NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Early-morning joggers have been advised to beware that exercising in Central Park before 6 a.m. could result in a run-in with the law.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, Central Park is not open 24 hours a day. Peter Shankman of Manhattan found out the hard way this week from a police officer who gave him a ticket.

“He said, ‘Yeah, the park’s closed. You’re not supposed to be in here until 6 a.m.,’” Shankman said.

Shankman was jogging around 4:30 a.m., and the officer did not stop for the lesson learned.

“(I said), ‘OK, well should we, should we run out of the park for a while?’” Shankman said. “And he’s like, ‘No, I’m giving you a summons.’”

Shankman said he has been in the park hundreds of times before 6 a.m., and has never had a problem, Now, he is planning to challenge the ticket.

“I get the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law I certainly didn’t violate,” he said. “You know I wasn’t in there trading sexual favors for crack.”

Shankman said he was just 10 feet from the 85th Street exit on the east side of the park, and thinks police should just have let him leave with a warning.

Shankman and his friend with whom he was jogging are due to appear in court for the ticket on May 16. They could be fined $1,000 if found guilty.

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