Mike Wallace arrested for disorderly conduct -- The octogenarian ''60 Minutes'' newsman is given a summons after a scuffle

By Gary Susman
Updated August 11, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
Mike Wallace
Credit: Mike Wallace: Peter Freed

Veteran ”60 Minutes” newsman Mike Wallace says he has been arrested twice after confrontations with police: once at the 1968 Democratic Convention, when he asked Chicago cops why they were arresting antiwar protesters, and again on Tuesday night, when he got in a scuffle with New York City taxi inspectors over a double-parked car. According to reports in the New York Post, the New York Daily News, and elsewhere, the octogenarian correspondent was handcuffed, arrested, taken to a nearby police station, issued a summons on a disorderly conduct charge, and released.

Wallace’s driver had stopped outside Luke’s Bar and Grill on Manhattan’s Upper East Side while the newsman rushed inside to pick up a takeout order of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Outside, he found two Taxi and Limousine Commission inspectors grilling his driver. Questioning the inspectors about the ticketing, Wallace ”became overly assertive and was reported to be disrespectful to the inspectors,” TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg told Newsday. ”He was asked three times to step away from the vehicle and cease interfering. At one point Mr. Wallace appeared to lunge toward one of the two inspectors. The other inspector became concerned with his partner’s safety and at that point cuffed Mr. Wallace.”

Asked by the New York Post if he’d lunged at the inspectors, Wallace laughed: ”I’m an 86-year-old man,” he said. ”For whatever reason, this guy and his buddy were intent upon telling me that I was interfering with the execution of the law.” Luigi Militello, owner of Luke’s, backed Wallace’s account, telling CNN and various newspapers that the inspectors manhandled the 86-year-old. Wallace will have to answer the summons in court in October.