Criminal Justice

Lawyer Charged in Starbucks Attack

An anarchist book fair reportedly was the catalyst for a march from the Washington Square Park area, in New York City, to a nearby Starbucks at Astor Place on Saturday night.

There members of the crowd of 150 or so persons used metal pipes to attack the coffee chain’s windows (without doing any damage, some news reports say, since they were specially constructed to withstand such abuse) and push back against responding city police officers, according to the New York Daily News, New York Post and the New York Times.

Frightened customers reportedly dived under tables. The Times says several windows were cracked in the attack.

Among three suspects arrested in the incident was a New York lawyer, 41-year-old Alexander Penley. He was charged with assault, menacing and inciting to riot. USA Today quoted Penley in a November story about the “Occupy” movement.

The articles don’t include any comment from Penley or his counsel. However, associate legal director Christopher T. Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union told the Times “it’s extraordinarily rare for there to be riotous conduct” in protests in the city.

Additional coverage:

Gothamist: “Occupy Protester Arrested For Allegedly Assaulting NYPD Officer With Metal Pipe”

New York Daily News (opinion): “Anarchists who attacked a Starbucks must be prosecuted to the utmost”

Updated at 2:08 p.m. to link to USA Today coverage.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.