April 19, 2008

Busted because the park is closed and then publicly humiliated.

Glenn Reynolds flags this New York Post story:
CNN personality Richard Quest was busted in Central Park early yesterday with some drugs in his pocket, a rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals, and a sex toy in his boot, law-enforcement sources said.
It was after 3 a.m., and the park was closed, so he was arrested for loitering:
"Mr. Quest didn't realize that the park had a curfew," [his lawyer] said. He was simply "returning to his hotel with friends."

At a hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court, Quest agreed to undergo six months of drug counseling in return for an "adjournment in contemplation of dismissal," which means the misdemeanor charges against him will be dropped and the case sealed if he stays out of trouble and completes his drug program.

He was released with no bail after spending most of the day behind bars.
Glenn says:
WELL, THIS IS EMBARRASSING...

Best line from the story: "It wasn't immediately clear what the rope was for."... Really, with this sort of arrest on his record, he might as well just run for Congress. He'll fit right in!
My first reaction was to laugh at the rope too. (And then to worry that kids might get the idea to experiment with rope and hurt themselves.) But now, I'm outraged that the public humiliation was out of proportion and unrelated to the offense.

It's not illegal to walk around with a rope tied around you like that. (It was under his clothes, I'm assuming, but even if it wasn't.) Being in a park after hours is a piddling offense. Don't police normally just tell you the park is closed and let you walk away? That happened to me and my then-husband once, and we just got in the car and drove away, laughing at the police and saying, mock hippie-style, "The park is closed? You can't close a park, man." I'd have been shocked if the police had arrested us and searched us for that, not that we had drugs on us. We didn't.

It was mildly bad and slightly stupid of Quest to have a small amount of drugs on him, and he deserves the same treatment as anyone else for that offense, but I don't see why it's acceptable for the police to injure him gratuitously by revealing private information about him the way they did.

UPDATE: Glenn updates his post to respond to mine, and calls attention to a rather strangely put detail in the NYT report of the incident:
The police noticed Mr. Quest at 64th Street and West Drive at about 3:40 a.m., the official said. As he was being escorted out, he volunteered, “I have meth in my pocket,” according to an official briefed on the case. The police searched him and recovered a small amount of methamphetamine in a Ziploc bag.
Glenn says:
So had Quest not volunteered that he had methamphetamine on him, he might have gotten precisely the treatment Althouse suggests, simply being "escorted out" of the park. And -- assuming this NYT report is correct -- why did he do that? Beats me.
I find it hard to believe Quest is stupid enough to have said "I have meth in my pocket" unless he knew they were about to find it on him.

ADDED: Mark Steyn weighs in.

70 comments:

Bob said...

One word: Schadenfreude. Cops usually have as much contempt for the press as the military does, most white cops being conservative. Journalists are seen as self-identifying elites, also, with the same sort of contempt for the little guy as Barack Obama has displayed, so being able to bust one of these "elites" is always a pleasure.

AllenS said...

He had a sex toy inside of his boot!

rhhardin said...

Marv Albert made out okay. It's just that a running joke comes up now and then, more or less forever, about show tunes and a dead dominatrix.

But you're in the media. It doesn't necessarily hurt you.

Good grace and self-deprecation go a long way.

Trooper York said...

Anything bad that happens to the press is good for the rest of us.

Meade said...

"...not that we had drugs on us. We didn't."

What about ropes?

(Sorry - none of my beeswax.)

dbp said...

The cops should have just told him to leave the park. The arrest and search seems like an over-reaction.

Once the arrest was made it was inevitable that the press would catch-on to the story.

bearbee said...

Sounds as if it was an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of the body............

Alcibiades said...

I thought the fact that he was "loitering" and this:

Quest, 46, was arrested at around 3:40 a.m. after a cop spotted him and another man inside the park

was a euphemism for the fact that they were engaging in sex. I can't imagine why they would arrest him otherwise.

Bob said...

dbp said...

The cops should have just told him to leave the park. The arrest and search seems like an over-reaction.



