Actor Alec Baldwin was led away in handcuffs yesterday after being arrested in New York City for riding the wrong way up Fifth Avenue. Baldwin, perhaps best known for his role in the hit TV show 30 Rock, subsequently launched a tirade on Twitter against the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the city, which he claimed is "anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign."
According the New York Daily News, a police source said that after the 56-year-old was stopped by officers at around 10.15am yesterday morning and asked for identification, "He became belligerent, yelling and screaming at the officers, 'I don't have ID. Just give me the f*cking summonses.'"
Witness Michael Jones told the newspaper: “He was riding his bike in the wrong direction when some cops stopped him. They were walking him up the avenue. He looked like a tool.”
When he arrived at Manhattan’s 13th Precinct, where he was charged with disorderly conduct, Baldwin said: “How old are these officers? They don’t even know who I am.”
The New York Daily News says that the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector David Ehrenberg, did however recognise Baldwin, but not from his TV or film appearances – according to an NYPD spokesman, it was due to his “previous run-ins with the law.”
Baldwin took to Twitter to vent his anger, saying: "Officer Moreno, badge number 23388, arrested me and handcuffed me for going the wrong way on Fifth Ave.
“Meanwhile, photographers outside my home ONCE AGAIN terrified my daughter and nearly hit her with a camera. The police did nothing.”
The actor went on: “New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign.”
Several hours later, he added: “I asked both police officers today to ticket me. If they contend that I asked for special treatment, they are lying.
“If you don't have ID in NY when they write you a summons, they can take you in. Officer Moreno did not know me. Officer Weinstein did.
“Moreno shouted, "Let's do this the right way!" And handcuffed me.
“I told both officers I was happy to accept the summons and go. One officer seemed inclined toward that. Moreno did not.
“I think handcuffing some1 4 riding a bicycle in the wrong direction is ridiculous. Report of disorderly conduct is a distortion by Moreno.
“So, when a cop lies to protect themself, what do I plead in court on July 14th? Even if you are innocent, w witnesses, what do you do?
“My only point is that claims by Moreno of disorderly conduct are either a distortion or outright lie. Moreno lied in her report.”
He subsequently acknowledged that the officer’s surname is Montero, not Moreno.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.