A retired city firefighter who was arrested twice for allegedly stalking Madonna near her Central Park West home may have a lucky star as he avoided jail time at his sentencing Wednesday.
Robert Linhart, 61, whose groupie-style public profession of love for the Material Girl went over the borderline to land him in handcuffs twice, said the pop queen is no longer a beautiful stranger to him and that he’s no longer burning up from his forbidden love.
“She’s enjoying her life with her 24-year-old boyfriend,” Linhart quipped outside the courtroom, apparently referring to Brahim Zaibat, who is now reportedly causing a commotion with the singer.
“I don’t feel the same about her,” he added. “The woman advocates free speech in Russia and then she has her security violate my right to free speech.”
Linhart’s troubles began in 2010 when he camped across the street from Madonna’s upper West Side building to express himself with signs. One read, “The Universe brought us together in 1992 and again this year in Prague. Meet me please.”
Her security called cops, who arrested Linhart for graffiti after he defaced a sidewalk. Cops say they later found a knife in his car, though a judge later dismissed the weapons charge.
A few days later, Linhart was back with his signs, and was arrested again.
But in the end, Linhart was convicted only of a single count of resisting arrest — though his attorneys argued Linhart wasn’t resisting but merely reacting to the pain from a broken rotator cuff that he suffered during the original arrest.
On Wednesday, lawyer Lawrence LaBrew said his should get no jail time.
“Mr. Linhart served with the New York City Fire Department for 20 years. He put his life on the line for the citizens of New York,” LaBrew said.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Laura Ward agreed, putting Linhart on probation for three years, but also ordered him to attend anger management sessions.
Linhart had admitted he yelled at cops while he was being collared.
New York Daily News