UPDATE (May 12, 2013): It appears as if Lisa Concepcion made up the whole story about kneeing a man in the balls after he photographed her topless on South Beach, insinuating that she did so as a social media experiment to see who would fall for her story.
This from a woman who describes herself as a “No BS Blogger.”
She blocked me from her personal page, apparently unhappy at the response my readers took to her story, especially the ones who ripped her to shreds on my Facebook page on a thread that has 234 comments at this time.
On that page, she made various insinuations about her making up the story, then refused to answer my direct question asking if she made the whole story up.
So she’s either a liar or a raving psycho.
Or probably a little of both.
Lisa Concepcion was sunbathing topless on South Beach Monday when she noticed a man sneakingly taking photos of her.
The 42-year-old New York transplant who runs the blog, Lisa Takes Miami, ordered him to delete the photos.
When he didn’t, things got ugly.
She ended up snatching the camera from his hands and tossing it out to sea, following it up with a hard knee to the groin.
All to the rousing applause of fellow sunbathers.
This is how Concepcion described her reaction on Facebook, where we are friends:
Superhero moment: Just kneed a fully dressed, photo snappin beach creeper, white male approx 50, southern accent, wire rimmed glasses, dressed in pink gingham shirt, brown dockers in the cojones. A couple next to me caught him taking sneaky pics of me while I was reading. At first when I approached him he said he’d delete them. He didn’t. I grabbed his camera, he was fighting me tugging it so…i got TaeBo on his groin, got hold of his camera and flung it into the sea. Ya want your camera creeper?? Go swim for it. GIT OFF MY BEACH YA CREEPER!
While she received praise from several of her friends, I couldn’t help but point out that she actually committed assault, battery and strong-armed robbery while the “photo snappin beach creeper” committed no crime.
South Beach is a public beach, which means nobody has an expectation privacy, even if a woman chooses to remove her top.
And as numerous court cases have ruled, public photography is protected by the First Amendment.
The law also does not allow anybody, including police officers, to force a photographer to delete their images. And it does not require a photographer to obtain a model release unless they plan to use it for commercial purposes like in a magazine ad.
In fact, the law doesn’t even allow women to go topless on South Beach. It is just tolerated because we tend not to sweat the small (or large) stuff in Miami when it comes to exposed breasts, not to mention the fact that we have a huge influx of European female tourists who have long sunbathed topless.
In 2009, I wrote an article for Miami Beach 411 about a group of American women protesting for the right to go topless on all parts of Miami Beach as it is currently only tolerated on the beach.
At the time, New York was the only state where women are allowed to go topless in public. So there is no denying that we are a little repressed when it comes to breasts in this country, which is why it can be so scandalous when a mother chooses to breastfeed in public.
And that is why some American men who are visiting Miami from other parts of the United States end up over-oogling when they come across endless mounds of bare breasts on our beaches.
And it’s understandable why they would want to take photos. After all, this is not something you will see in the hilly pastures of Iowa.
To get an idea of how prevalent and accepted it is down here, Google “topless South Beach” and click on the images icon. You will even see a photo of Concepcion, breasts unexposed, holding up a tube of sunblock.
But as we can see here, just because you have the right to take photos doesn’t mean you won’t get attacked for it.
And if you think the local cops will come to your rescue, think again. We all know cops can be very ignorant of the law when it comes to taking photos in public.
In 2008, a Photography is Not a Crime reader named Howard was arrested for taking photos of topless women on South Beach. I never got around to writing about it, but I believe he was charged with disorderly conduct, which ended up getting dismissed.
Miami is a very aggressive city, which is evident in some of my videos with cops and security guards, not to mention that crazy lady who attacked me over photographing a fish.
Concepcion said that a group of men who witnessed the exchange were ready to pounce on the guy themselves, which would have made them guilty of battery, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they would get arrested.
It’s a lawless land down here, which is both good and bad.
And when it comes to photography, it’s pretty much every man and woman for themselves.