Government employees

Ex-Government Employee Stages Protest by Jumping Off A Bridge

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The spirit of Occupy Wall Street has reached the suburbs of New York City.

Michael Davitt, a 54-year-old man apparently distraught over losing his government job three years ago as a substance abuse counselor, stopped his van on the Tappan Zee Bridge, tied a harness to the van, then jumped over the bridge's railing.

He hung from the bridge for several hours, resting on a huge banner that read in part: "ROCKLAND EXECUTIVE LEGISLATURE COVER UP RETALIATION." After hanging for nearly four hours, he was safely lowered to a rescue boat, where he was placed in custody.

From New City, NY's Patch.com:

According to the Rockland County Executive's Office, the protestor, Michael Davitt, "was separated from County service in 2008 because he was no longer able to perform his essential job functions as a Substance Abuse Counselor 1. He subsequently applied for and received a disability retirement from New York State.

County spokesman Ron Levine said county officials do not know what Davitt's problem is with the county executive or the Legislature.

"This is certainly not the way you go about getting heard," Levine said. "We're totally taken aback that he decided to do this today. He put himself at risk and put all the emergency workers at risk."

Davitt, 54, was employed by the county's Department of Mental Health in Pomona from 1991 to 2008. 

Sheriff's Department Capt. William Barbera said Davitt has been escorted off county property several times involving his one-man protests in New City. However, Barbera said those incidents did not lead to any arrests.

While there is no indication that Davitt has anything to do with the OWS movement, the audacity of his protest might owe something to the worldwide attention garnered by the Occupiers, many of whom would likely envy his government-funded "disability retirement" package.

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  1. The spirit of Occupy Wall Street has reached the suburbs of New York City.

    Hanging people from a bridge.

    Yep, that’s the spirit!

    1. A winner out of the gate!

      1. Not that we shouldn’t further commentate.
        In keeping with the situation.

    2. Um, it reached Suffern, NY, Nyack, NY, and Keene, NH weeks ago. All three towns are in suburban NYC. 😉

  2. I can’t imagine why he would have lost a job at the Department of Mental Health . . . .

  3. He should have added “Zimmerman Flew and Tyler Knew” on his banner.

    In fairness, don’t be so quick to dismiss his claim. We don’t know. But it is hardly unthinkable that the country fucked over some guy for bringing to light embarassing facts.

    1. The embarrassing facts here are self evident.

      1. County spokesman Ron Levine said county officials do not know what Davitt’s problem is with the county executive or the Legislature.

        No they are not. How do you know he didn’t really get fucked over? Crazy people can be treated unfairly too.

        1. I can’t quite put anybody who got a government disability pension in the “fucked over” box.

          That is for people who are fired so the boss’s idiot nephew can get a no-show paycheck.

          1. You don’t know. How much is the disability? Having the job may be better than having the disability. He seems to think so. And there is nothing to say he should have actually been fired. Is it likely? Sure. But not self evident.

            1. Having said that, I do not condone jumping off bridges and tying up traffic. That instantly turns me off to your cause.

            2. John|11.7.11 @ 4:01PM|#

              You don’t know. How much is the disability? Having the job may be better than having the disability. He seems to think so. And there is nothing to say he should have actually been fired. Is it likely? Sure. But not self evident.

              So I see in this case you’ve chosen to suspend judgement….

              (bah dum pshhh!) Thank you folks, I’ll be here all week, make sure to tip your waitress…

              John, please. That wasn’t Sarah Palin on the end of the rope. It was some fucking idiotic lunatic. Complaining about *Rockland County* politics. Not exactly the international capitalist conspiracy. Dangling from a bridge does not generally convince people you’re *not shithouse crazy*, after all.

            3. this argument seems to presuppose he had some kind of right to the job.

    2. Whatever his story, his employer did him a favor by kicking his ass out into the private sector.

      Or, he did us a favor by kicking him there.

      Or… maybe the damage someone like that could do to the private sector…

      He should be able to keep his job.

  4. I wonder how many of those officials who think this was crazy also supported the OWS bozos?

  5. instead of arresting him and wasting court time, send him a bill for the cost of his “rescue”. Meanwhile, it is interesting that this whiner is already on the dole. How many of you can get disability because you’re unable to do your jobs, unless there is a genuine disability, which this story does not mention.

    1. instead of arresting him and wasting court time, send him a bill for the cost of his “rescue”.
      Instead of? More likely in addition to.

  6. Before RTFA’ing, I thought he actually hung himself and my reaction was “not surprising that a government ‘mental health’ worker is actually mental,” followed by “meh.”

