The charges against our friend and colleague, NYPPA Member and Photographer, Tim Wiencis, in that now infamous “doorman” assault case have been dismissed. A judge in a Manhattan criminal court Monday dismissed the outrageous charge against Tim indicating a lack of evidence to charge Tim with a crime or bring a case against Tim and stated that the criminal court legal matter against Tim is now over.
As most will recall, the attack on Tim was captured in pictures by Sam Costanza of the News, and witnessed by both the Daily News and Post reporters.
The “Ponzi Palace” doorman has an appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court in February to answer to the charges of attacking Tim. From the start we believed that a terrible injustice had been done to our colleague when he was arrested after the photographer was the one who was attacked while working on a news assignment. We were right. When we spoke with Tim, he praised his attorney Robert Gottlieb, who learned of the incident while reading his newspaper outside the courthouse the next morning and saw the story and photos in the New York Daily News which appeared to show the doorman attacking Tim. http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tim+Wiencis
In one of the photos, the doorman was seen standing over Tim (without any scratches on the doormans head) as the photographer lay unconscious in the street. During the attack Tim was punched in the jaw and received serious injuries including a shattered tooth, a serious thumb/wrist injury, head trauma and many bumps and bruises. The damage to his camera equipment was extensive and took several weeks to repair and replace.
We know that this has been a very frustrating and humiliating process, from the attack, to the arrest by the NYPD who arrested Tim at the hospital ER while he was being treated for his injuries. Police took his NYPD press credentials (still not returned) and took him out of the ER to the police precinct. Tim was locked in a cell at the precinct while the doorman sat comfortably in a chair in the lobby and then was allowed to go home with a desk appearance ticket. Meanwhile Tim was denied an attorney and spent that night alone and injured in a dingy cell in the basement of the Manhattan Criminal Court at 100 Centre St in Manhattan which is nicknamed “the dungeon”. The next morning Tim was brought upstairs to the courtroom, still shackled, someone showed Tim the Daily News, and he knew there was hope. Tim wanted us to be sure to thank everyone in the NYPPA on his behalf for their kindness and support over the last year.
In addition to this outrageous attack and subsequent court ordeal, Tim and his wife have also become the targets of what could at best be described as a sadistic stalker who has been posting sick malicious lies and threats all over the internet. Tim said “the stalker is obsessed with me and my family and seems to have a strange misguided sense of loyalty to a well-known television and movie actor”. Police are investigating the stalker and we hope that the scoundrel(s) are arrested soon.
“Many professional news photographers and reporters, members of the press and media have been assaulted and treated unfairly in the last few years. Something has to be done to ensure the safety of our colleagues. We all work hard to bring people the news and we all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity,” Tim said.
Quoting Tim,”What a strange year this has been. Everyone be safe out there,”
The NYPPA will be watching the case against the doorman and will keep all advised.