Pete Davidson Accused Police of 'Hunting' Him. The Syracuse D.A. Wasn't Pleased.

It all seems rather petty.


Anthony Behar/Sipa USA/Newscom

Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson has been vocal about his distaste for the city of Syracuse. The district attorney for the county of Onondaga, which encompasses Syracuse, was not pleased.

Davidson was in Syracuse over the summer to film Big Time Adolescence. In August, he was pulled over by Manlius Police in Fayetteville (which is part of the Syracuse metropolitan area) for unknown traffic and vehicle violations. Joey Gay, a fellow comedian and a passenger in the car, was found to be in possession of marijuana. Davidson was not charged with any crime, though Gay eventually pleaded guilty and settled the case by paying $225 in fines.

But the whole experience apparently left a bad taste in Davidson's mouth. "Syracuse, you know, it's trash," he told shock jock Howard Stern in September. "Worse than Staten Island. The nicest hotel in Syracuse is, like, a fucking Ramada."

Davidson repeated his criticism in an interview with Variety published yesterday. "The whole town of Syracuse blows. Let's be honest, they just found out I was there and tried to arrest me the whole time," he said.

"The cops, because there's nothing going on there, they were hunting me down the whole time," he added to Variety. "They tried to arrest me for bringing business to your town. Never again, Syracuse."

It's impossible to know if law enforcement was really targeting Davidson. But if they weren't at the time, some comments from Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick suggested they were about to. "Quite frankly, I'd be as likely to take tourism advice from [him] as I would to be taking marriage counseling from O.J. Simpson," Fitzpatrick told CNYCentral yesterday in response to Davidson's latest comments. "However, I am going to ask Manlius Police to look into the charges that were brought against Mr. Davidson and see if they can't be reopened. And then we'll see how much he really likes Syracuse."

On the whole, this seemed rather petty of Fitzpatrick, who did not return Reason's request for comment in time for publication of this article. Several hours later, Fitzpatrick reached out and said his comments were "designed to be tongue in cheek" in response to "Mr. Davidson trashing our city." Manlius Police Captain Kevin Schafer, meanwhile, denied the targeting allegations, telling Syracuse.com: "When we stop a vehicle, we don't know who's in it."

Tongue in cheek or not, Fitzpatrick likely wouldn't have made this threat if Davidson had not spoken out against Syracuse. The comedian's words were harsh, but they were just that—words. It's completely inappropriate for a district attorney to threaten someone—well-known or not—because he said some mean things.

This post has been updated with comment from Fitzpatrick, who returned Reason's call after publication.

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  1. These no-name showbiz people really need attention, don’t they?

    1. Says the new cover boy for Varmint Shootin’ Monthly.

      1. Which is somehow more entertaining than SNL.

        1. Aww, does SNL not butter the ballsack of your favorite president enough?

          1. Tony triggered by criticism of SNL, no one surprised.

          2. Past Me, we both know that buttering our nutsacks only ends poorly. Why would you ever use that as an analogy?

          3. Poor Tony. Triggered again.

      2. This was pretty good. I will give it up, props.

      3. Oh, I like that magazine. Their coverage of the new Winchester in that wildcat .177 was well done.

  2. If I were a Republican — and forced to pretend that the Greg Gutfeld Show, country music, and car racing were top entertainment, while rejecting Saturday Night Live, the Daily Show, Colbert, and essentially all mainstream comedy, movies, television programs, and non-country music — I’d probably be as cranky as this Fitzpatrick jackass, too.

    I still wouldn’t abuse government power as Mr. Fitzpatrick seems to relish, however. Guess I’ll never be a right-winger.

    1. “I still wouldn’t abuse government power”

      So you were lying all those times you said you were going to use government to ram progress down people’s throats?

      Or, you’re lying now?

    2. Kirkland, you’ve been showing your ass around here long enough that we all know what a fucking petty tyrant you’d be we’re you ever to acquire any power. Fortunately, you’re too big a douche for anyone ever to grant you any.

  3. “Fitzpatrick appears to be out for revenge, plain and simple.”

    Which is oh so different from how Hollywood comedy writers operate. Surely Davidson’s attempts to slander the city and cost it millions of dollars in potential tourism revenue were motivated by a selfless quest for truth and justice, and not at all by “revenge.”

    1. You seem to have gotten lost on your way to Red State or something. Reason is a libertarian publication and libertarians would generally draw a distinction between a private individual giving their opinion about something and someone with the state-sanctioned power to have people arrested and prosecuted by the criminal justice system threatening to use those powers against someone whose opinion they don’t like.

    2. Uh, Hollywood comedy writers can’t arrest you or charge you with bullshit crimes or shoot you and get away with it.

  4. “Quite frankly, I’d be as likely to take tourism advice from [him] as I would to be taking marriage counseling from O.J. Simpson,”

    And now Norm MacDonald is going to sue the DA for stealing his material.

  5. What kind of fucking douchebag judges a city by the hotels?

    1. Why is Ellen Degeneres’ photo included in the article?

      1. Your question was better than mine.

      2. Hahaha.

    2. Syracuse is a pretty big lefty sort of place.

      I can only imagine how he would have describe a small town virtually anywhere else in the US

      “I can’t believe the producers dragged us out to bumb-fuck Minnesota where the local government host Klan rallies on the courthouse square every Friday”

      1. Yes, let’s assume that we know what motivates this person we don’t know. That’s always a good plan.

        1. I rather suspect we have a very good idea what motivates radical leftist youths.

          1. Do we? I’m not sure I do. I have some ideas, but it doesn’t seem so obvious to me that I really understand or that there is one widely shared motivation.

            In any case, what’s that have to do with why a TV comedian thinks a particular city is shitty?

  6. What a clueless politician! A perfect opportunity to try some honey and get some excellent publicity. Imagine if the Chamber of Commerce and mayor had offered an all expenses paid week with tours and all, just for the publicity. Of course the dingbat actor would have refused, but then the mayor could laugh it off and say they tried.

    Some people just can’t see past the end of their nose.

  7. You expect politicians not to react to people calling them out in the media?

    You want them to jump to address problems that the media brings to light, though?

    But not react to criticism?

    If Mr. Davidson wants to sue for harassment, he should have his day in court.

    Expecting politicians not to react to celebrities calling them out in the media is unreasonable.

    Meanwhile, if you don’t want local politicians to shit on you because you’re a celebrity and you called them out in the media, there’s an easy way to avoid that.

    1. P.S. Picking fist fights with biker gangs is also stupid.

      If you’re stupid enough to pick a fight with a biker gang, don’t come to me for sympathy.

      Let the law handle things if you were assaulted, of course, but come to me for sympathy?

      I feel for you, but I can’t quite reach you.

      1. I don’t know about your advise, picking fights with a biker gang is how Hunter S Thompson got his career off the ground.

    2. Expecting politicians not to react to celebrities calling them out in the media is unreasonable.

      It’s unreasonable to expect politicians not to threaten to pursue criminal prosecutions of people who make public statements the politicians don’t like? Go back to jerking off over Trump’s twitter feed, Shultz.

      1. It’s not unreasonable. It IS unrealistic.

  8. fifteen minutes over dude

  9. Can we all just agree that Syracuse is in fact a shithole, and move on?

  10. Pete Davison.
    “The best catcher in the cell block.”

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