Councilwoman Inna Vernikov says charges filed against suspect in creepy TV kiss

Barry Williams/New York Daily News/TNS

Councilwoman Inna Vernikov said Friday that a creepy suspect with a long criminal record had been charged after giving her a kiss on the cheek while she was giving a TV interview in Brighton Beach last week.

The Brooklyn Republican received the perplexing peck from a passerby in a light blue newsboy hat, according to video posted on social media last week.

Vernikov pulled away from the man, and said, “What the [expletive]?” The man fled after the kiss.

Vernikov, 38, said Friday that the suspect has previous arrests related to alleged assaults, domestic violence, public intoxication and crack cocaine possession.

“This wasn’t just some isolated incident,” Vernikov said in a video published on social media. “He could have actually tried to choke me. He could have had a knife on him.”

She did not identify the suspect, and her office did not immediately provide more information.

The Police Department said it received a report Tuesday that a 38-year-old woman had been kissed by an individual at the Brighton Beach subway station on Aug. 16.

The NYPD said Friday that it had no information about a suspect, and that no arrest had been made.

After the incident on the busy Brighton Beach block, Council colleagues expressed shock and voiced support for Vernikov.

Councilwoman Lynn Schulman, a Queens Democrat, said on social media that the kiss was “abhorrent and disgusting.”

“Sadly, this type of unacceptable behavior typically happens to women, even in 2023,” Schulman wrote, adding that she was “standing with” Vernikov.