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."Glenn says:
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.
WELL, THIS IS EMBARRASSING...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.
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!
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.