    1. As I said above, if he would have put Turk 182 or some such on his banner, it would have been great performance art. And the Tappenzee Bridge is huge, ancient and about to fall apart. I don’t like driving over it. I can’t imagine jumping from it. That guy has balls of steal.

      1. Also better have a rope of steel or trust that some very pissed commuter wouldn’t cut it.

      2. He should be awarded a Masters of Marionette Arts.

        1. What a cool idea! I hear there’s big, big money in that field.

          1. The Nation thinks the puppeteers are a disaffected group too.

      3. I do not condone anyone who would voluntarily tie up traffic. In fact I insta-hate them.

        1. Even more ammunition for awarding the degree.

      4. That guy has balls of steal.

        Ex-government employee has Balls of Steal…

        John, that’s comment of the fucking week.

    2. “Hanged,” not “hung.”

  7. I take that bridge once every month or so – I cannot imagine the traffic jam this selfish prick caused. If I got to his van before the cops, he would have been swimming down the Hudson.

  8. City officials warn bar owners that new ID policies could be discriminatory

    Madison officials say bar policies that deny entry to anyone without a valid driver’s license or passport could be discriminatory, and the city is working on educating bar owners about what is and isn’t acceptable.

    “It’s been clearly documented who does and doesn’t have driver’s licenses in the state of Wisconsin,” said Mark Woulf, alcohol policy coordinator for Madison, citing a vast divide between blacks and whites. “That alone raises eyebrows and could easily be determined to be discriminatory.”

    A handful of Downtown bars have had the restrictive ID policy in place since the summer in response to a spike in violence that they say was mostly curbed once they started the policy. Patrons displaying only student or state IDs can’t enter.

    Woulf said the city understands bar owners’ concerns but hopes a letter from the city, still being drafted, will clarify the issue.

    “We want to give bar owners tools to keep their establishments safe without discriminating against patrons,” he said.

    Woulf said no formal complaints have been filed against a bar with the city’s civil rights department, a first step that could lead to sanctions, including a bar’s liquor license being pulled, if it’s found to violate the city’s equal opportunities ordinance.

    But there have been concerns raised by numerous groups since the State Journal reported on the bars’ policies Oct. 7, including disabled people who don’t qualify for a driver’s license and bicycle commuters who choose not to get one. A citizen’s group headed by former city council member Brenda Konkel, Civil Rights Now, has raised objections to the racial implications of the policy and the city’s response to it. Konkel could not be reached for comment Thursday.

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/ne…..z1d3Rhm7S2

    1. I once ate a bunch of blue play-doh when I was a kid, and I pooped out a blue turd later. I’m dead serious. Crazy, huh?

      1. I once ate a bunch of blue play-doh when I was a kid, and I pooped out a blue turd later. And then I ate one half of it and smeared the other half all over my face, hair and chest. I’m dead serious. Crazy, huh?

        Yup. Crazy.

    2. What a great way to fuck bars and enforce defacto prohibition. If they accept anything but valid state issued IDs, sue and fine the shit out of them the first time a teenager uses a fake ID to get served. If they require valid IDs, sue and fine the shit out of them for discriminating against Mexicans.

      1. Its Madison. About the only thing Im sure about this is it isnt some sort of backdoor prohibition.

        1. Progressives supported the original prohibition.

          1. Madison is…different.

            Plus, progressives dont like being set on fire but regular moderate liberals.

      2. Terrance Henderson, who is black and who works for the UW-Madison athletic department, said he’s found Madison’s Downtown bars to be much more welcoming and inviting than those in Milwaukee, his hometown. Henderson has a driver’s license and hasn’t been affected by the new policy, he said.

        “It’s night and day,” he said. “In Milwaukee I’ve been turned away at the door in a three-piece suit. I’ve never been turned away here in Madison.”

        1. He should have worn a packers jersey.

      3. fake ID’s are supposed to look like real ID’s. Its not a ripped out sheet of yellowpad paper saying “I is 21”

    3. Woulf said the city understands bar owners’ concerns but hopes a letter from the city, still being drafted, will clarify the issue.

      “We want to give bar owners tools to keep their establishments safe without discriminating against patrons,” he said.

      Sounds like they already have an effective tool that the government wants to take away from them.

      1. Which is more plausible:

        – that Madison bar owners decided “hey, let’s practice racial and ethnic discrimination for no good reason – we need an excuse – I’ve got it – require a driver’s license!”

        OR

        -Wisconsin bar owners find that disruptive customers disproportionately lack drivers’ licenses, and as responsible citizens – and not wanting disruptive customers to hurt business – decide to enforce a stricter admission policy.

        Obviously, they’re racists who want to hurt their own businesses by rejecting law-abiding, paying customers.

