Today’s news:

Shoe of force

A Jackson Heights Amtrak worker was bum-rushed by authorities who feared he was planning to throw his shoe at MTA Board Chairman Eliot Sander Wednesday morning, replicating an Iraqi reporter who did the same to President George W. Bush last weekend. 

Stephen Millies said he was simply trying to make a point when he reached for his shoe at the MTA hearing held in Manhattan, but ended up being slapped with disorderly conduct and intent to cause public annoyance charges by the police, who tackled him and quickly hustled him out of the room.

Millies was testifying against proposed fair hikes on behalf of the Bail Out the People Campaign when the incident occurred.

“Where’s Elliot Sander?” he said before making a motion towards his shoe. “You made $300,000 last year. This shoe’s for you.”

Following the incident, Millies said he had no intention to actually throw the shoe at Sander, but rather was hoping to display the sole of it to him.

“I had no intent to throw it whatsoever.  I don’t want to face an assault charge,” Millies said. “I reached for my shoe just to show as a sign of contempt to Mr. Sander. That’s not illegal.”

Millies said his supervisors have subsequently taken him off his shift at Amtrak.

“I’m not being taken out of service, but I’m not being allowed to work today.  I never claimed to represent a national passenger railroad company,” he said. “I was speaking as a human being. I think that’s outrageous.”  

Contributing writer Phillip Newman contributed to this article.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, ext. 138.

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