YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST (VIDEO): In the span of five minutes this morning, Port Authority police at the George Washington Bridge stopped a man from jumping and arrested a tractor-trailer driver who they said tried to duck a toll with a hydraulic bumper that lifted to conceal its license plate from EZ Pass cameras.
The 34-year-old Cooper City, Florida man told officers who found him walking on the closed north walkway at 8:30 a.m. that “he was homeless, he was depressed and he came to the bridge to jump off,” the authority’s Joseph Pentangelo told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
He was taken to Bergen Regional Medical Center for evaluation.
Five minutes later, officers stopped the red, 1997 Peterbilt tractor and trailer in a toll lane after noticing the bumper “was hydraulically lifted to make the front license plate impossible to be viewed by EZPass cameras,” Pentangelo said.
“The rear plate was also obscured with grease and unreadable,” he said.
Pablo Ortega, 45, of Ridgewood, Queens, “activated a black toggle switch positioned on the dashboard” to move the bumper.
He was charged with theft and tampering with public records.
MUGSHOT: Courtesy PAPD / CLIFFVIEW PILOT PHOTO: Maria D.L. Angeles
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.