UPDATE: Protester Hanging Off Tappan Zee Bridge Lowered To Safety [VIDEO]

A man equipped with a harness jumped off the center of bridge, dangling above river with protest sign targeting Rockland County executive and legislature

Update: 5.57 p.m.: Watch the above video to see protester Michael Davitt jump into the Hudson River off his rope hanging from the Tappan Zee Bridge. Footage also shows Davitt being loaded onto an ambulance in Tarrytown. He was then transported to State Police barracks, authorities said.

Patch has also learned Davitt against the Rockland sheriff. In exclusive interview, Davitt's neighbors describe him as "."

Update: 1:58 p.m.: Michael Davitt has been safely lowered from his perch above the Hudson River and below the Tappan Zee Bridge. He is now on a rescue boat and being taken to shore.

As Davitt was lowered down to the river, he either fell or jumped into the river. However, emergency workers pulled him on to a rescue boat.

Davitt appeared uninjured as he was placed into an ambulance in Tarrytown as the more than three-hour ordeal ended.

Update: 12:58 p.m.: According to the Rockland County Executive's Office, the protestor, Michael Davitt, "was separated from County service in 2008 because he was no longer able to perform his essential job functions as a Substance Abuse Counselor 1. He subsequently applied for and received a disability retirement from New York State."

County spokesman Ron Levine said county officials do not know what Davitt's problem is with the county executive or the Legislature.

"This is certainly not the way you go about getting heard," Levine said. "We're totally taken aback that he decided to do this today. He put himself at risk and put all the emergency workers at risk."

Davitt, 54, was employed by the county's Department of Mental Health in Pomona from 1991 to 2008. 

Sheriff's Department Capt. William Barbera said Davitt has been escorted off county property several times involving his one-man protests in New City. However, Barbera said those incidents did not lead to any arrests.

Update 12:07 p.m.: The man hanging off the Tappan Zee Bridge is Michael Davitt, a Rockland County resident who has appeared at several county council meetings alleging that he had wrongfully lost his job with the county, according to Rockland County Sheriff James Kralik.

Davitt, of West Haverstraw, has for the past several years conducted one-man protests in front of the Rockland County Office Building in New City with a sign reading "Indict Vanderhoef," and has repeatedly spoken before sessions of the Rockland County Legislature. Kralik described Davitt's comments to the Legislature as "somewhat threatening" and related to the loss of his job at the county's health complex in Pomona.  

He formerly worked for the Department of Mental Health. Davitt most recently spoke about EEOP issues at a county legislative meeting on March 1. Prior to that, he also spoke at the Feb. 15 and Jan. 18 sessions. 

The grey-haired man, wearing tan pants and a white t-shirt, is hanging on a perch connected to what looks like a rope ladder.

11:00 a.m.: An apparent protester is hanging off the center of the Tappan Zee Bridge, tied off to a van that is stopped on the bridge.

State Police based in Tarrytown said the individual's actions have closed one lane. Traffic cameras on the bridge show south bound traffic slowed almost to a complete stop.

Emergency workers said the man apparently drove a van to the bridge, stopped and then jumped over the railing with a line tied off to the van. Emergency workers said the man is wearing a harness and appears to have some kind of sign.

Emergency crews are gathering below the bridge in Tarrytown to assess the situation. A sign that can be seen hanging from the man's perch makes reference to the Rockland County Legislature and the Rockland County Executive's Office.

Authorities have not released any other details; it is unclear who the protester is, or what he is protesting.

Check back soon for more information.

