Brooklyn councilwoman Inna Vernikov screams ‘what the f***’ as creep kisses her on the cheek during CBS interview
- Vernikov, 31, was speaking to CBS New York on Thursday in her constituency, talking in the Brighton Beach district of Brooklyn
- A stranger approached her while she was speaking to the camera and kissed her on the cheek, then laughed and strolled away, leaving Vernikov in shock
- Her colleagues on the council – Democrats and Republicans, like her – said they were angered by the man’s actions and expressed support for Vernikov
A New York City councilwoman was left reeling after a man walked by her TV interview and kissed her on the cheek – before she yelled out: ‘What the f*** was that?!’
Inna Vernikov, 38, was speaking to CBS New York on Thursday in her constituency – the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn – when she was interrupted.
The Republican can be seen recoiling in horror after a man passing by kissed her cheek, then walked away smiling.
Vernikov, a Ukrainian-born attorney who was raised in Brooklyn, said the incident was ‘creepy’. She did not say whether she reported it to the police as an assault.
Inna Vernikov, 38, was speaking to CBS New York on Thursday when a stranger kissed her on the cheek
The councilwoman recoiled in horror, but her assailant laughed and walked away
‘Not the kind of love I expect from constituents!’ she tweeted.
‘Very creepy moment.’
She thanked her colleagues for condemning the man’s actions.
Majority Leader Keith Powers said: ‘Very gross behavior. Hope my colleague @InnaVernikov is okay.’
Marjorie Velasquez, a Democrat representing the eastern Bronx, sent her condolences to Vernikov.
‘This disgusting behavior is unfortunately all too common in the day to day lives of women,’ said Velasquez.
‘We can not let sexual assault become a normalized part of our public interactions.
‘I hope @NYPD can track this assailant down and bring swift justice.’
Erik Bottcher, a Democrat whose district includes the West Village, Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, said he was saddened by the man’s actions.
‘This is totally unacceptable and the kind of thing that women have to deal with far too often, unfortunately,’ he said.
Lynn Schulman, a Democrat for Queens, called the incident ‘abhorrent and disgusting.’
She added: ‘Hope the assailant is found. Sadly, this type of unacceptable behavior typically happens to women, even in 2023.’
Robert Holden, a Republican representing Queens, said: ‘This isn’t funny in the slightest. It’s amazing how many creeps are walking the streets!’
Selvena Brooks-Powers, a Democrat representing Queens, said it was shocking that the man felt he could act with impunity.
‘This is gross and scary!’ she said. ‘And, the fact that this person was so comfortable to kiss a complete stranger while being recording is alarming.
‘We have to call out this behavior and hold people like that accountable.’