Krys Fox was spending the 4th of July at Riis Beach in Queens, New York, a location known for its LGBT friendliness and tolerance of nude sunbathers.
Fox was photographing a friend at the beach when his towel reportedly slipped. Plain-clothed police quickly surrounded and tackled him to the ground.
“I thought it was a clothing optional beach,” Fox told DNA Info.
The 37-year-old described the area as his ‘special place’ as he got married there and frequently visits it during the summer.
He continued: “They shoved my face in the sand in front of hundreds of people, I was humiliated. I got an arm around my neck and they threwe me to the floor and was literally surrounded by like, 11 cops.”
“They didn’t read me my rights, they handcuffed me.”
A video of the scene shows four police officers carrying Fox who yells for help as his hands are cuffed behind his back.
According to Towleroad, nude sunbathing was outlawed in New York state in 1983, but the beach has since become a safe destination for anyone wanting to sunbath nude.
Fox revealed that he spent three hours in a jail cell and was charged with disorderly conduct and public nudity.
Then yesterday (July 5), Fox posted a photo of himself on Facebook where he is seen relaxing on a beach. Alongside it he wrote, “I’m still an American. And I still love my country. No matter what. But I’m going offline for a while: I’m overwhelmed and need to rest.”
Gay New York Senator Brad Hoylman has since backed Fox, heavily criticising authorities for for their heavy-handed policing and even accusing them of “harassment”.
“Jacob Riis Park has been a safe and peaceful haven for LGBT beachgoers for decades. I find any harassment of beach-goers at Jacob Riis and the overwhelming display of force demonstrated by the United States Park Police yesterday to be utterly repugnant,” he said.
“It also seems to be an enormous diversion of resources. I’d hazard a guess that our police have more pressing concerns in this day and age than arresting a nude sunbather at a gay beach.”
“The National Parks Police should be ashamed. Just last week we designated Stonewall as a National monument. Based on news accounts, I hope the police apologise to Mr. Fox and any pending charges against him are dropped.”