When the Funky Apple launched way back in January 2010, one of the first things we told you about was the NYPD’s propensity to hand out $50 tickets to people that put their feet on subway seats, even on empty trains. Now, tickets are horrible, but at least the police don’t go around arresting people for…oh..
The New York Times put out an article on Friday detailing the NYPD’s new habit of arresting people that put their feet on subway seats. According to the gray lady, 1,600 people were arrested for the breach of etiquette last year. It gets worse: one man that was arrested was a diabetic that ended up being held without his insulin for over 30 hours. As you can expect, he sued the city and won a nice payoff.
But it gets even worse: people have actually been deported. For putting their feet on subway seats.
An extreme result was the deportation of Flavio Uzhca. Mr. Uzhca, a 32-year-old line chef from Ecuador, was returning home to Woodside, Queens, from his gym before 8 p.m. on March 10. When he stood at the door of a packed No. 7 train, an officer escorted him off and asked to see identification, he said in an e-mail. Mr. Uzhca said he showed identification from Ecuador. By the time he was arraigned, the authorities learned that an immigration judge had issued an order in 2002 for his deportation.
Mr. Uzhca called his bosses the owners of Bistro Vendome, a French restaurant in Midtown where he worked, to tell them he would not be at work that day. He never did return.
How does the NYPD justify these arrests? Well, according to them only hardened criminals dare put their feet on the subway seats. Quoth NYPD spokesperson John Browne:
“One of the reasons that crime on the subways has plummeted from almost 50 crimes a day in 1990 to only seven now is because the N.Y.P.D. enforces violations large and small, often encountering armed or wanted felons engaged in relatively minor offenses, like putting their feet up, smoking on a platform, walking or riding between cars, or fare beating,” Mr. Browne said.
Speechless? You should be, but make sure to keep your feet on the floor while you silently seethe.