NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The MTA bus driver accused of taking a bus on his day off and driving it drunk in Nassau County has his own version of the incident.
Alexander Copeland let his attorneys do the talking Tuesday. They told CBS2’s Alice Gainer that Copeland has some sort of medical condition that could have been a factor, but they would not elaborate.READ MORE: 2 New FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers In New Jersey
Flanked by his wife and two lawyers, Copeland said next to nothing.
“He wants to say that he’s a married man,” attorney Neville Mitchell said. “He’s never had any issues with the law.”
Copeland has worked as an MTA bus driver for 17 years and had a clean record.
But on Sunday, he was pulled over driving a bus on the Northern State Parkway — a roadway restricted to cars.
State police say they received multiple 911 calls from drivers saying the bus was swerving and weaving across lanes near Exit 32 in Westbury.
Police pulled over Copeland and say he appeared intoxicated.
He willingly submitted to a sobriety test, which he allegedly failed.
The 52-year-old was in uniform, but off duty.
So where was he going, and what was he doing?
On Monday, Major Joseph Tripodo, State Police Troop L commander, told CBS2, “It appears he picked up the bus earlier at Jamaica bus depot and he was en route to Medford.”READ MORE: 'Curtain Up!' Festival Celebrates Broadway's Reopening With 3-Day Festival In Times Square
Copeland lives in Medford, in Suffolk County. But his attorneys would not confirm if he was taking the bus home.
Police say Copeland’s blood alcohol level was 0.20 — more than twice the legal limit.
“Was he drinking — that’s a question of fact that’s going to determined by a court, and we’re not going to answer that,” Mitchell said.
The only explanation Copeland’s lawyers would offer up was to say he suffers from sort of long-term medical condition.
“Let’s just say that there may be some issue with memory, but I’m not going any further than that,” Mitchell said.
The attorney insisted Copeland is fit to drive normally.
His lawyers say he’s on several medications.
Copeland has been suspended without pay.
MTA investigators say for security reasons they will not say how the driver got access to the bus and how he started the engine.
Copeland was given a desk appearance ticket and is due in court Sept. 28.MORE NEWS: De Blasio Says NYC Ready To Administer COVID Vaccine Booster Shots Once FDA Approved
He is charged with reckless endangerment, unauthorized use of a vehicle, DWI and other traffic violations.