A college student from Queens got more than he bargained for when he splurged on a $350 designer belt at Barneys.
A store clerk had him cuffed apparently thinking the black teen couldn’t afford the pricey purchase, even though he had paid for it, a new lawsuit alleges. “His only crime was being a young black man,” his attorney, Michael Palill was quoted as saying. Trayon Christian, 19, a NYC College of Technology freshman from Corona, went to the Madison Avenue fashion mecca in April to buy the Salvatore Ferragamo belt after saving up his paychecks from a part-time job at the college.
But as soon as he exited the luxury department store, undercover officers grabbed Christian and asked “how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt,” according to the suit, filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. A Barneys clerk, who had asked Christian for identification when he bought the belt, called police claiming the purchase was a fraud, the suit says.Plainclothes detectives hauled Christian off Fifth Avenue and into the local precinct. There, Christian produced his identification, his debit card from Chase and the receipt with his name on it, the suit states. “In spite of producing such documentation, Christian was told that his identification was false and that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.”
A belt similar to this one was purchased by Trayon Christian at Barneys.
Cops eventually called Chase, which verified that the card belonged to Christian, and they let him go. Police sources said Christian has no arrest record. Christian returned the belt out of disgust over his treatment by the world-famous clothing store. “I didn’t want to have anything to do with it,” he said, adding that he was first inspired to buy the accessory by Harlem rapper Juelz Santana who wears the Italian designer’s duds. Christian said he’ll never shop at Barneys again. He is suing both Barneys and the NYPD for unspecified damages. Barneys did not immediately comment. A spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department said she would review the claims once she received the suit.