A top MTA board member who once served as interim chair of the agency falsely identified himself as a police commissioner when he was stopped for trying to ride his bike in an off-limits area near his home, according to a report.
Andrew Saul, MTA board vice chairman, was riding his bike at a reservoir near his Westchester County estate when he stopped to lift his bike over a barrier and ride across the dam, a no-trespassing area, the Daily News reported.
A Department of Environmental Protection officer spotted Saul and told him to stop, but when he got distracted by a conversation with a couple strolling nearby, Saul allegedly got back on his bike and tried to pedal away, according to the News.
The officer reached out to stop Saul and the two men ended up on the ground, at which point the 65-year-old Saul allegedly told the officer he was a police commissioner, the paper said.
Saul was allowed to go to his home and bring back some proof he was who he claimed to be. He came back with an MTA Police Department card bearing his name, photo and the department shield that identified him as a “commissioner” and a “civilian,” reports the News.
The cards are handed out by agencies like the NYPD and MTA police as a courtesy and do not give the cardholder any law enforcement authority.
MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg told the News the cards were first doled out to board members when George Pataki was governor, and the current administration did not know about them until the incident with Saul.
The nearly dozen MTA board members who have the cards, including Saul, were ordered to surrender them at some point following the Feb. 4 confrontation and given different ones better suited to their purpose, Lisberg told the News.
Saul, a wealthy businessman with strong political ties, did not receive a summons for the incident. He didn’t respond to the News’ requests for comment.
Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Sign up for email newsletters here. Get breaking news delivered right to your phone -- just text NYBREAKING to 639710. For more info, text HELP. To end, text STOP. Message and data rates may apply.