December 13, 2005

Bird activist sues residents of NY building

By Jeanne King

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An advocate for New York's famed
red-tail hawks Pale Male and Lola, who live atop a posh Fifth
Avenue building, is suing members of the building's co-op board
claiming they caused him to be falsely arrested, according to
court papers made public on Tuesday.

The lawsuit by Lincoln Karim seeks $1 million in damages
from CNN news anchor Paula Zahn, who lives in the building, and
her husband, who heads the building's board of directors.

Karim, 44, was arrested during an uproar last winter over
the two hawks when they were evicted from their longtime nest
by building workers.

The nest was removed after residents complained that the
birds deposited droppings and pigeon carcasses in the elegant
building's entrance.

Following wide media attention, a nest was restored for the
hawks on the building overlooking Central Park.

Karim runs the Web site and was active in
the battle to have the nest restored.

In the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Karim, a
video engineer, said Zahn and coop President Richard Cohen
"maliciously, purposefully, and intentionally" caused him to be
arrested and put in jail.

He also said they defamed him by making "misrepresentations
to New York City Police officers." The documents gave no
further detail.

According to a criminal complaint filed last year, Karim
allegedly chased Zahn's 7-year-old son and screamed: "House of
shame! Bring back the nest!"

Zahn pressed charges and Karim was arrested on harassment
charges. He later was released and ordered to stay away from
the family, and he apologized for screaming at the child.