Skooter reports 10/31/13
A topless artist and photographer, who claimed the NYPD repetitively violated her right to parade her stuff by handcuffing her, has agreed to patch up her federal lawsuit against the city for $40,000, according to court papers Wednesday.
In May, Holly Van Voast filed her complaint, professing she had been wrongfully arrested or in custody at least 10 times since 2011 while touring the areas with a painted-on mustache and a blondwig as "Harvey Van Toast, the topless paparazzo."
Van Voast, who freshly moved to Kentucky to write a book about her experiences in the Big Apple, said she barely hit the top prize.
Van Voast, who had been hospitalized several times by cops for psychiatric evaluations said: "I think the amount is very low, considering what happened to me. I can only call it abuse ... I was punished for being a creative New Yorker, for what people think New York is."
She said she settled with the city to a certain extent to avoid further negative publicity, adding, that the hostility was a nightmare to her. She just wanted to move on with her life.
Van Voast further said: "There was no way a judge or jury could be trusted with this.”
Van Voast, 47, said she was stopped on the subway, near an elementary school, in front of a "Hooters" restaurant, in the Grand Central Oyster Bar and at the Bronx Day Parade.
Van Voast’s lawyear, Ron Kuby said that the NYPD needs to be taught the proper way to handle bare breasts. He cited that the New York State Court of Appeals ruled in 1992 that women and men can legally go sans-shirt in public.
All criminal charges mentioned in the lawsuit against Van Voast were dismissed prior to the settlement.
Kuby said: "We're pleased with the city's quick settlement of this matter and hope and expect that Holly Van Voast will enjoy many years being arrest-free and top-free.”
The settlement allows the defendants to walk away without admitting guilt in the busts. However, aside from the $40,000 due to Van Voast, the city is obligated to pay for her legal fees somewhere in the figure of $37,250.
A spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department said that the City had solid defenses in these cases. Settlement for this amount for 10 incidents was merely a business decision,.