Sunday, March 30, 2014

New York: NYPD Unamused by Tourists Who File a False Police Report, Three Arrested in Central Park

According to The Gothamist, the roughly 54 million who visit The Big Apple annually know all too well that some folks are often up to no good.

Two Finnish visitors and an Australian tourist, in separate incidents, decided that a great way of underwriting their trip was through the filing of false police reports with an intent to engage in insurance fraud.

One Central Park NYPD officer commented that this is a common tactic seen by far too many tourists, most of whom get caught up in their lies to deceive police officers. 

COMMENT: According to "A Walk in The Park," three tourists—two from Finland and one from Australia—made up false armed robbery reports in two separate incidents just in the past two weeks. 

Cops say Finnish tourists Pinja Pesonen, 27, and Antti Vuorisalo, 34, walked into the Central Park precinct a little before 1300 hours on Tuesday (March 25) and claimed that two white men had grabbed one of their handbags while they walked along East Drive near East 74th Street inside Central Park.

The women filed a written report and drove around the area with cops looking for the suspects. When cops couldn't find any witnesses or surveillance camera footage, they pressed the couple for more details at which point the two recanted their statements and admitted they had lied. The result: They were both arrested and charged with filing a false police report. 

Please note: In New York State offenders can face either a misdemeanor which include up to a year in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. The statutory citations include New York Penal Code Sections 240.50, 240.55 and 240.60.

Moreover, offenders can also be charged with a felony in cases where the defendant has been convicted previously for filing a false police report. 

Finally, depending on the circumstances, persons falsely accused may have a cause of action against the person for defamation (libel and/or slander) and negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

In the second case, on March 16th, Australian tourist Larisa Ryan, 41, told cops she had been robbed of her iPad and iPhone at 72nd Street and West Drive. When officers again couldn't find any evidence to support her claim she admitted as having lied about the robbery with the plan to collect an insurance payment. 

As I have said so often in the past, if it is your intention to break the law in a foreign country...don't!