Protester dangles off the Tappan Zee Bridge

Michael Davitt sat perched above the Hudson River for nearly four hours yesterday.

A Rockland County man swung off the Tappan Zee Bridge for hours yesterday, in an apparent protest because he was fired from his government job.

Michael Davitt, 54, lowered a rope ladder off the bridge and climbed down it just before 11 a.m. yesterday.

He dangled 75 feet above the Hudson for nearly four hours. Davitt stayed hooked into a harness and perched atop a sign that read “Rockland Executive Legislature Cover-Up Retaliation” until the early afternoon.

Davitt was protesting the fact that he had been fired three years ago, according to reports. He served as a substance abuse counselor for the Department of Mental Health from 1991 to 2008, according to, before he was let go.

After years of complaining at county legislative meetings and leading one-man protests, Davitt decided to up the ante and jump. His stunt shut down both lanes of traffic for several hours. Around 2 p.m., Davitt plunged into the river and was pulled into a rescue boat.

“This is certainly not the way you go about getting heard,” Rockland County spokesman Ron Levine said to “We’re totally taken aback that he decided to do this today.”

Davitt was taken to a hospital.

Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.


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