Subway Vigilante Goetz Arrested in Drug Sting

Image: Subway Vigilante Goetz Arrested in Drug Sting Bernard Goetz, represented by attorney Danielle Iredale, is arraigned in Manhattan criminal court on Nov. 2.

Saturday, 02 Nov 2013 05:13 PM

By Andrea Billups

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Bernhard Goetz, who became infamous in New York City lore after he opened fire vigilante style on four black youths who had hassled him on the subway, has been arrested on charges of selling marijuana to police.

Goetz, 65, allegedly chatted up a female undercover detective, telling her he'd like to get high with her. They walked to his Lower Manhattan apartment on West 14th Street on Friday evening, and when he returned with the marijuana, he was arrested, the New York Post reported, noting the detective had no idea of Goetz's infamous past.

"She was young and pretty and found him to be fairly creepy," a source told the tabloid. "He was just this creepy old man to her."

Goetz, whose pot sale was worth about $30, was expected to be charged with misdemeanor criminal sale of marijuana and other charges, according to police, who held him overnight for a Saturday arraignment because of his previous felony conviction, the Post reported.

Goetz was found not guilty of attempted murder after he shot and wounded four young men riding on a No. 2 train in Manhattan on Dec. 22, 1984. He claimed that he feared being mugged. Dubbed by city media as the "subway vigilante," Goetz was found guilty of carrying an unlicensed firearm and served part of a one-year prison sentence. His case sparked a national debate about the right to self-defense as well as race and crime.

One of Goetz's victims, who was left paraplegic and with brain damage in the shootings, successfully sued him in 1996, winning a $43 million civil judgment, the New York Times reported.

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