Homophobia plays a role here, too. Cops get tired of gays trysting in public places, and public identification and shaming will reduce the number of people engaging in this unsavory behavior at least a little. It's pretty much guaranteed that the CNN reporter won't repeat the experience.

SteveR said...

Sometimes there is some attitude involved which turns a "you need to leave/slow down/stop/etc." into a bigger deal. If youn are carrying and cop an attitude, well you really can't complain what happens after that.

At least that's what I learned in my hippie days.

Trooper York said...

The stereotype that cops are Irish guys from Long Island has long been false. Most of the newer classes are minority driven as were the cops that actually made the arrest. Don't blame the white conservative guy cause you caught with your pecker in a slip knot in Central Park.

dbp said...

If the guys were engaged in sexual activity then they probably got off lightly. The cops could have leaked a lot more details than the slipknot...titusesque type details.

Trooper York said...

This is what is called a quality of life arrest. It's the same with a lot of things we like to do. I got a summons for an open container because I was drinking a beer outside of my friend’s house. I didn't like it, but technically it was illegal and the cop was a ball buster. Everybody wants to do what they want, and they don't want anyone to tell us anything. Tough shit. If you do it and get caught, man up and take your lumps.

TMink said...

Public sex is a nuisance, the gender of the participants don'e enter into it.

Trey (anxiously waiting for Trooper to expound on this one!)

Trooper York said...

Right again Trey. But if you want to be rockin in the free world, they you have to take the consequences if the sex police or the regular police show up. I bet this dude mouthed off, gave the old "Don't you know who I am." The cops really don't go looking for people in the depth of the park, in the Ramble for the gays or downtown for the straights, he was out front where he was putting on a show.

Ann Althouse said...

If he was having sex in the park, arrest him for that. I agree, that's an offense to the community and should be prosecuted.

Nichevo said...

The funny thing is, once it said at the end of the article that he was openly gay (i.e., why he wouldn't work for Al Jazeera), I felt like it was a nonstory.

One is now taught to expect gays to act this way and that, according to the modern standard, that there is nothing wrong with it. Gays do this, it is not news. So why bother? I mean, bother making a story out of it, or even bother reporting it.

As for making the arrest: if he copped to holding meth, there has certainly got to be back story on his behavior, etc.

Nichevo said...

As for that, Ann, maybe sex in the park, esp. in an accessible area, was inappropriate, but where the hell is one supposed to have sex outdoors these days? You're telling me that sex outdoors is illegal? That seems a pity somehow.

Trooper York said...

People from CNN should be arrested just for being douches on CNN. I'm
talking to you Lou Dobbs you fat fuck.

Kevin said...

OK, call me naive, but I really don't understand the rope, and i don't think i want to understand it...

Kevin said...

"where the hell is one supposed to have sex outdoors these days?"

Well, in a place where sheep graze.

Bob said...

I don't think there's a photo of what he was wearing when he was found, but if he had a rope visibly tied around his neck, the cops would have frisked both of them for safety's sake, looking for weapons. In that circumstance it's better to be upfront about what is in one's pockets than to stand mute and have the cop find it on his own.

Still, to say I have meth in my pocket and a dildo in my boot isn't going to be one of the highlights of one's day.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

``My Wall Street Journal.'' 2nd brief

Dollar loses strength against crystal meth, closing yesterday at .951mg, down ,67 micrograms from last week

Quest has an ear for news.

Parody is down from 1970 as well.

Zeb Quinn said...

A rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals, a sex toy in his boot, and a small bag of methamphetamine in his left jacket pocket

Shoot, forget the weekend in Vegas, a fella could have a pretty good night in the park tonight with all that stuff. Well, at least maybe certain fellas could. And the cops were on to that.

jeff said...

"Quest's unidentified companion was given a summons for not carrying any identification, the source said."

So he didnt have his papers? How dare someone wander the streets without their papers.

So how did they know who to give the summons to?

Trooper York said...

