‘The Tragedy of the Spice King’

— Justin Miller, deputy editor, Intelligencer

The flyers were plastered all over the neighborhood: “Millionaire Menace Terrorizes Fort Greene.” It was a tantalizing tip — was some rich guy really responsible for smashing restaurant windows in Brooklyn? New York’s James D. Walsh went out to investigate and found that the alleged menace, Dhiraj Arora, was certainly no millionaire. Once, he was a vaguely wealthy, bad-boy entrepreneur who created a line of Indian-spice blends. In the 20 years since, he has been hospitalized and arrested more times than anyone can count, terrorized his neighbors, been abused by police, and left his family virtually without hope. The tragedy of the man once known as the Spice King is, in many ways, the story of our broken city.
The Tragedy of the Spice King When an entrepreneur was seized by mental illness, his neighbors became victims and he became trapped in a broken system.
Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer
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