A photographer, Mo Gelber, was outside the Manhattan Criminal Court in August when the police led a young couple in handcuffs into the premises. Gelber snapped the couple, arrested on charges of a "nighttime graffiti spree," in a romantic moment.
The Huffington Post reports Gelber said:
On August 16th I saw a commotion... Since I always have my camera with me , I decided to join in the fray. They (reporters) were waiting for Anna Gristina the alleged soccer mom madame. I got a few good shots of her entering the court.... She slid out a back door, but her lawyer stuck around to talk to the press. While the pack of reporters surrounded the lawyer, I climbed up a pillar next to the court steps to get a wide shot of the scene. Then I noticed these 2 cops bringing a couple in handcuffs... The couple leaned in to have a last kiss before being taken into jail. I snapped this photo quickly...
Gelber entered the photo for a contest, Project Imagination, organized by Ron Howard and Canon. According to The Huffington Post, Gelber received a notice on Wednesday that the photo, titled "Last Kiss," is a finalist in the contest. But the organizers said they would reject the entry unless Gelber identifies the couple who must sign a release form.
Romantic moment: Last Kiss
A friend of Gelber contacted Brandon Stanton who runs the popular photoblog Humans of New York. Stanton shared the photo on his Facebook page and within ten minutes thousands had "liked" it. The woman was finally identified as Alexis Creque, 28.
According to Gawker, Creque said that her 26-year-old boyfriend was still in lock-up. She said Gelber could use the photo only after he is released from jail. According to The Huffington Post, the graffiti artist was jailed for defacing a wall in the Lower East Side. Creque said she would not sign a release form until her boyfriend is out of jail.
It is uncertain that the photo would make it into the competition as the Saturday deadline approaches. Would there be an Internet campaign to free Creque's boyfriend?