That's the new rules Guiliani put in where you needed id if they questitoned you because they wanted to sweep up dudes with open warrents. In the old days if they were going to give you a summons for an open container or something you just told them you were Ed Kranepool or Jerry Grote and off you went none the worst for the experiance.

(I used to get a lot of Met's in trouble back in the old days)

Ann Althouse said...

It was common knowledge in NY in the 70s, pre-Giuliani, that you could be arrested in NY for not carrying ID. I never went out without ID in NY for just that reason.

PatCA said...

At 3 in the morning, Quest himself was in danger. How did the cop know whether the partner was a friend or a danger? I think the cop was more right here than in the Idaho bathroom case.

A cop in my town says what they hate the most is disorder. If somebody robs a bank, they know what to do. If people are, say, milling around a park at 3 in the morning, the cop has to determine if there is a crime occurring, if someone is in danger, or what, and then get the bad press the next day. It's not easy.

titusscored said...

Is he hot?

I find the entire escapade tawdry and disgusting.

titusscored said...

If he's hot I think what he did was hot.

If he is not hot then it is despicable.

The drugs are despicable though. I hate drugs. And meth is the nastiest of the drugs.

Former said...

If I would put a character like that in a novel, my editor would probably nix it as a cartoonish stereotype of effete upper-class British twits with sado-masochistic tendencies. "Only Tom Sharpe can get away with this", she'd say...

Meade said...

Turns out all he was doing was some early morning practice of "The Professor's Nightmare," confronting his deepest fears, and conquering his "dry mouth."

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Sounds something like the movie 'American Psycho' in which the main character reports his murderous, sadistic activity to a sophisticated audience and 'fit right in.' I don't assume the crimes are similar but the attitude of the accused reportor is.

Trooper York said...

I thought the Professor's nightmare was when Maxine rang her bell at 3 in the morning with her overnight bag.

Cedarford said...

Quest is a lawyer that was able to parlay his flamboyance and powerful family connections into getting a celebrity and financial correspondent job with the BBC right out of Law School.

Sounds like he was caught trysting on the down-low despite NYC being an open Gay Mecca because a certain number of gays, despite being "out" and gay marriage being legal (in the UK since 2005 - Civil Partnerships Act) - will seek out "strange" in restrooms and public parks.

Quest was the topic of rumors, since denied, some years back - that he turned down an Al Jeezera offer because he was leftist, gay, and Jewish. The Al Jeezera job offer, at least.
Bob mentions "Schadenfreude. Cops usually have as much contempt for the press as the military does.." True, the only things that could top the cop's night would have been if Quest worked for CBS, The NY Times, or the ACLU. But a multimillionaire BBC/CNN correspondent with a rope on his dick, dildo shoved down his sock, and a bag of meth in his pocket is pretty damn close.
Bob is wrong that only white cops would bust Quest. Minority cops hate Quest-types more than whites do.

Meanwhile, Obama was back in SF opining that only "bitter people with no good jobs and a lack of proper law school education" find Quest's situation amusing. McCain admitting to being unaware of how exactly rope on the dick, a dildo, meth, and gay public sex - all tie together. Hillary said with her experience she could explain everything except the rope on the dick part to McCain.

Trooper York said...

It was always the rule that you could get pinched if you didn't have id, but they used to let you slide and you would get a desk appearance ticket. And a lot of the time you could slide out from under, especially I would admit if you were a white person. Now everyone who comes into the precient without id will go thought the system with fingerprints and the whole ball of wax which is how they got a lot of guys with outstanding warrants. The proverbial arrest a guy for turnstile jumping and you catch a murderer.

Plus when you were a dirty hippie in the ‘70’s you should have been arrested on general principles.

Nichevo said...

Dear Titus,

titusscored said...

Is he hot?

I find the entire escapade tawdry and disgusting.


Shut up bitch, you know you love it.

Finn Kristiansen said...

I like how the very first response works in a Sesame Street version of Obama. Which amazes me given Rendell's constant "Pennsylvanian's are probably racists so Hillary will win" line of political analysis.

