It’s safe to say that physically assaulting a topless woman in Times Square was not on Mark Walters’ New York City bucket list.
The Bank of America executive presumably had plans to see “The King and I” on Broadway before wading into the chaos of Times Square on Wednesday evening to befriend its infamous street performers.
Maybe he’d have his photo taken with The Naked Cowboy, or Elmo, or even one of the bare-breasted “desnudas” he’d seen in the papers, before Mayor Bill de Blasio has them all cuffed and whisked away.
After all, 46-year-old Walters had come from sleepy Charlotte, North Carolina, where BoFA is headquartered, to the city that never sleeps. Back home, there are no topless women fleecing people for their money outside (though there are plenty doing it indoors.)
Given this rare opportunity, Walters did what any sensible senior employee at the second biggest bank in the country would do: He cozied up to two of the half-nude panhandlers, their breasts painted with patriotic colors, for a touristy photo op.
Alas, the photo op was foiled when he accused one of the desnudas, 32-year-old Lourdes Carrasquillo, of snatching his wallet, police told the New York Post. It’s unclear how she would have pulled off this sleight of hand, unless she deftly tucked it into her g-string. But Walters was so convinced that he grabbed her hair and shoved her to the ground. Another desnuda claimed he socked Carrasquillo in the face.
One of Times Square’s costumed performers, the Silver Cowboy, reportedly rushed to break up the scuffle, as did a uniformed officer nearby. Police found no evidence—nothing in her g-string or anywhere else—that Carrasquillo had pickpocketed Walters.
Walters was arrested at the scene and charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment. (Court documents say he “struck, shoved, and kicked” Carrasquillo). He was arraigned on Thursday in Manhattan Criminal Court, where Judge Felicia Mennin set his bail at $1,500, despite objections from his lawyer, Gurmeet Singh, who reportedly argued that bond wouldn’t have been necessary if “these scantily clad women” weren’t involved. (Singh could not be reached for comment.)
Singh also claimed that Carrasquillo’s posse of desnudas kicked his client, and that the paint on Walters’ shirt was a clear indication that the Silver Cowboy had assaulted him. Incidentally, Walters was the only person arrested and charged that night.
While Bank of America declined to comment on Walters’s salary or misadventures in Manhattan beyond confirming that “he is an employee with the bank,” $1,500 bail is ostensibly manageable for Walters. His job title on LinkedIn is Technology Business Executive at BoFA. His base salary is roughly $213,000, with $155,000 in additional compensation tossed in, according to Glassdoor, a recruiting website with a database of 8 million company reviews, including salary reports from employees at those companies.
Carrasquillo, who was sent to the hospital on Wednesday evening with minor injuries, could not be reached for comment.
Walters is due back in court on September 8.