January 27, 2005 in Nation/World

Charges against hawk activist dropped

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Prosecutors dropped charges Wednesday against a man accused of stalking and harassing CNN anchor Paula Zahn over two red-tailed hawks whose nest had been removed from the Manhattan apartment building where she lives.

Prosecutors said Zahn declined to proceed with the case against Lincoln Karim, a video engineer for Associated Press Television News who was among scores of people who protested the removal of the hawks, Pale Male and Lola, from the Fifth Avenue luxury high-rise.

Karim, 43, was arrested last month on stalking, harassment and child endangerment charges. Zahn, who lives in the building with her husband, developer Richard Cohen, had filed a complaint after Karim allegedly chased her family near her home and reduced her 7-year-old son to tears by screaming, “House of shame! Bring back the nest!”

Around the time Karim was arrested, an agreement was announced between the apartment building’s co-op board and advocates for the hawks allowing their nest to be rebuilt. The hawks have since been spotted roosting in their new nest.

A judge had previously ordered Karim to stay at least 1,000 feet from Zahn’s home. Zahn understood that dropping the charges would mean an end to the order of protection, said Barbara Thompson, spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

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