I guess we select whatever peeves us and rope it by the neck in irrational fashion to whatever we are faced with, in this case a gay man in park getting busted for likely sexual activity enhanced by substances.

Good bust, light punishment, everyone should be smiling.

ricpic said...

Rope between neck and balls...straightening up squeezes balls...sexual thrill? Is that it? Enquiring minds want to know.

TMink said...

Nichevo wrote: "One is now taught to expect gays to act this way and that"

I get your point, but my gay friends are good at staying out of the park. There are places where gay guys can meet and greet, and I guess my friends go there if that want that sort of thing. So I hold my gay friends, straight ones too, to the same sexual standards: No animals, no minors, everyone must consent, and get a room.

Trey

JohnAnnArbor said...

Well, I hope the cops didn't use the rope to lead him out of the park.

Trooper York said...

It's just like the nuns used to say in grammer school, give a boy enough rope, and he will start to play with his penis.

Jennifer said...

At first, I was reading boot as a euphemism for something else.

At first blush (har har), I agree it seems wrong to publicly humiliate him this way. But, on second thought, it seems more likely that the information was included in the arrest report as standard procedure. Were he to have some sort of rope burns, etc...the cops would certainly want to have a record explaining those, just to protect themselves. The entire arrest report is public, no? So, the blame here is likely not on the cops but his peers in the media.

Yikes, I'm turning into my father. The answer to everything seems to be the goddamned media.

dbp said...

Maybe he admitted to having drugs on him because his judgement was clouded from the use of drugs...

vnjagvet said...

Those damn rope burns will get you every time, Jennifer.

It's about time for Titus to 'splain the fine points of this arrest.

Our mere speculation isn't getting us too far.

Time to call in the experts.

cardeblu said...

Glenn: "....why did he do that? Beats me."

Ann: "I find it hard to believe Quest is stupid enough to have said "I have meth in my pocket" unless he knew they were about to find it on him."

Ummmm...there's a reason it's called "dope."

Meade said...

"Time to call in the experts."

Yeah, the sexperv experts.

Dave Hardy said...

"I find it hard to believe Quest is stupid enough to have said "I have meth in my pocket" unless he knew they were about to find it on him."

He's in the park at 5:40 AM, perhaps drunk and/or on meth. This is not likely to improve one's judgment. And using meth, let alone carrying it around, and into an area where a person shouldn't legally be, does suggest that he wasn't running all his brain cells that night.

Dave Hardy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lotta Splainin said...

When I was in college one fraternity pledge class was charged with getting signatures from sorority girls . Pencils were attached to a string which was threaded down through their shirts, into their underwear and tied around....... you get the drift.

So maybe this CNN guy was rushing the Delta house?

(I can recall the gusto with which some of the girls took that pencil and gave it a yank!)

barry said...

a bit of context:
A few months ago two foreign students I know were arrested for being in Central Park past the curfew; they also said they were walking home. They had no drugs on them, so the judge later dismissed the case.

This is a type of loitering law that can easily be defended on several grounds-- or criticized. But Quest was not being singled out.

barry said...

a bit of context:
A few months ago two foreign students I know were arrested for being in Central Park past the curfew; they also said they were walking home. They had no drugs on them, so the judge later dismissed the case.

This is a type of loitering law that can easily be defended on several grounds-- or criticized. But Quest was not being singled out.

Middle Class Guy said...

cardeblu said...
Glenn: "....why did he do that? Beats me."

Ann: "I find it hard to believe Quest is stupid enough to have said "I have meth in my pocket" unless he knew they were about to find it on him."

Ummmm...there's a reason it's called "dope."



And that is why they are called dopers.

EDH said...

Well, after all the guy's name is Dick Quest.

Freeman Hunt said...

OK, call me naive, but I really don't understand the rope, and i don't think i want to understand it...

I don't understand the rope either.

Gerard said...

Allow me to draw on my many decades looking at kinky sex as an editor of Penthouse magazine.

Ropes tied around the neck and genitals are there for autoerotic and performance enhancing purposes.

Constricting the bloodflow to the penis enables the erection to be sustained longer and even after orgasm which allows the act to keep going.

