You’ll remember John Clifford, a retired NYPD officer who takes it on himself to police Long Island Railroad trains against the cellphone shriekers, overly animated conversationalists, and excessively loud iPodders on the train.
A judge has thrown out a lawsuit from the so-called LIRR Lunatic in which Clifford says he was falsely arrested and slandered following an incident on the train during which he yelled at one Nicholas Bender, who chatted on his mobile in the seat behind Clifford (the man claims he was learning of his cousin’s kidney failure during the cellphone convo), and called him a homophobic slur. Clifford then allegedly slapped a woman’s hand as she offered a business card to Bender, presumably to offer her services in getting Clifford locked up.
That represented the latest of several incidents involving Clifford and his fellow LIRR riders. Clifford was found not guilty of assault in the most recent incident.
A Newsday poll shows that 51.3% of responding readers believe Clifford is “justified at [sic] confronting loud passengers.” Almost 18% felt he was in the wrong, and another 26.5% said he should leave the dirty work up to the conductors.
Clifford said he would not appeal the judge’s decision. He works for, fittingly, the IRS, and mercifully now drives to work in Garden City.
[image NY Post]