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Hawk fan charged with harassing CNN's Zahn

Actress Mary Tyler Moore, at a Manhattan rally Tuesday night, vows to "get to the bottom" of fellow hawk advocate Lincoln Karim's arrest.Kathy Willens / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

An advocate for two red-tailed hawks evicted last week from their nest at a luxury Manhattan apartment building was arrested and charged with harassing CNN anchor Paula Zahn, who lives in the building, and her family, law enforcement sources said.

Lincoln Karim, 43, was arrested Tuesday by plainclothes detectives as he prepared to lead a demonstration outside Zahn’s Fifth Avenue building across from Central Park.

Karim, a video engineer for Associated Press Television News who was on vacation at the time, was charged with multiple counts of aggravated harassment and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, said Paul Browne, spokesman for the police department.

Browne did not identify the complainant, but three law enforcement sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified her as Zahn.

Arraignment scheduled
Karim, who was due to be arraigned Wednesday, was charged with harassing Zahn, her husband, Richard Cohen, or their two sons, ages 7 and 11, in four incidents outside the building, the sources said. Cohen is president of the co-op building’s board. Like many apartment buildings in New York City, the building is run by a cooperative and a board of directors.

CNN did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Karim was being represented by a lawyer arranged for him by actress Mary Tyler Moore, another resident of the building and a fellow advocate for the hawks.

A celebrated red-tailed hawk evicted last week from his upscale New York digs is getting professional design help December 14, 2004 for his bid to move back to the ritzy Upper East Side apartment building where his nest was abruptly removed from its site last week after complaints from building residents about falling debris. The red-tailed hawk known as Pale Male (R) watches as his mate Lola (L) lands on their nest on the cornice of the Fifth Avenue apartment building in New York in this undated file photo. Pale Male has lived on the 12th floor perch since 1993. REUTERS/Lincoln Karim/Handout NO SALES NO ARCHIVEX80001

Laurie Morris, a spokeswoman for the Associated Press, said: “We take this matter seriously, and we’re trying to learn more.”

The arrest came shortly before the building’s co-op board and the Audubon Society announced an agreement to restore the pigeon spikes that had held the nest of Pale Male and his mate, Lola, in place until a week ago.

The nest was removed from its 12th-floor perch after an engineer said it was causing the building’s facade to crumble, and that debris and the occasional squirrel, pigeon or rat carcass flung out of the nest after feeding posed a risk to pedestrians.

‘All parties were pleased’
“All parties were pleased by the outcome,” Cohen said of the agreement in a statement given to reporters Tuesday.

E.J. McAdams, executive director of NYC Audubon, said architects hired by the co-op board have developed new nesting area designs that could return the birds to their high-rent home by the end of the week.

Besides the spikes, the new design will feature a guardrail around the 12th-floor window cornice to address safety concerns.

While there was no guarantee what Pale Male and Lola would do, McAdams predicted that they would build a new nest on the same spot.

The two red-tailed hawks, who have been the subject of a book and at least two television documentaries, have remained nearby in Central Park since their nest was destroyed.