BEDFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A powerful member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board was recently stopped for trespassing on city property. Police said an officer had to use “physical force” to detain millionaire businessman Andrew Saul, who claimed he had special privileges.
It was a conflict at the New York City-owned Cross River Reservoir in northern Westchester County. A man on a bike apparently ignored the sign on a barrier and rode across the top of the dam.
The man was Saul, the powerful chairman of the MTA Finance Committee, reports CBS 2′s Tony Aiello.
That day on his bike Saul crossed paths with a city environmental police officer who told him he was trespassing. According to an incident report, “Saul refused to stop … so (the officer) used physical force to detain Saul.”
At one point Saul reportedly produced an MTA Police ID, identifying him as a “civilian commissioner.”
Saul was briefly detained, given a warning and released.
It is clear Saul felt the Department of Environmental Protection Police acted inappropriately. He said he felt so strongly he filed a complaint with the local Bedford Police.
However, two witnesses told Bedford cops Saul was “uncooperative.” The Bedford cops then decided the environmental police officer “acted reasonably, using the minimum amount of force necessary to detain Saul.”
Saul had no comment Tuesday, but others had something to say.
“So many people want to be above the law. If it applies to me it should apply to him,” one person said.
“It says ‘no trespassing.’ It’s a law. The law is the law,” another person said.
“You cannot trespass there. He should respect that,” another added.
After the incident the MTA told all the board members with police IDs to hand them in. The city said environmental police write about 350 trespassing tickets each year, and give out hundreds of warnings, like the one given to Saul.
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