From the Villager:
Following his arrest on the High Line for selling art without a permit on Nov. 21, street-artist activist Robert Lederman is now working on his latest creation — a lawsuit for millions in damages that he plans to file against the Friends of the High Line and the city.
Meanwhile, the Friends of the High Line and the Parks Department are both being tighter-lipped than Tiger Woods, refusing to simply say whether it’s legal or illegal to vend art without a permit on the new elevated park.
Lederman said just 30 seconds after he had erected his display around 9 a.m., he was confronted by a High Line staff member. A few minutes later, he was surrounded by eight of them.
“All of them had High Line uniforms with High Line logos on them, baseball caps with High Line logos and walkie-talkies with High Line logos,” he said.
According to Geoffrey Croft, of NYC Park Advocates, an outspoken critic of the new park, these employees are known as High Line Rangers, and are paid for by Friends of the High Line.
Then at 3:30 p.m., a city Park Enforcement Patrol officer, whose nameplate read “B. Joseph” issued Lederman three noncriminal Environmental Control Board summonses: for disorderly conduct; “failure to comply with a direction prohibition on sign”; and “unauthorized/failure to have display comply with required permit.”
He showed the officer the newspaper articles on his lawsuit victories, and said the officer “seemed to believe it himself,” yet still wrote the tickets.
The PEP finally handcuffed him after he wouldn’t go away. Many tourists witnessed the arrest, Lederman added, noting some were standing with their “mouths open” in concern, as the officer and Rangers — wrongly — warned them it was illegal to videotape the arrest.