A 34-year-old fashion designer from White Plains was arrested near the Holland Tunnel last night after allegedly driving her BMW the wrong way against traffic on Varick Street. Her 58-year-old male passenger was also arrested after drugs were found in the car.
According to a Port Authority spokesman, Tonnie Schaus was driving her 2007 BMW eastbound against traffic on the Holland Tunnel approach near Watts Street, around 7:15 p.m. on Monday. Police say Schaus then made a left turn onto Varick, also against traffic. When a Port Authority lieutenant blocked Varick Street with his cruiser, Schaus allegedly turned left onto Dominick Street to avoid him.
When the officer cut off Schaus's car on Dominick, "forcing" her to stop, he observed that her face was "flushed," her speech slurred, and her eyes "watery and bloodshot." According to his report, Schaus then explained that she "didn't want to go to New Jersey," hence the driving against traffic.
Police say Schaus proceeded to fail three sobriety tests. Officers also recovered two clear plastic vials of what "appeared" to be cocaine on her person. ("I didn't do that yet," she allegedly stated.) When her passenger, David Perlow, exited the car, officers found another vial of cocaine on his seat.
Schaus—who founded Schaus Design, Inc. ("creative direction, merchandising, production and a love for couture") and previously worked in product development for Victoria's Secret, Anne Klein and Club Monaco—has been charged with resisting arrest, DUI, reckless driving, and refusal to take a breathalyzer. Perlow, who shares her address, has been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, and is due back in court on October 20th.