November 01, 2014

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Bernie Goetz, Infamous ‘Subway Vigilante,’ Arrested On Drug Charges

Bernie Goetz, Infamous ‘Subway Vigilante,’ Arrested On Drug Charges


Bernie Goetz, who made headlines in the 80s after questionably exercising his right to self-defense on a New York subway, found himself back in handcuffs on Friday after he was allegedly caught selling marijuana in Union Square.

Goetz allegedly sold pot to an undercover narcotics cop in the Manhattan park, who was there in an effort to crack down on the selling of ganja, reported the New York Daily News. The 66-year-old “subway vigilante” apparently began speaking with the undercover cop at about 5:30 p.m. on Friday. When he “asked her if she wanted to get high,” she said yes, and he went to fetch the marijuana from his apartment. After Goetz sold her the $30 worth of pot, he was arrested.

On Dec. 22, 1984, Goetz was riding the No. 2 subway train when a group of four black teenagers – Darrell Cabey, Barry Allen, Troy Canty and James Ramseur – asked him for $5. Goetz , who claimed the teens were attempting to mug him, then pulled out a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson and fired off five shots, hitting each of the teens. Cabey was left paralyzed.

Following the incident, Goetz name and likeness were splashed across the front pages of the papers. He was ultimately acquitted of attempted murder chargers, pleasing some and incensing others. Goetz was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and served six months behind bars.

In the coming years, Goetz’s good fortune would change when Cabey, the teen who was paralyzed as a result of his gunfire, won a civil suit against him. Cabey was awarded a total of $43 million in damages.

Goetz was forced to file bankruptcy in 1996. Attempts to run for mayor in 2001 and for public advocate in 2005 were unsuccessful. Now, Goetz has allegedly turned to peddling pot. His arraignment on the drug charges is pending.

– Chelsea Regan

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Read more: Bernie Goetz, Shootings, Courts, Drugs


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