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http://wfrv.com/topstories/topstories_story_054095744.html

Use the link above to watch a 'rats gone wild' video


(CBS) NEW YORK They are big. A pound or a pound and a half. Rats! Plump, healthy-looking and oh-so-agile.

New York CBS station WCBS-TV cameras caught dozens of them early Friday morning through the window of this closed KFC-Taco Bell in New York's Greenwich Village.

And now WCBS-TV has learned that the Department of Health will keep the restaurant closed until it can reinspect it.

Rat infestations are not a new problem for this KFC.

Just last December, the city's Health Department cited this KFC for evidence of "live rats present in the facility's food and non food areas."

The franchise was also cited rats on at least three previous occasions by the Department of Health since 2004.

But according to the Health Department Web site, the rat problems had been addressed. This was clearly not the case from what WCBS-TV cameras caught Friday morning.

Our cameras were rolling as rats invaded the popular eatery. Watch the amazing video as rats can be seen running, playing and eating leftovers off the floor of the restaurant at Sixth Avenue and West 4th Street.

These brazen rodents were seen scurrying across the floor right where diners would be sitting. They were foraging for food under the garbage cans and in the remains of dinner left on the floor.

Some frisky fellows even jumped up on the food trays, leaping from table to table like they were on an obstacle course and trying, but having trouble, climbing back down the chairs.

One was even perched on the ATM right by the front door:

"I've seen a lot of disgusting rats in the KFC. I love to eat at KFC but this is disgusting," said Tameeka St. Jean.

According to people at the scene, the popular restaurant was open until 11 p.m. Thursday night. Others told WCBS-TV that the problem has been going on for weeks.

Neighbor Susan Quimbyn said, "It's disgusting, and I am so glad you all are here to do something about it. Obviously things fall through the cracks. I'd like to interview the employees to see if they are aware of the situation."

And so would we. But so far, no employees have shown up for work, and no owner or manager has responded to our phone calls and e-mails.

Only a man claiming to be a former employee spoke with WCBS-TV. He said he quit after one month because of what he called "filthy conditions."

"I quit because it was nasty. They don't use gloves to make the food. They use the same grease day after day after day. At night, the manager told me to put the chairs up. We don't sweep; we don't mop. So that's what the rats are eating off, the stuff that's left on the floors," said Marcus Bonner, who claimed to be a former employee.
 
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