Sunday, April 15, 2001

Hot dog vendor pays back hero with relish

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        One good Samaritan in Cincinnati can now have free hot dogs for life. In the first day of rioting, while vandals ran through downtown streets Tuesday, one man stopped to help.

        Navy Petty Officer Patrick Tierney was headed back to his office when he stopped at a red light at Court and Main streets. A group of teen-agers tried to grab him out of his car, but he sped away.

        As he hit the gas pedal, though, he noticed rioters were assaulting George the Hot Dog Guy, a man with whom the petty officer had never had a conversation, though he'd bought a hot dog from him a time or two.

        He circled the block and found George Psihountakis, a vendor who has been at the courthouse for 20 years, being hit by soda cans while trying to pick up his broken cart.

        He stopped to defend the man.

        After he helped Mr. Psihountakis, the vendor offered him free dogs from now on.

        “This guy was not even supposed to be involved,” Mr. Psihountakis said. “You don't often find people like that.”

        As for Petty Officer Tierney, he was just doing his job.

        “Maybe the uniform presence helped a little bit,” he said.

        But will Petty Officer Tierney take him up on the offer?

        “As long as he's got sauerkraut on them,” he said, laughing. “It's good to know if I'm hungry, I can go find George.”


Tonight's curfew pushed back to 11 p.m.
City hopes healing begins
FBI, police investigate beanbag shootings
Mourners hear call for new Cincinnati
Sense of need sends many to service
Shooting set off tinderbox of old troubles
Feds study police practices
Stories of 15 black men killed by police since 1995
Officer Jorg's trial delayed
Fallen officers forgotten, widow says
King calls for inclusion, end to profiling
Protester Lynch becomes
Mount Adams patrons defied curfew
Vendors relocate to keep tradition
- Hot dog vendor pays back hero with relish
Unrest rekindles memory
A familiar story of Easter
Notebook: Here and there