New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov has filed a police report after an incident where she was kissed without consent during a TV interview in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. The Republican lawmaker revealed the update in a post on social media platform X, stating that she learned of the perpetrator’s identity through an anonymous tip. Vernikov claimed that the man has a history of assault and domestic violence offenses.
The incident occurred last Wednesday while Vernikov was being interviewed on the street by CBS News. A stranger approached her from behind and pecked her on the cheek. Vernikov described the incident as “creepy” and stated that she felt violated. Video footage of the incident shows her expressing shock and yelling at the man as he walked away.
After obtaining the man’s name and address, Vernikov pointed him out in a police photo lineup. The NYPD confirmed that a report was made but stated that no arrests have been made thus far. Vernikov stated that the man has been charged with forcible touching, a misdemeanor offense.
Vernikov further shared on social media that the man has a lengthy criminal record, including arrests for assault, domestic violence, possession of crack cocaine, and other crimes. She expressed her concern for victims of sexual assault and harassment, stating that the incident made her reflect on the issue.
Following the incident, Vernikov received support from her colleagues and phone calls from the governor’s and mayor’s offices. The councilwoman expressed appreciation for the outpouring of support, particularly from those across the political aisle.