Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling
was taken to a Manhattan hospital early Friday after several people called police saying he was pulling on their clothes and accusing them of being FBI agents, a police source told The Associated Press.
Skilling's attorney said Friday that his client and his wife called police after they were followed by two men who assaulted them and they sustained injuries. Police denied that account.
"Skilling was acting erratically and he was taken into custody," said Paul Browne, the New York Police Department's deputy commissioner for public information.
Police took Skilling to New York Presbyterian Hospital after finding him at 4 a.m. at the corner of Park Avenue and East 73rd Street and determining he might be an "emotionally disturbed person," said the source, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Police did not charge Skilling with a crime. Hospital officials would only say that Skilling had been discharged from the hospital on Friday.
Skilling's attorney, Bruce Hiler, said Friday that Skilling was never at the two Manhattan bars police said he visited, American Trash and Vudu Lounge.
Police received six to eight calls from patrons at both bars, the police source said, complaining that a man was pulling at their clothes. "He was shouting at them 'You're an FBI agent and you're following me,"' the source said.
The man, identified by the police as Skilling, allegedly did the same thing to people on the street, the source added. He was with his wife at the time. He was described as drunk and highly uncooperative when he was approached by police, the source said.
Hiler said Skilling and his wife instead were accosted by two men.
"Mr. Skilling asked several passing cab drivers to call for the police after he and his wife were followed and harassed by two men, who questioned him about Enron and refused to answer when Mr. Skilling asked whether they were FBI agents," Hiler said.
During the confrontation, Skilling and his wife were pushed to the ground, Hiler said. Skilling suffered minor abrasions and his wife suffered a concussion, the attorney said.
Vudu Lounge manager Eric Funk said Friday that security staff told him that someone was acting strangely in the bar, either late Thursday or early Friday. The person in question wasn't fighting with patrons and didn't appear very drunk, Funk said.
"All I know is there was somebody there acting strange. Security pointed it out. It wasn't a big issue."
Mark Ostrowsky, manager of American Trash, said he was told a man was arrested outside his bar, but never entered.
"My doorman probably asked him to leave. He got arrested down the block for being a jerk."
Skilling, of Houston, has been charged with fraud, insider trading and other crimes in the energy trader's colossal collapse.
Skilling is accused of participating in widespread schemes to mislead government regulators and investors about the company's earnings. He has pleaded innocent to all 35 federal counts against him, and posted his $5 million bond with a cashier's check.