[Photo Source: Indian American deli manager Jayendra Baldevbhai has sued the New York Police Department for falsely accusing him of selling fake Burberry umbrellas. (pixabay.com photo)] Also Read - Farmers Protest: Heavy Traffic Jam At Yamuna Expressway as Agitating Farmers Block Road
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By India West Staff
It looks like the New York Police Department is in need of a refresher course in high-end fashion. How else would one explain their lapse in confusing the Conch brand for Burberry?
May 20, 2015 was like any other day for Nolita, New York-based deli manager Jayendra Baldevbhai until the NYPD cops showed up at his store and accused him of selling counterfeitBurberry umbrellas. The catch, though, was that they were Conch umbrellas, but the cops mistook the Tartan plaid patterned design of the umbrella to be that of the British brand.
Baldevbhai was charged with third-degree trademark counterfeiting — a misdemeanor — but after three court appearances, the Manhattan District Attorney dropped the charge, according to a report in New York Daily News.
The Indian American manager has now sued the NYPD over what he says was a false arrest.
The Daily reported that Baldevbhai was working at Spring Mart when several plainclothes officers walked into the shop and meandered around for some 30 minutes, scrutinizing the store’s many items.
Among the items was an umbrella with a black, red, and gray Tartan plaid print, sold under the “prominently-affixed label ‘CONCH UMBRELLAS AMERICA CORP,’” court papers say.
The classic Burberry umbrella, on the other hand, features a “light tan, dark tan, light brown and dark brown” pattern, the suit says.
The cops did not have a warrant, but did carry an affidavit from a Burberry representative stating the company did hold a trademark for a specific Tartan plaid pattern.
It did not, however, single out the pattern on the umbrella sold at Spring Mart, the suit contends.
The 38-year-old father of three was deeply shaken after his arrest. “First I thought about my family: What are they going to think about me? And my community, what are they going to think?” the report quoted him as saying. “They’re putting a hard working guy in trouble for no reason.”
Baldevbhai’s lawyer, Samuel Cohen, said they hope the lawsuit prevents others from experiencing similar arrests.
The report goes on to say that in a statement, the city Law Department said, “The allegations will be reviewed,” and “we will not comment before all the facts are in.”
This story was originally published on India West.