Yonathan Souid, 23, a Jewish college student from France who arrived in New York for a Chabad-sponsored Shabbaton in Crown Heights last weekend, was arrested by the NYPD for scaling the Brooklyn Bridge for a photo shoot.
The arrest occurred just hours before Yonatan’s scheduled flight back to Paris.
From the NY Daily News:
The latest European to be busted for scaling the Brooklyn Bridge is a tourist, not a terrorist, his lawyer said Monday. Yonathan Souid, 23, didn’t know that climbing the historic span was prohibited, said attorney James Medows.
“He acted like a foolish tourist,” Medows said of his client’s alleged actions, which got him arrested Sunday when snapping photos from the bridge’s beam.
Souid tolds cop he just wanted to take pictures, court records say, but prosecutors weren’t swayed by his passion. “It will not be tolerated,” Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said in a statement about the unlawful stunt — the third such incident in five months. “This is not a game and we will be seeking jail time,” the DA said.
Souid arrived to the U.S. on Nov 6. along with hundreds of Jewish students in conjunction with a conference of the Chabad movement.
“The boy loves to take pictures,” said Israel Shemtov, who hosted the visitor at his Crown Heights home over the weekend. “He’ll go anywhere.”
But after Souid went to a place in the city a photographer cannot go — hours before his flight back home was scheduled — he’s being forced to prolong his stay. He had to turn in his passport and was ordered back in court Dec. 9.