Call it one of the ultimate cases of mistaken identity.
A NYC man has filed a lawsuit saying cops mistook his cigarette break on a Manhattan window ledge for a suicide attempt and wrestled him to the ground before sending him to the psych ward.
In what can only be called ironic, the "suicidal" man just happens to be a 40-year-old lawyer named Mark Moody, and now he's suing the city for $40,00 in damages.
The incident occurred in August, when Moody perched himself outside his apartment window, a mere 12 feet off the ground, during his daily smoking ritual. Suddenly a patrol car pulled up and the officers asked if he was planning on committing suicide.
Moody, who was holding a cell phone at the time, responded with a simple explanation: "If I was going to commit suicide, this would be a pretty dumb place to do it," he told the New York Post. "If I jumped from here, I'd just sprain my ankle."
But as the Post reports, that wasn't sufficient to send the cops packing:
But the officers, who never said what prompted their concern, insisted Moody come downstairs.
Moody refused, explaining he was sitting on the sill so he wouldn't get smoke in the apartment. He even waved over a cabby he knew from the neighborhood, hoping the hack would confirm that the window is Moody's regular smoking spot.
But three ambulances and four other patrol cars pulled up before the cabby could move.
"An army of people arrived," Moody said.
Before he knew it, a beefy officer was inside his apartment, lifting him out of his own living-room window from behind, Moody said. The cop slammed him on the living-room floor while another kneeled on top of him and cuffed him, he claimed.
"I still don't know how they broke in," he said. "I never used to keep the chain on, but now I do."
The attorney was thrown into an ambulance and taken to Beth Israel Medical Center.
The on-duty psychiatrist apologized before quickly discharging him, Moody said.
"I talked to him for three minutes, and he said, 'Look, I'm really sorry. I apologize on behalf of the city,' " Moody recalled.
A spokesman for the NYPD told the Post it responded the way it did because it received "a 911 call of an emotionally disturbed person at the location," and that when police arrived, "they observed the male sitting on the ledge talking erratically."
That, Moody said, isn't true: "I wasn't doing anything. Maybe it should be a crime to smoke a cigarette, but at the moment it's not.