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

275South-rendering
L+M Development Shows Off Renderings for Lands End I Facelift on South Street

Take a look. This is the glitzy new facelift awaiting the Land’s End I housing complex at 275 South Street, down on the Lower East Side waterfront. It’s an update that comes just a year after changing hands. L+M Development Partners picked up the nineteen-story property last February for an undisclosed sum, with the plan to “make […]

les-burglary-suspects
Stolen Property from LES Restaurant Burglaries Last Week Revealed; Suspects Still Sought

Last week, we were first to report that a number of restaurants on Broome Street were burglarized in an early-morning heist. Turns out the same suspects were behind more than just the handful of businesses near the corner of Ludlow Street. A total of six establishments in Chinatown/Lower East Side were hit in April, but […]

242broome-gallery
Essex Crossing Site 1 Condos Pimped with Orchard Street ‘Design Gallery’

​With foundation work underway and the start of superstructure activity at Site 1 near, the time is apparently ripe to begin pimping the condo component of Essex Crossing. This fourteen-story building represents the only condos up for grabs in phase one of the overall project. To get the word out, Delancey Street Associates (the consortium of […]

262bowery-gallery
SoHo’s Westwood Gallery Flocks to 262 Bowery

The Bowery just added another gallery to its growing ranks. Bolstered by the presence of several showrooms and the International Center of Photography, the area is ripe for the picking. Next in line is SoHo’s Westwood Gallery. The twenty-one-year-old Westwood Gallery is poised to move into 262 Bowery. Build-out has been underway for a few […]

orchard-social-shah
Michael Shah Plans ‘Orchard Street Social’ Co-Working Space and Bar for Beckenstein’s Building

Stanton Street Social, meet Orchard Street Social.​ Controversial landlord Michael Shah purchased the iconic “Beckenstein Building” at 130 Orchard Street last August for $28 million. The luxury rental property was quickly repositioned as “The Beckenstein,” and teamed up with Samy Mahfar’s Real New York brokerage for leasing. And now Shah is planning nightlife on the 5,000 […]