The 69-year-old man who brought the Flatiron District to a standstill with a mistaken hostage crisis on Wednesday was released from court yesterday without bail. Kenneth Clarfield was arrested after cops kicked his door down at the end of a three hour standoff that was sparked, according to Clarfied, when he yelled and wagged his finger at construction workers on a scaffold outside his 11th floor apartment. Greeting reporters outside Manhattan Criminal Court, Clarfield wagged his tongue and told reporters, "You want a picture of me? Here's your f---ing picture!"
Clarfield admits he shouted at the workers but used the word "drilling," not "killing." He claims all he wanted to do was make his spaghetti and meatballs, but the construction wasn't giving him any peace. According to the Post, Clarfied explained that the worker he yelled at misinterpreted everything: "He's wearing a turban, and it's covering his ears, and perhaps English is his second language. I have nothing against these people. I love southern Asian food. But I don't like someone with a turban who I've never met drilling into my apartment."
No gun was found in his apartment when police finally broke in, but prosecutors noted that Clarfield left the apartment to go buy a pepper between the time he allegedly threatened the workers and when hostage negotiators swarmed his East 22nd Street building. He's charged with menacing and weapons possession, both misdemeanors, and his lawyer told reporters yesterday, "I thought they were going to allege that he threatened them with a spaghetti fork."
Clarfield, a retired business writer and trade association executive, explained that he resisted police for so long because the SWAT team outside his apartment refused to show him their identification, DNAinfo reports.