Brooklyn Photog Arrested At Queens Beach During A ‘Towel Malfunction’

To go to a nude beach or not.  Wait, is this a nude beach?  That has been the confusion about New York's Riis Park.  On July 4th, the police reminded one such Riss Park beachgoer that clothing is not optional.




On July 4, police made sweeps and arrests at a gay beach in New York City, much to the surprise of beachgoers.

At the far corner of Jacob Riis Park—a gay beach that has been a notorious LGBT safe haven for decades and where women can go topless without being leered at—police descended unannounced. 

One beachgoer, gay Brooklyn photographer Krys Fox, found himself the primary target of the holiday police sweep. Fox told the Daily Dot on Tuesday that he was photographing someone against the fence that borders the gay section of Riis, for an Instagram photo series he's been working on all summer.

While shooting the photos, Fox stood with a towel wrapped around his waist. His shorts had gotten sandy in the waves, and were drying in the sun. Suddenly, the towel loosened and dropped. Before Fox could refasten it around his waist, he was tackled to the ground by a squad of police.

Fox told the Daily Dot that police had dominated the gay beach all day—"on horses, in uniform, undercover"—and were "everywhere." But he didn't expect to be arrested, he said, because he hadn't done anything wrong.

"I just didn’t wrap my towel around my waist tight enough and it suddenly slipped down and I literally got sent to jail for it," Fox said. –



There's one account, but what do the police have to say ? has this to report about the incident.


Jacob Riis park is under the auspices of the National Park Service. Sgt. David Somma, Public Affairs Officer for United States Park Police, counters that Fox "was standing there fully nude taking pictures of his friend—officers observed him for a minute or two standing there."

He claims officers asked Fox several times to cover himself up before things escalated: "They walked over to him, asked him to put his towel back around his waist or get dressed, and he refused. They asked him again. They asked if he would walk with officers to another group of gentlemen getting tickets for urinating in public. He refused."

Somma tells us the officers were going to issue him a summons, but Fox "outright refused" to cooperate with them and refused to show them ID. "He refused to sit down on the beach and put a towel on himself," he said. "The most he would have received was a summons for public nudity, but he refused to cooperative, became combative, making a nuisance of himself, drawing attention to himself. So he was arrested and charge with disorderly conduct."

Somma stressed that this kind of incident "doesn't happen very often," and denied officers were targeting the gay part of the beach in particular: "There were extra officers working because of the July 4th weekend," he explained. "There were two plainclothes officers on the beach, others assigned to the area because of the holiday."

He did say that there is a lot of confusion over whether Riis Park is a nude beach or not—women are allowed to go topless, as they are anywhere in New York, but no one is allowed to go bottomless. Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook in NJ is the only nude beach in the area. "A lot of people think it is a nude beach, but it is not," Sgt. Somma conceded.  –


So was the towel down for a moment? Longer? 2 minutes?  Did the police ask first before tackling? We may never know

“Because I’m a stupid artist that cared about getting my shot, I kept saying ‘Look at my eyes,’” [Fox] said. “And then I ended up going to jail for it.”  –

Earlier today I had a heated debate with someone online.  It was over her being able to judge a whole scenario by just watching a 30 second clip.  What happened before?  Who is this person?  There's so much more to know besides what someone decided to start filming once the action caught their eye.  I guess we shall have to see how this unfolds. 

New York State Indecent Exposure Laws give out a varied punishment.


Penalties and Sentences

Both exposure of a person and promotion thereof are deemed violations and thereby punishable by a sentence of up to 15 days in prison or a fine of up to $250.  –


h/t:, and

3 thoughts on “Brooklyn Photog Arrested At Queens Beach During A ‘Towel Malfunction’”

  1. You know i just dont

    You know i just dont understand why people dont just follow through on what police ask. Just do it and avoid making public ass of your self. You cannot when it comes to popo! Not until laws change the cops have killed people for lessor offenses tgen this. Sad reality of the times.

  2. I would have to agree with

    I would have to agree with the author of this article. This video only shows a man being carried off the beach because he refused to cooperate and walk. 

    We have no clue by this video what happened leading up to this point. 


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