As I was led through the subway station in handcuffs Tuesday night, a young girl called after me, “Oooh, undercover got you, didn’t they? What you did, ma?” Good question! All I did was drink a beer from a paper bag while waiting for the F train. Trashy habit, and technically illegal, but who cares, right? In fact, the NYPD cares very much. What followed was twenty-four hours in two jails, hours in handcuffs, and eventual dismissal in that three-ring circus known as Night Court. Everything I need to know about life, I learned in the female prisoner holding pen in the Tombs.
After taking away my beer, the cute-but-weathered strawberry-blonde lady cop who arrested me put me in a van with two other quality-of-life violators: an old homeless Polish man named Bogden, and a seventeen-year-old black kid named Kevia. Both were arrested for “outstretch”: taking up more than one seat on the subway, or lying down on the seats.
You can be put in jail for taking up more than one seat in a New York subway???