Ruben Wills, the Queens councilman that the New York Daily News straight-up calls a “deadbeat,” showed up in court yesterday after avoiding the hassle for 15 years. Arrested on Sept. 19, 1996, on misdemeanor charges of petty larceny, criminal trespass and criminal mischief, Wills was demanded in court, via bench warrants, in February 1997, December 1997 and September 1998. As for the next 13 years, that’s not really accounted for, but after the News pointed out the strange lapse on Sunday, Wills showed right up. “He’s looking to resolve this,” his defense attorney said.
The whole thing stems from a fight with “a Chinatown business owner” — doesn’t it always — “in which [Wills] was accused of breaking into the store, damaging a wall and removing a fan and track lighting.” The prosecutor wants $6,000 in restitution, though Wills is griping over the exact amount. (To say nothing of inflation! Back in 1996 frankfurters only cost a nickel.)
Wills is due back in court on April 21, but now he has the News acting as an annoying secretary of sorts. Remember, the tabloid seems to be saying: “Wills also has a pending bench warrant in Nassau County over charges of operating a home improvement business without a license.”