Tompkins Square Park Chess Table Arrest Was for Another Crime Entirely


Yesterday, Gothamist brought us the story posted on the blog Neither More Nor Less of Lisa, a woman who claimed she was arrested for sitting at a Tompkins Square Park chess table without playing chess, allegedly in violation of a sign that states, “These tables are for chess and checkers only.” Not, it seems, a big deal — is this really a police concern? NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Paul Browne cleared the matter up for us.

He wrote in an email:

She was arrested on an outstanding larceny warrant for stealing a woman’s handbag in Gramercy Park, not for park rule violations. She was also wanted on six other outstanding warrants in for theft of services in Manhattan and Queens.

He added later that the woman, Lisa, has a court appearance scheduled for June 23.

So, mystery solved. That said, Browne said in a follow-up email that “park rules may make it a summonsable violation” to sit at those tables for a purpose other than playing chess or checkers, but reiterated that the woman in question was arrested for outstanding warrants.