Lawsuit filed over dancing arrest in NYC

July 8, 2012 at 12:58 PM
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NEW YORK, July 8 (UPI) -- A New York dentist and her boyfriend say they have sued the city on the grounds they were wrongly arrested for dancing on a subway platform.

Dr. Caroline Stern, 55, and George Hess, claimed they were handcuffed and locked up for 23 hours after a late-night confrontation with police a year ago that began when they started dancing to steel drum music while waiting for their train.

"We were doing the Charleston," Stern told the New York Post.

Stern said she and Hess were approached by two police officers on the nearly empty Columbus Circle platform. The officers told the couple they weren't allowed to carry on in such fashion in a subway station, they said.

Things went from bad to worse when Stern was unable to produce an identification card and Hess decided to record the incident on video, the Post reported. "We brought out the camera, and that's when they called backup," she said. "That's when eight ninja cops came from out of nowhere."

Stern and Hess were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest; however, the charges were later dropped. The couple then went to federal court and filed suit seeking unspecified damages.

"If you are surrounded by good musicians, it is going to make you want to dance," Stern said. "The musician who is playing is legal, but ... we're illegal?"

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