Methamphetamine has some of the same properties and is often found in tandem with such rudimentary c__k rings.

A rope around the neck can be manipulated by a partner or the person wearing it to restrict oxygen and thereby enhance the intensity and duration of the orgasm.

A dildo to hand can be used to stimulate the person possessing the dildo in some less busy zone or can be used on the partner.

The combination of meth, park, dildo, rope around neck and penis and partner suggests a moment for some rough semi-public sex.

Happens all the time in Central Park, particularly in the area called the rambles, a haunt for gay men in search of anonymous sex. The various stands of bushes and other areas near the edge of the park are also used frequently at night.

This is not from personal experience, mind you, but I did have many sources over many years.

The novels of John Rechy also outline this behavior.

Not that there's anything wrong with it.

Gerard said...

As to Ann's statement, "I find it hard to believe Quest is stupid enough to have said "I have meth in my pocket" unless he knew they were about to find it on him."....

Well, as was noted in the famous photo-essay on meth-heads, Tulsa, "Once the needle goes in it never comes out."

Crank is a very, very bad drug. One of the very first things it does is make you very paranoid. The next thing it does is make you stupid.

Why didn't Quest toss the meth in his pocket when he was busted? Given the circumstances he was likely caught with his pants down. Literally.

Why did he cop to it?

Well, as you know, before you have your pockets searched you are asked, "Do you have anything in your pockets that might injure me? Needles? Knives?" This is done to reduce the chances of an officer sticking themselves with an infected needle -- which has happened and is not a pretty thing.

As to spilling it, well, not only does meth make you paranoid and stupid, it also compels you to talk and talk and talk.....

Gerard said...

.

Bathus said...

Call me old-fashioned, but I say meth is quite worse than "mildly bad and slightly stupid." Of course, in these permissive times, none of Quest's criminal and/or perverse and self-demeaning acts can result in any substantial punishment . . . . so . . . were it not for the "rough justice" of public humiliation (thank goodness our society retains some slight capacity for that ever-so-valuable moderator of human behavior!), Quest's display would become just another instance of a semi-celebrity lowering the bar for socially acceptable conduct.

Pity Althouse if she can find no more worthy subject upon which to lavish her indignation. Better to have a hearty laugh at the freak and say, "Serves him right, getting himself caught carrying on like that out in the open!"

Revenant said...

I'll believe that the guy really said "I have meth in my pocket" when I hear him admit to it. That's a classic police-report fib for covering up an illegal search -- saying that the accused admitted to carrying drugs. After all, unless somebody happened to have a tape recorder running it is a foolproof excuse for the search.

Richard said...

"Homophobia plays a role here, too. Cops get tired of gays trysting in public places, and public identification and shaming will reduce the number of people engaging in this unsavory behavior at least a little. It's pretty much guaranteed that the CNN reporter won't repeat the experience."

That's not "homophobia" (whatever that means nowadays). That's good policing.

deepinjuncountry said...

Once you're under arrest, there's no such thing as an illegal search.

titusiscalmand relaxed said...

"Those damn rope burns will get you every time, Jennifer.

It's about time for Titus to 'splain the fine points of this arrest."

I have no idea. I don't use any props during sex and am actually not up on anything that requires props. Also, I am not into any drugs and if I meet anyone who wants to "party" I run.

I love a martini though.

Dave Schuler said...

Perhaps he was arrested for impersonating an elected official.

vnjagvet said...

I wasn't suggesting you had experience with that kinky stuff, Titus. Just certain "cultural" knowledge.

Silber Streak said...

CNN: The Most Trusted Name in Noose

Trooper York said...

Silber Streak wins the thread.

Peg C. said...

I was one of those sorority girls (in the 70s) who had frat boys come to the door during Initiation week with pencils on strings tied around the head they think with. It was somewhat amusing, emabarassing and risque. Not nearly as amusing as streaking, though.

This guy...I can't work up any outrage. He just sounds like a total idiot.

paul a'barge said...

Quest