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Vered Arrested After Disturbance at Shinnecock Film Screening

Thu, 02/13/2020 - 10:17
Vered at an event last April
Durell Godfrey

A former East Hampton Village gallery owner caused a scene at a screening of "Conscience Point," a documentary about the Shinnecock Indian Nation's decades-long battle for land preservation, at a restaurant in Sag Harbor Village Wednesday evening. The night ended with police hauling her away in handcuffs. 

A video shows shows Vered, an 80-year-old Sag Harbor resident and art consultant, being dragged out of Tutto Il Giorno on Main Street, screaming at Sag Harbor Village police officers, who arrested her after she kicked one of them. 

Police said they were called to the restaurant by Juan Navarro, its manager, who told them there was a highly intoxicated woman disrupting other guests at an event. Vered, whose real name is Ruth Kalb, had been asked to leave. HamptonsFilm was hosting its monthly dinner-and-movie series at the restaurant. About 75 people attended. 

During a question-and-answer session at about 8:30 p.m., Vered stood up and shocked the audience, according to those in attendance. Tela Troge, a lawyer and member of the Shinnecock Nation, said Vered "went on a horrible rant about Indians and victimization and how she was proud to have white privilege and called herself the 'queen of white privilege,' and she wouldn't be made to feel bad for Indians because she works so hard and maybe we should get jobs."  

Ms. Troge yelled for her sit down. Later, other speakers who followed apologized for her behavior. 

Mr. Navarro tried to escort Vered to the front door, according to a police report, but "she stopped and began to disturb other patrons," the report said. When he asked her to keep moving, she allegedly "pushed his face with her finger." He asked the hostess to hand him the phone, and he called 911. 

The two responding officers asked Vered to leave the restaurant, but she refused. While they were escorting her outside, she struck an officer in the chest with her arm and then kicked him in his left knee. The officers placed her on the ground, told her she was under arrest, and put her in handcuffs. She screamed "Shame!" several times. 

Vered was charged with resisting arrest, two counts of second-degree harassment and one count of trespass, both violations, at 9:30 p.m. She was released from police headquarters with an appearance ticket and is due in Sag Harbor Village Justice Court on Feb. 28, at which time she will be arraigned. 

Ms. Troge said the evening was ruined, even though the panel discussion continued. "At first I was worried because I thought her violent reaction to the film was reflective of the audience as a whole," she said. "After other people spoke and apologized for the actions of their ancestors towards our ancestors, I realized she was just an outlier."

This was not Vered's first brush with the law. East Hampton Village police arrested her in 2008 after she refused to stop serving drinks at the opening of a Steven Klein exhibition at a gallery she owned at the time. She was also charged with resisting arrest. 

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