Even an Instagram influencer doesn’t want this kind of attention.
The NYPD wrongly used a sexy snap of a Queens woman on a “wanted” poster for a thieving hooker — and now the innocent woman is suing for $30 million.
Eva Lopez, 31, first found out she was a wanted woman on Aug. 16, when she and her boyfriend stepped off a flight from Florida and a friend of his texted them, according to court papers.
“I thought it was something fake. I really couldn’t believe the police would put me on a wanted poster,” she recalled.
Lopez shrugged it off until her boss convinced her it might be real, and urged her to reach out to the East Village’s 9th Precinct.
That night she called Detective Kevin Dwyer, whose name was listed on the flyer, only to find he “knew it was an issue before she called,” according to the legal filing.
Dwyer told Lopez the wanted poster had already been taken down from the department’s Facebook page and other web sites, she said. The real perpetrator had a tattoo sleeve, the detective said. Lopez doesn’t.
But the damage was done. “It was already spread around on social media. … It was still being passed around, still being talked about, still making me look like a thief and a prostitute,” Lopez told The Post.
The image in the wanted poster showed her in a low cut, hot pink tube top, with a thick gold necklace, bright, multi-colored leggings and high heels. “Wanted for Grand Larceny,” it said. “Perpetrator — probable cause to arrest.”
The poster sought information on an Aug. 3 theft from an East Village apartment, where a man had booked an escort online, only to have the escort steal a $13,000 Rolex and Chase credit card of his roommate, cops said.
Lopez was in Queens on Aug. 3, she said, not in Manhattan. The picture had been taken a month or two earlier, as she headed to a friend’s birthday party, she added.
The detective told her that the victims showed police pictures of Lopez, who has 862,000 Instagram followers and works as a fashion influencer as well as a bartender at a club in Queens, she claimed in the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.
“On Facebook, the [wanted poster] got shared over thousands of times — 10,000, 20,000 times. Then on Instagram a lot of blog sites that have millions of followers, they posted it as well,” Lopez lamented.
Lopez proclaimed her innocence on her own Instagram page, to no avail.
“People didn’t think I was being honest,” she said. “It was just really, really embarrassing, not only for me but for my family as well.”
Lopez said her rep nosedived after the incident, with some co-workers gossiping about her.
“I just really want people to know that’s not me, in any way, shape or form. The girl has nothing to do with me,” she said.
Lopez insisted she’s never been in trouble with the law, never worked as an escort, and doesn’t know the victims.
She “had absolutely nothing to do with any grand larceny,” she said in court papers filed against the city, the department and the detective.
“The NYPD should commit to more thorough investigations before haphazardly accusing and identifying innocent people of fantastic lies and brazen crimes,” said her lawyer Mark Shirian, who speculated the escort may have been wrongly using Lopez’ social media shots.
Dwyer declined comment. The city Law Department said it would review the lawsuit.
It’s not the first time the NYPD has been accused of wrongly putting someone’s photo on a wanted poster. In 2020, a pregnant Harlem woman’s image was allegedly included on a poster by cops hunting a trio of robbers. The woman, Vanessa Adames, sued, claiming she had simply been in a deli buying snacks when she was caught on camera alongside the suspects the NYPD was looking for.
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