Willets Point tenant business leader Arturo Olaya said he was held by police for several hours last Thursday after painting over City Councilman Hiram Monserrate’s (D-East Elmhurst) name on a truck previously used for his political campaign.
NY1 broadcast footage of Olaya painting over Monserrate’s name on the day of the City Council vote on Willets Point — one day after the councilman had agreed to support the project after negotiating a deal to boost the affordable housing component in the city’s plan.
Monserrate’s chief of staff, Julissa Ferreras, said Monserrate does not own the truck, although she would not say who did, and neither Monserrate nor the driver of the truck pressed charges over Olaya’s actions.
“Hiram never asked to have charges pressed,” she said. “The councilman definitely did not want to press charges or has [not] pressed charges. It was totally the precinct’s call. I guess if they see that a crime has been committed — and I think it was obviously the NY1 video — then they have to act.”
Ultimately, Olaya said no charges were filed against him and he was released after having his fingerprints and photograph taken. Olaya said after he asked for an attorney, the officers said they were holding him based on two previously unpaid tickets. Olaya said the officers never showed him the tickets, but eventually released him when they confirmed they had, in fact, been paid.
Police question Willets Point biz tenants’ leader
You can't even get the NYPD to respond half the time when you call them directly, but we're supposed to believe that they are sitting around watching NY1 and just decide to go pick someone up when no one wants to press charges. Yeah, okay.