Tappan Zee Bridge protester falls into water

November 7, 2011 2:29:10 PM PST
The protester hanging 75 feet down from the Tappan Zee Bridge has fallen into the water, and was pulled into a rescue boat.

The protester was sitting on a sign suspended from the bottom of a ladder hanging from the span. The sign partially reads, "Rockland Executive Legislature Cover Up Retaliation," but the words underneath that were too difficult to read from NewsCopter7.

Michael Davitt, 54, of Garnerville, N.Y., had been angry about losing his job with the Rockland County mental health department, Sheriff James Kralik said.

On Monday morning, he climbed down a rope ladder and hung for hours about halfway between the Hudson River and the bridge roadway before police got him down. He held a sign accusing county officials of a "cover-up" and "retaliation."

"This is bizarre," Rockland County spokesman Ron Levine said. "This is a very strange way of making a point."

State police lowered Davitt nearly to the water at about 2 p.m. He then jumped or fell from a height of about 10 feet and was immediately hauled on board a boat.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)