        It’s the only explanation which makes sense – if you’re a retarded municipal official.

        1. I have a feeling that this is going to spiral into a Jim Crow discussion. As you all know, government passed Jim Crow laws and prevented business owners the discretion on who to serve and what facilities would be provided.

    4. How does that parasite Konkel get from “disabled people who don’t qualify for a driver’s license and bicycle commuters who choose not to get one” to “racial implications of the policy?”

      If anything, I would be shocked if bicycle commuters didn’t skew very heavily white.

      1. “disabled people who don’t qualify for a driver’s license”

        Are there any bridges in Madison?

        1. There are in Madison County.

    5. I don’t know about WI, but the Virginia DMV issues official state ID cards to non-drivers for just these reasons.

      1. That was my first thought. Ohio does the same.

      2. From the article:

        Patrons displaying only student or state IDs can’t enter.

  9. Davitt, 54, was employed by the county’s Department of Mental Health…

    “Government Mental Health Worker = Shithouse Crazy.”

    The swooshing sound you just heard was an aircraft-carrier-sized dose of irony going over the heads of thousands of “Occupy” protestors.

    1. Actually I think it’s a job requirement.

  10. That guy has balls of steal.

    John, that is unequivocally your finest example of RC’z Law yet.

    Also, what Dagster said.

    1. I had the same thought.

      Former state employee cashing disability pension = balls of steal. No question.

  11. Now we can get the answer to the question mom’s have been asking: if everybody else jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?

    I eagerly await empirical evidence.

  12. >While there is no indication that Davitt has anything to do with the OWS movement

    Then why bring them up? He “may have” been inspired by pink fairies living in his shower head for all you know. What is this, Fox or the NY Times?

  13. Sorry, no mercy: should have left the fucker there to fall and die. I don’t think one taxpayer dime should be spent to save some jackass that puts so many other lives at risk.

    1. Yes he could let himself loose.

      I believe that persons have a right to leave this vale of tears, just do so bravely

  14. I’m interesting in knowing what his incapacitating disability is. Because he evidently is able enough to prepare all this ahead of time, including making a big banner and rigging up the ropes/ladder/harness, etc., and then hoist himself over the side of the bridge, climb down and hang there swinging in the breeze for four hours.

    Gotta wonder what his plan was. At what point would he say, “OK, I’m done; time to pack it in and head home”?

    1. Good question, Suppressed One. I’d say it was a mental disability, but I can’t think of any mental disability that would render a person incapable of fulfilling his “essential job functions as a Substance Abuse Counselor 1.”

      1. I would guess his disability was ALSO substance abuse.

        You know these court-mandated substance abuse programs end up using their own graduates as counselors. “Yadda yadda yadda, they can identify with the clients, yadda yadda yadda.”

      2. LOL Too true, RC Dean.

        1. It takes a “special” person to get fired from a govt job. I wish 2 million more bureaucrats would jump off a bridge.

    2. Probably at the point when he realized he didn’t have an exit plan.

      Unless waiting for rescue was his exit plan.

  15. “Ex-Government Employee Stages Protest by Jumping Off A Bridge”

    Maybe he’ll be a trend-setter and more government employees will jump off bridges.

  16. Hmm. Is anyone else thinking that a “disabled” asshole — who manages to climb over the railing of and then suspend himself from a bridge by a harness, not to mention creating and also suspending a very large banner, not to mention building said harness in the first place and also driving a van — is not very disabled at all?

    Sounds like somebody should revoke his disability claim and make the worthless, overentitled, whining parasite get a job.

    1. Ah yes. But remember, an “adult baby” lifestyle is a legitimate disability. Therefore, I’m sure this clown can prove his disability claim is valid as well.

  17. he was safely lowered to a rescue boat

    FUCK!

  18. “This is certainly not the way you go about getting heard,” Levine said.

    False. Being batshit crazy is an excellent way of getting noticed. Or, as the famous bumper sticker says, “Well-behaved women seldom make history”

    1. I should not have laughed at that.

    2. Me gusta

  19. The spirit of Occupy Wall Street has reached the suburbs of New York City.

    While there is no indication that Davitt has anything to do with the OWS movement,

    This reads rather like those assholes who said the spirit of the Tea Party had infected Jared Loughner or that crazy dude who flew a plane into the IRS. If there’s no evidence connecting this guy to OWS, you shouldn’t be suggesting there’s any sort of connection, spiritual or otherwise.

  20. Drug addiction is classified as a mental illness. If he was a government employed councilor, he probably worked on people undergoing court mandated treatment. There is some poetic justice in the courts sending him for a psychiatric evaluation.

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