Not A Scratch On Our 'Iron Mike'

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Veteran 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace, 86, emerged unscathed from a confrontation with a pair of Big Apple taxi inspectors the newsman called "a trifle arrogant."

Wallace was handcuffed, taken to a police station and arrested on a disorderly conduct charge following a verbal exchange with the two inspectors.

"All I can tell you is it was a misunderstanding. They were a trifle arrogant," Wallace told John Slattery of WCBS-TV.

The dispute began at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, as Wallace was leaving Luke's Restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Wallace saw two Taxi and Limousine Commission inspectors talking to his driver, who they said was double-parked outside the restaurant.

The newsman denied being disorderly.

"I said, 'What are you doing with the driver?' [The inspectors replied] 'Get back in the car!' 'Get back in the car!' And all of a sudden they had my arms behind me and they were cuffing me," Wallace said.

The TLC said Wallace approached the inspectors and became "overly assertive and disrespectful," interfering with their ability to perform their duties.

The inspectors then asked him to step away from the car and Wallace refused, lunging at one of the inspectors, according to the TLC.

"I find it difficult to lunge into bed," Wallace countered.

The other inspector then handcuffed Wallace and drove him to the NYPD's 19th precinct headquarters, where he was issued the summons and a Desk Appearance Ticket. He was later released.

Wallace laughed off the notion that he had threatened either inspector.

"I'm an 86-year-old man," he told the New York Post. "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, the manager of the restaurant, told WCBS that the inspectors "manhandled" Wallace during the dispute.

Another witness, Ernesto Cazalli, said that Wallace was "swung by his shirt against his own car and handled quite vigorously."

Wallace is due in court in October.

Wallace has been with CBS since the 1950s and on its flagship 60 Minutes newsmagazine since its inception in 1968.