A 21-year-old man was ordered off a Manhattan-bound subway and issued a summons by New York City police for stretching out across more than one seat on the nearly-empty train, according to a report in the New York Post.
Regular subway rider Stephen Lamarch was on his way to his 4 a.m. shift at Rockefeller Center, where he works as a grounds landscaper. There was only one other person in the car in the early morning hours so he decided to stretch his 5-foot-6 frame over two seats.
Unfortunately for Lamarch, subway rules ban taking up more than one seat per posterior.
He tells the Post two plain clothes cops stepped onboard at one of the train’s stops and said: ”NYPD. You’re coming with us.”
Lamarch says he was detained for about 15 minutes and grilled about his identity and destination before being issued a summons for taking up more than one subway-car seat.
The summons reads: “Did observe respondent laying across three seats.”
Lamarch says he was only taking up two seats and didn’t think it was a crime since it was 2:30 a.m. and the car was practically deserted.
“I see stuff like this in the papers and I think it’s ridiculous, how could that happen? And now it’s happened to me,” he told the Post.
A police spokesman says the cops did the right thing.
”The New York City Police Department credits the enforcement of petty offenses with a 14.5 percent decline in major crimes in the transit system in 2003,” the spokesman told the newspaper.
Lamarch plans to fight the $50 fine, but the ordeal has already cost him. He was fifteen minutes late for work and docked an hour’s pay.
“I was taken off the train on my way to work, to earn a living. It’s like a wrench in the gears and on top of it, I have to pay,” Lamarch complained to the Post.