Our 'Iron Mike' Beats The Rap

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)
AP
New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission said it would not pursue a disorderly conduct charge against 86-year-old CBS News Correspondent Mike Wallace, who was arrested earlier this month during a confrontation with two TLC inspectors outside a Manhattan restaurant.

The 60 Minutes mainstay was handcuffed and taken to a police precinct on Aug. 10 after he and his driver clashed with inspectors while Wallace picked up a takeout order at a restaurant. He was issued a summons and released.

Wallace said he left the restaurant to find two inspectors interviewing his driver, who they said was double-parked. He said he asked the inspectors what was going on and they told him to get back in the car. They arrested him after he pressed them further, he said.

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

The inspectors had claimed Wallace lunged at them.

"I find it difficult to lunge into bed," the 86-year-old Wallace countered.

Allan Fromberg, a spokesman for the TLC, said an investigation had determined that the inspector who had handcuffed Wallace had not yet received his special patrolman status, which authorizes inspectors to use handcuffs and write summonses.

Both inspectors were placed on desk duty, would be issued warnings and would be required to undergo retraining in conflict resolution, Fromberg said.

"Why a man in his 80s was so threatening that they had to arrest him when they normally don't arrest anybody certainly gives you cause to ask the question," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said earlier this month. "Why he'd have to be handcuffed and led away, or whatever happened, I don't know, but you can rest assured we will be looking into it."

Wallace said the agency's commissioner, Matthew Daus, had personally called him to tell him the results of the investigation.

"I'm grateful for Commissioner Daus, for a thorough investigation and the decision at which they arrived," Wallace said.

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

Wallace's takeout order was meatloaf. The following day, the New York Post gave the meatloaf a lukewarm review, awarding the dish 2½ handcuffs out of a possible four.