClure and boyfriend Mark D'Amico created a GoFundMe campaign last November for Bobbitt, a homeless man who gave McClure his last $20 when she ran out of gas on Route 95. Bobbitt says he never had access to the money and his suing the couple, saying they spent the $400,000 in donations on vacations, cars and other high-end items for themselves.
Prosecutors in Burlington County are investigating. Bobbitt is obtaining treatment for his opioid addiction.