coronavirus pandemic

Couple Refusing to Wear Masks Pulled From NY Ferry in Handcuffs

The couple reportedly claimed medical exemptions prevented them from wearing masks, but declined to provide evidence

nyc ferry 2

A couple was taken from a New York City ferry in handcuffs after refusing the captain’s order to wear masks and holding up the ferry's departure for more than an hour while they stood defiantly on the top deck.

Officers were called to the pier in Brooklyn Bridge Park around 10 p.m. Saturday when a ferry captain reported disorderly people, police said. The captain told officers the 53-year-old man and 37-year-old woman refused to get off the boat when they were told to leave for not wearing masks.

The news site Gothamist reports that the pair claimed they have a constitutional right to ride mask-free because they have a medical condition that exempts them from the governor’s coronavirus protection order. They declined to provide evidence of their medical condition to an officer.

As other ferry riders grew impatient with the delay, officers gave the pair a last chance to voluntarily leave before taking out the handcuffs and ticketing the couple for disorderly conduct and violating an emergency order.

"NYC Ferry is continuing to investigate the incident in question," a spokesperson said. "The safety of our riders and crew is our number one priority. We sincerely thank the NYPD for their rapid response to last night's incident and we greatly appreciate the professionalism of our crew long with the patience of our riders."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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