NEW YORK – Eighty-six-year-old CBS newsman Mike Wallace (search) -- arrested and cuffed after a confrontation with taxi and limousine inspectors -- wonders why anyone thought he was such a threat. So does Mayor Mike Bloomberg (search).
"Why a man in his 80s was so threatening that they had to arrest him when they normally don't arrest anybody certainly gives you cause to ask the question," Bloomberg said at his daily press briefing Wednesday.
"Why he'd have to be handcuffed and led away, or whatever happened, I don't know, but you can rest assured we will be looking into it."
The dispute began as the "60 Minutes" correspondent was leaving Luke's Restaurant late Tuesday after picking up a take-out order of meatloaf, Wallace said on WFAN's "Imus in the Morning." (search)
Wallace saw two Taxi and Limousine Commission inspectors interviewing his driver, who they said was double-parked. "I asked what's going on, and they kept telling me to get back in the car," he recalled. "Then they arrested me and took me to the 19th precinct."
Wallace was released after being issued a summons citing him with disorderly conduct. He's due in court in October.
On Wednesday, Wallace told Entertainment Tonight: "I sat there for an hour or so and they [the police] said, 'OK, we know who you are, we know what you do, we have no problems with you.'
"I would call this a comedy of errors, but there was no comedy," he said. "So I went home, put the meatloaf in the microwave and it was superb."
The inspectors saw it another way, saying Wallace approached them and became "overly assertive and disrespectful," interfering with their ability to perform their duties.
The inspectors said they asked Wallace to step away from the car, but he refused, and lunged at one of them, TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg told The New York Post.
"I'm an 86-year-old man," Wallace told the Post. "For whatever reason, this guy and his buddy were intent upon telling me that I was interfering with the execution of the law."
Fromberg told The Associated Press on Wednesday the agency was investigating the incident but would not comment further.