Olek Awaits Sentencing in London Courts

Posted on: October 4th, 2012 at 6:18 am by

[Source: Olek]

It could be a little while before we see Olek around the Lower East Side. Exactly one year after the mysterious altercation went down, the verdict was read. In defending herself from a “very drunk, big Russian man,” London courts ultimately found the Polish-born crochet artist guilty on Section 20 – “unlawful wounding without intent.” Trial was in early September, and the sentencing date was initially scheduled for yesterday; it was postponed one month to November 19.

Back in December 2011, we published Olek’s plea to raise funds to help cover her legal expenses for the trial. Due to the nature of the case, details surrounding the event were not publicly available at the time. Today we finally have a more complete picture of what happened that October. Below are some excerpts from her account:

I had just left my friend’s place in London, jumping on a public bike and getting to the Southward Crown Court with bag full of yarn.

My crocheted version of Martin Luther King’s “Injustice anywhere is a treat to justice everywhere” is more personal than one can imagine. I was found guilty on Section 20, which is unlawful wounding without intent. I was found guilty on my action to simply protect myself from being injured by a very drunk, big Russian man.

On October 6th 2011, I went for one glass of wine with a filmmaker from Australia who was filming my crocheted action for a charity event earlier that evening. A man approached me from behind by sexually touching me on my upper thigh. With what I know now, I should have reported him right away, but not wanting to get someone in trouble I told him to leave me alone. 40 minutes later I was arrested.

We were asked to leave the wine bar as it was closing. It was 11pm. I was chatting with a few people in the smoking area of the bar when the Russian male pointed at me and walked towards me. He was celebrating 10 years of working in London School of Economics and I guess I was included in his plans for the evening.

He was noticeably drunk, muttering and stumbling and standing very close to me. Initially I asked him to “go away” politely. This had no effect. I told the male to “fuck-off.” It had no effect as the Russian male ignored me and remained behaving in a creepy fashion. Therefore I asked him if he did not understand it in English and asked whether he would he like me to repeat it in Russian, and subsequently did so.

This appeared to annoy the male. And the situation unravelled as usual. Once the male knew he has no chance he started being offensive and aggressive. In Russian he called me a ‘prostitute’ and a ‘whore’ and said, “I would be lucky to get a male like him” as well as other similar things. In response to this I again said “fuck-off” and poured my glass of red wine over his head, which also went down his clothes.

The male became angry and appeared embarrassed. I wanted him to go away and leave me alone.

Suddenly and without warning I saw a hand in my face and the male wrenched my eyeglasses off of my face. It happened quickly and initially blurred my vision. I complained and asked for the glasses back; he threw them over a shed-like building and out of the grounds of the bar. He said, “I will teach you a lesson.” At this I was scared. The male was visibly very drunk. He reached to his right either to put something down or pick something up. I was concerned by what he would do next and whether he was arming himself.

I had little time to think. It seemed like a few folks tried to stop him. With the situation escalating, I instinctively punched out with my right hand not thinking about the glass in my hand. I hit him, the glass broke. The intention was to defend myself.

Read more about Olek’s struggle here.

Recent Stories

To Live in a Tiny Lofted Studio Behind this LES Gallery

Behind the non-descript MAW gallery on Henry Street is a cramped cubbyole studio. And it can now be yours. It appears that the gallery listed the 300 square-foot studio on Craigslist, and currently seeks transient tenants. The furnished apartment features a lofted bed, futon, “exposed brick and a minimalist design.” There is also a doorway […]

Citi Bike Dock Returns to Straus Square After Month-Long Hiatus

Motor vehicle traffic through Straus Square may have terminated, but the bike share just resumed. In other words, the Citi Bike dock returned to the new pedestrian plaza yesterday after a month-long hiatus. The brief reprieve was timed to coincide with the recent resurfacing of the roadway between Rutgers Street and East Broadway. Crews installed […]

MUD Coffee Returned to Astor Place this Week with Astor Plate Kiosk

With years of construction upgrades finally in the rearview, the redesigned Astor Place just brought more food options to the area. And with familiar faces. MUD Coffee (sans truck) made its return this week as part of a new snack stand by Perry Mallas called Astor Plate. The Village Alliance, the business improvement district behind […]

Not a Done Deal: Pols Push City Planning to Deny Waterfront Supertalls in Two Bridges

Elected officials and vocal community leaders are rallying this morning against three new supertall towers poised to invade the Two Bridges coastline (10am, 80 Rutgers Slip). The group, which counts Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Borough President Gale Brewer, will reaffirm the position that the developments are not a done deal. It’s a stunt meant to […]

Schiller’s Liquor Bar Closes for Good on August 13

Storied McNally haunt, Schiller’s Liquor Bar, has less than a month to live. Employees are telling customers that the last day in business is probably August 13. As previously reported, the fourteen-year-old bar has fallen victim to a substantial rent hike. Management announced the imminent closure back in May with an email blast explaining the […]