CBS' Wallace On His NY Scuffle

Veteran "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace, shown in New York May 1, 2004, was handcuffed and driven to a police station Tuesday night, Aug. 10, 2004, after arguing with city inspectors over where his driver had parked. The dispute began at about 8:30 p.m., as Wallace was leaving a Manhattan restaurant, WCBS-TV reported. (AP Photo/Jennifer Graylock)
It all started with a takeout dinner: Meatloaf.

But as Scott Pelley reports, it ended with veteran CBS newsman Mike Wallace being cuffed and cited for disorderly conduct outside a New York restaurant.

When Mike came out of this New York restaurant, his driver -- double parked -- was being questioned by a couple of city inspectors who didn't appreciate it when the world's most feared and famous interviewer starting asking some questions of his own.

"I said 'Hold it, officer, I just want to ask a couple of questions about what's … maybe my driver's done something wrong?' … and suddenly I found myself up against the car with this arm and that arm being hammered and cuffed. Hard."

Witnesses back up the 86-year-old Wallace's story.

"He was taken by the shoulder, spun around, thrown against the cars, assumed the position and cuffed,'' said Luigi Militello, owner and manager of "Luke's Bar and Grill."

Asked Pelley: "But your claim is that you were polite and respectful throughout this whole thing."

"I was as polite and respectful as a reporter trying to get a question answered. 'Why are you looking at my drivers' license? What has he done wrong?' … And besides, the meatloaf in here is getting cold,'' said Wallace.

Pelley: "The Taxi and Limo Commission also says 'the inspector feared for his partner's safety …' "

"I know. The TLC also said that I lunged at the officers. Can you imagine me lunging at a police officer?"

Pelley then showed Wallace a compilation of some of his more aggressive moments as an award-winning investigative reporter for 60 Minutes.

"Isn't that evidence of a long history of aggressive behavior?" asked Pelley.

"You're absolutely right. I plead, by gosh, guilty. I do."

"So what happens now,'' asked Pelley. "You hire a celebrity lawyer and go on cable 24 hrs day?"

Wallace showed the ticket he was given.

"They've given me a summons to show up in court on Oct. 7. And we'll see what happens,'' said Wallace, adding with a sly smile: "I don't want to go to jail."

(c)MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

  • David Hancock On Google+»

    David Hancock is a home page editor for