NEW YORK – CBS News veteran Mike Wallace, 86, was arrested
Aug. 10 outside a New York City restaurant and issued a
summons for disorderly conduct. According to Alan Fromberg,
deputy commissioner for public affairs at the Taxi and
Limousine Commission (TLC), Wallace allegedly lunged at a
Two TLC inspectors saw that Wallace's limousine, registered
with the commission, was double-parked so they approached
the driver. According to Fromberg, while the two inspectors
were questioning the driver and checking the vehicle,
Wallace came out of Luke's Bar and Grill on Manhattan's
Upper East side carrying a take-out order.
Wallace then approached the two inspectors, Fromberg said,
in an "overtly assertive and disrespectful manner." Wallace
was asked to step away three times by the inspectors.
Wallace did not comply.
After the third request to step aside, Wallace "[lunged] at
one of the inspectors," Fromberg said.
The second inspector handcuffed Wallace and placed him in
an unmarked TLC vehicle. Wallace was then escorted to the
19th precinct and "issued a summons for disorderly
conduct," Fromberg said.
He was released soon afterward.
Here’s what one columnist from www.newsobserver.com in
North Carolina is saying about the Wallace situation.
Old man Wallace still ticks
By DENNIS ROGERS, Staff Writer
Mike Wallace, Stud Geezer. At an age – he's 86, you know –
when most men consider it a good day if they can find the
glass where they left their teeth, Mike has become a role
model for the Viagra set.
You may have heard that Mike, who has been the star of "60
Minutes" since the invention of the clock, was arrested.
Not for forgetting to zip his fly. Not for shoplifting
Geritol. Not for boring people until their heads explode
with stories about walking to school in the snow after
milking the cows and how it was uphill both ways and then
came the Depression and ... Arrrggg!
No sir. Mike got busted for disturbing the peace, an
offense normally associated with frat house parties and
In New York City, no less, where you have to work hard to
be heard over the din of the city, much less create such a
ruckus that you disturb the peace.
Seems Mike had his limo driver double-park outside a
restaurant while he picked up a takeout order of meatloaf.
How "real man" is that? Let the fancy pants news anchors
dine on sushi and sprouts – our man Mike is chowing down on
manly meatloaf. I'll bet it had mashed potatoes and gravy,
Two inspectors from the city taxi and limousine office
happened by and were shocked to see a double-parked limo on
a New York street. Imagine that.
Rather than just write a routine parking ticket, the
inspectors started getting pushy when Mike's limo driver
did not move fast enough for them.
Mike came out of the restaurant with his meatloaf and
apparently got in the inspectors' faces with his trademark
tact and charm. OK, so maybe he was acting like a jerk.
Hey, it's Mike Wallace, an old man who made his bones by
getting in the face of officious government employees
trying to throw their weight around.
That is when these public servants lost it. The two of them
were apparently so intimidated by the 86-year-old meatloaf-
wielding man that they slapped the cuffs on him. They said
it was because he moved toward them in an aggressive
Hey, he's 86. What did they think he was going to do, gum
them? Dump meatloaf on their heads? All they had to do was
take three steps backward and wait for him to forget where
he was going and what he planned to do when he got there.
Happens to me all the time. I head to the kitchen and find
myself standing there thinking about the hereafter, as
in, "What am I here after?"
Mike did more than scare these Barney Fifes. He was
disrespectful to them, too.
Oh no, not that.
It may be rude, but since when is it a crime to be
disrespectful to the government? We have to follow the
rules, but we don't have to be polite about it. If being
disrespectful is a crime, I know a lot of people – like me –
who should be locked up when the legislature is in town.
Half of the country is being disrespectful to the president
at this very minute, and the other half is just as
disrespectful to his opponent. It's called freedom.
If I'm ever lucky enough to be arrested for disturbing the
peace and dissing some pushy tax-paid employee when I'm 86,
I plan to throw myself on the mercy of the court.
If someone will just point me toward the judge.
Columnist Dennis Rogers can be reached at