New York woman jailed for calling authorities too frequently

Woman claims she was calling to report drug activity

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The Independent US

A New York woman is filing a federal lawsuit after she says she was arrested for making too many calls to city authorities to report drug activity in her public-housing building in the borough of the Bronx.

According to a report from The New York Daily News, 67-year-old Arles Cepeda was arrested on 4 December 2012 after a detective with the New York City Police Department told her that she had been calling 311 too often. In the US, 311 is a hotline for residents to reach the city government.

Ms Cepeda is reported to have called the city on 44 occasions over a 15-month span and calling police twice. She claims that she was calling the city mostly to report drug activity, and occasionally other complaints, going on around her apartment at the Castle Hills Houses in New York’s northern-most borough.

Ms Cepeda and her lawyer planned to file the lawsuit on Friday, but the document was not publicly available on Friday afternoon.

On the day of her arrest, Ms Cepeda was taken to jail, fingerprinted, processed and charged with a misdemeanour, the report shows. But when she had her day in court, she was told there were no charges. Evidently, her case never reached the district attorney’s office.

NYPD officials said they will review the lawsuit once it’s filed.

Since her arrest, Ms Cepeda has not called the city or police.


Follow Payton Guion on Twitter @PaytonGuion.