The three employees of The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington who were arrested early Sunday outside Arthur's Tavern in the West Village say the whole fracas started because the jazz joint didn't take credit cards. Rob Van Der Hoek, a 30-year-old consul officer at the embassy, and his pal Kristopher Rendon, ran up a $315 tab at the bar with Rendon's wife, Lenneke Veeninga and Van Der Hoek's fiancée, Roos Kouwenhoven. (Both ladies work with Van Der Hoek at the embassy, but Rendon does not.) But only when it came time to settle up did they notice Arthur's cash-only policy. Things went sideways fast, which always seems to happen when you go Dutch, eh?
Leaving court yesterday, the two bruised men told the Post, "That's just our faces; you should see the rest of us." They claim that when they told the waitress they didn't have enough cash, she punched Kouwenhoven in the face. But Arthur's owner says they're lying: "People have a couple of drinks and they think they own the place. One of the guys, he got really rude and started causing some trouble." The dispute spilled out onto the street around 1:30 a.m., and a waiter flagged down two NYPD officers, Andrew Smith and Matthew Tocco.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by the Wall Street Journal, when Officer Smith tried to question the men, they began punching him in the face and head. And when Officer Tocco intervened, Van Der Hoek allegedly punched him repeatedly. Then a third cop who joined the party broke his finger after getting knocked to the ground. And prosecutors say Lenneke jumped on one of the cop's back! In Amsterdam, this is just a regular Saturday night, but the group faces serious charges here. Lenneke is charged with obstruction of governmental administration, while the Dutchmen are face felony assault charges. And as we found out yesterday, none of the embassy employees (the Post calls them "embass-iles") are high-ranking enough to qualify for diplomatic immunity.