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Driving While V.I.P.

Wed, 06/26/2024 - 18:13


No one around here — especially if you recall the tabloid-headline travails of Billy Joel some 20 years ago, when he was involved in a series of car wrecks — is surprised that the paparazzi press went wild over the arrest of Justin Timberlake, the “Bye Bye Bye” singer, for allegedly driving while intoxicated last week after enjoying a martini at the America Hotel. It was several steps over the line, however, when The New York Post and The Daily Mail used the occasion to sling personal insults at the police officer who made the arrest.

Both The Daily Mail and The Post quoted sources complaining that the rookie officer, Michael Arkinson, had . . . actually done his duty.

“In just three months on the force,” said an eye-popping Post story on Sunday, “Arkinson has earned a reputation among Sag Harbor’s wealthy residents, earning nicknames like ‘the Sag Harbor Nazi’ and ‘little redheaded dips--t’ for his strict enforcement of traffic laws.”

“I was surprised he pulled me over,” a Shelter Island resident, ticketed for whipping a U-turn in order to nab a parking spot (a move we all know and loathe), told The Daily Mail. “It was off-season, and no one was around. It was a d--khead move.”

We have a message for Officer Arkinson: Keep doing what you’re doing.

So, they say, Sag Harbor Village police have made it a habit to lurk near the restaurants of Main Street in order to catch diners who have polished off a French 75 or two with their tournedos of bison a la Rossini and then gotten behind the wheel? Good. They should.

Equal enforcement of the law is a beautiful thing, and we applaud it, especially when it comes to dangerous driving, drunken driving, and what we might call driving while V.I.P. (being reckless but expecting to get away with it because you’re a privileged white person in a Lambo or G-Wagon).

Officer Arkinson, when The Post starts calling you names, it’s usually a sign you’re on the right track.

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