May 11, 2012
Who's Hotter?™: The accused well-dressed groper or the actual one?
Ladies: if you're going to be groped by a random dude on the street, would you prefer your assailant to be the man on the left, Karl Vanderwoude, who was wrongly charged with a series of assaults on women, or the man on the right, the dude in surveillance images from the Chambers St subway station who grabbed a woman's crotch on Centre St?
[more hot groper images here]
It took the NYPD three weeks to realize these two are not the same person, which in my view is pretty obvious if you share my awkward but undeniable views on the superior hotness of the real groper, the guy on the right. Sorry. Sue me. Anyone interested in a momentary, unsolicited, one-sided makeout session with a strikingly handsome fellow might get lucky if they hang out on downtown sidewalks, proffering their ass.
The not quite as handsome non-groper, Karl Vanderwoude, was arrested on a tip by someone who knew him well enough to provide the police with his phone number and the name of his roommate, but he was released earlier this week and all charges were dropped. After his name and photo were plastered all over the tabloids and local news as the "well-dressed" groper. The Post has been referring to him as the "gentleman groper", I guess because a good-looking white guy in nice clothes who grabs women's crotches on the street somehow still retains an air of respectability and decency.
Another strange aspect of the coverage of this story is a piece in today's Times which compares the misfortune of Mr. Vanderwoude and his false accusation to that of DSK and the botched police work around his charge of raping a hotel maid, noting that both men made the same much-photographed perp walk. "The ghost of DSK was hanging in the rafters," said Vanderwoude's lawyer. The Times comments, "The next wrongly accused person might not have an alibi backed up by video and e-mails. Is the Police Department making any inquiry to see what caused this wreck?"
Both examples represent high-profile NYPD failures on sex crime cases, but DSK's actual personal semen was all over a hotel room and the maid's clothes, while this poor guy was a completely innocent person paraded through the streets as a predatory ass-grabber based on faulty information. It's a bad comparison, and I'd be pissed. At least Vanderwoude wins any comparison with DSK, even if he lacks the beguilingly, distressing chiseled features of the actual groper.
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