'Stripper' Arlene Mena arrested after performance art leads to ruckus on A1A in Hallandale
Ihosvani Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel
4:07 PM, Jan 3, 2013
9:19 AM, Jan 4, 2013
HALLANDALE, Fla. -- A boot-clad woman who caused a scene in the middle of the busy A1A highway in Hallandale Beach was arrested after tossing a traffic cone at a random motorist and then spitting in his face, police said.
She claims it was all in the name of art.
But Broward Judge John "Jay" Hurley wasn't impressed by Arlene Mena's site-specific art performance and ordered a $1,000 bond on charges of battery and criminal mischief stemming from the bizarre incident.
According to police and witnesses, Mena, 25, was first spotted standing and yelling in the middle of A1A outside her condo building located along the 1800 block of South Ocean Drive at about 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday.
Noel von Kauffman, 40, said he was walking along the street when he noticed Mena trying to direct traffic while wearing a tank-top, cut-off jean shorts and tall boots.
"She looked like a very drunk person," von Kauffman told the Sun Sentinel on Thursday.
At some point, Mena picked up a traffic cone and threw it at the car driven by Dieter Heinrich, 49, of Dania Beach, according to an arrest report. The cone broke the car's side mirror, causing about $300 in damages, the report indicated.
When Heinrich got out of his car, Mena allegedly spat on his face. Von Kauffman said he jumped in to help Heinrich, who had children in the back seat of his car. Mena scratched von Kauffman's wrist as the two men tried to restrain her and move her away from the busy roadway, according to the report. .
After pinning her to the ground, Von Kauffman said the woman first tried to say the incident was part of a television show and that everything was being caught on camera. Then she claimed she was a federal agent. Then she said she was friends with Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper and everyone involved would be in trouble, said Von Kauffman.
"She was saying everything and doing everything to get us to let go of her," said Von Kauffman, a Hallandale Beach hypnotherapist.
During a brief bond court appearance on Thursday, an animated Mena told Hurley she had just started working a few weeks ago as "a stripper", but that on Wednesday she was doing another type of art.
"With all due respect, I was just trying to do some artwork and the guy misunderstood," she said. "I was walking in my boots and I hurt my leg..."
Hurley interrupted Mena by saying, "Ma'am, I am getting a visual that I don't think is appropriate right now."
Hurley then offered some advice to the self-proclaimed street artist.
"I suggest not wearing boots and doing artwork in the middle of a roadway," Hurley said. "I would start right there and everything will start looking up for you."