12/06/2000

NYPD officer suspended for alleged
squad car escort of bus
with topless women and naked men
[NEW YORK, NY]

(NEW YORK) -- The NYPD suspended a cop yesterday who allegedly used his squad car to provide a police escort for a tour bus filled with topless women.

Officer Michael Minervini, a cop for four years, was charged with "engaging in conduct prejudicial to the good order of the department" after he led the bus, filled mostly with topless women and a half-dozen naked men, through packed Manhattan streets Thursday afternoon.

Witnesses said the cop had the squad car's lights flashing for the women, who apparently were doing the same for passing pedestrians.

Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said a cop videotape shows that Minervini "was evidently leading the bus or escorting it in some fashion."

Minervini, 30, who was assigned to evidence collection duties with the Manhattan South Task Force, could not be reached for comment.

But Stuart London, a police union lawyer who is representing him, said, "His actions will be viewed as reasonable. He will be vindicated when all the facts are examined fully." London declined to elaborate.

Kerik said he dispatched police units to track down the bus, operated by Voyeurbus.com, after hearing that the adventure was being broadcast live over the "Opie and Anthony" radio program on WNEW-FM 102.7.

"I thought it was a hoax. We soon found out it wasn't," Kerik said. The women, he said, were "basically dancing and flirting with a number of people on the outside."

Police stopped the bus at 6:15 p.m. on Sixth Ave., between 41st and 42nd Sts., and arrested 15 people aboard, including the driver, six women who were charged with disorderly conduct and the producer of the radio show.

Kerik said the bus had traveled from downtown Manhattan to midtown starting about 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

A witness told the Daily News that he saw a police car escorting the bus on Church St. around 5:40 p.m. The cop was leaning out the window, snapping pictures, as he drove, the witness said.

Opie, whose real name is Gregg Hughes, told The News that the event, which had been promoted for several days, attracted hundreds of listeners who lined Manhattan streets along the bus' route.

As for the police escort, Hughes said, "It just happened. I don't know how. He was just escorting the bus. . . . One minute we have a police escort back to the [radio] station, the next minute all hell broke loose."

Cop Gets Suspended For Nudie Bus Escort By Frank Lombardi And Richard Weir Daily News Staff Writers December 2, 2000, Saturday Sports Final Edition Copyright 2000 Daily News, L.P. Daily News (New York) December 2, 2000, Saturday Sports Final Edition Terms and Conditions Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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