Billy B November 07, 2011 at 06:29 PM
Maya November 07, 2011 at 06:43 PM
Im with Billy- cut that rope..what is this guy costing taxpayers in rescue attempts others lives being put in danger.. the traffic is a mess and there he just dangles... I predict a trip to flight deck for him when he is lowered down
Robert Solari November 07, 2011 at 06:46 PM
Call Frank Morabito he will save him!
Billy B November 07, 2011 at 06:49 PM
Robert Solari November 07, 2011 at 06:49 PM
Call Superman!
BUGSPOP November 07, 2011 at 06:53 PM
Willie Lester November 07, 2011 at 07:59 PM
Does the sign say fire Blau? Could it be the tow truck owner? LOL
Gargamel November 07, 2011 at 08:00 PM
what's the $$$ tab for all of this so far? We are all paying big time for this! AND he'll end up in some metal hospital where we will pay some more? Maybe he should be forced to chip rust and repaint the bridge as his penalty?
TERESA November 07, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Sign says Rockland County Legislator Cover up. I cant read the bottom of the sign. Maybe the sign should say that town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence is hanging Ramapo out to dry!!!!
DaveAdams November 07, 2011 at 08:12 PM
He could be a troll hiding under the bridge.
Paul November 07, 2011 at 08:49 PM
Having recently moved back to Westchester Co. from San Francisco, CA I am so happy to comment: "This is not Berkeley !" Friggin' nut job.
Ken McQuade November 07, 2011 at 08:53 PM
I hope the State Police issued a huge fine for this dope.
BUGSPOP November 07, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Well he is down, now lets think about it, did his plan work. is there anyone out there that will remember this jerk tommorrow? was it worth it, you tell me.
kenneth murphy November 07, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Someone should have cut the rope and see how good his landing would have been. Lucky
K. McnMars November 07, 2011 at 09:40 PM
He's sure to get his counseling job back now!
Dennis OConnor November 07, 2011 at 09:49 PM
Maybe someone should hiore him to be a cdelebrity toll collector on the TZ
pat doyle November 07, 2011 at 09:51 PM
Glad I was traveling the opposite direction traffic was all backed up
Jeanne November 07, 2011 at 10:08 PM
Well, I'll bet this guy makes a ton of money. So, who is the one who's crazy?
Chip November 07, 2011 at 10:21 PM
I know. Have the Union put him in a "rubber room" and give him his pension AND a disability stipend for the stress and trauma he must have experienced.
Jw Ney November 08, 2011 at 04:34 AM
If he were your dad or son or brother would you still want him cut down? He just wanted attention and he got it. Not smart but at least he hurt no one but himself, and he did not use violence as so many others do. Same result, but no one is dead.
Kathy Jaser November 08, 2011 at 05:44 AM
would not want him cut down but he was VERY stupid and thoughtless to endanger rescue people who risk their lives for an idiot like this. I hope he gets jail time or a nice hefty fine...he would deserve it. "Nice guys" as the article called him, don't endanger other people to make a point.
Steven R. Russell November 08, 2011 at 05:58 AM
Fools and foolishness.
Jada Jade November 08, 2011 at 08:19 AM
Maybe he thought he was spiderman.
dave November 08, 2011 at 09:58 AM
just cut the line,he won't do that again!
dave November 08, 2011 at 09:58 AM
just cut the line,he won't do that again!
bytebroker November 08, 2011 at 11:08 AM
Make him pay for everyone's gas that was wasted idling in traffic while they sorted him out. Should pay everyone for their time as well
Slunt November 08, 2011 at 07:06 PM
He needs taxpayers help to be counseled and rehabbed so he can be a productive citizen.
Jonathan November 09, 2011 at 01:09 AM
You have got to be kidding! He needs to be fined. Teach him where it hurts, his wallet! [ As a taxpayer I wouldn't mind him being locked up for a little bit]
Ed Murphy November 11, 2011 at 07:49 AM
They should have let him hang there. The bridge could have charged for looking at him. A similar body was a great tourist attraction on the Eiger Mtn. in Switzerland . He was the Mtn. Climber who hung on his rope for 3 years. A no cost attraction that made money for the coin operated telescopes and nearby restaurants. See Eiger on the net or "White Spider".
Sav November 11, 2011 at 08:07 PM
so true!


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