The woman who claimed to have been locked up for 32 hours for sitting at the chess tables in Tompkins Square Park and not playing chess wasn't exactly telling the whole story, according to a spokesman for the police. But she is sticking to her guns.
Yesterday we told you about Lisa, a woman who according to the blog Neither More Nor Less was arrested while sitting at the tables and was then held for more than a day after an outstanding warrant was revealed. When we wrote about the story we tried to contact the 9th Precinct, which made the arrest, for comment but got nowhere. The Voice, however, had better luck with NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Paul Browne, who tells them that while "park rules may make it a summonsable violation" to sit at the chess tables without a rook, that wasn't what happened here. He says:
She was arrested on an outstanding larceny warrant for stealing a woman's handbag in Gramercy Park, not for park rule violations. She was also wanted on six other outstanding warrants in for theft of services in Manhattan and Queens.
But Lisa is sticking with her story. NMNL updated its original post last night with additional details from Lisa that certainly make it sound like the Police only discovered Lisa's outstanding warrants after she had already been locked up:
Lisa claims that on Thursday June 9, 2011 at some time around 10AM, a lieutenant directed officers to check her I.D. at the chess table at which she and 2 others were sitting. Lisa displayed her I.D. as requested. Two or more males at the table next to her's also had their I.D.s checked. No warrants were checked at the chess tables. The lieutenant instructed officers to take her and the 2 others sitting at her table in violation of the park rule posted high up on the lamp post into custody and remove them to the 9th precinct. Others, including a male sleeping at a table that Lisa claims she knows had no I.D., remained at the tables. The males at the next table that had their I.D.s checked were told to leave the area, which they did.
Somehow we suspect the truth lies somewhere in between. It is, in the age of playground sitting tickets and threats of model motor boat summons, totally conceivable that the NYPD used the on-the-books rule regarding chess tables to check IDs, which revealed the warrant for Lisa.