Straphanger snaps photo of NYPD cop sleeping on subway
An NYPD officer will likely be disciplined after a photo of him napping on the subway surfaced on Twitter.
Straphanger Martin Bisi snapped the photo of the uniformed cop on an F train February 16 and tweeted it yesterday, along with the caption “NYC cop sleeping on F train last Thurs w/weapon- i reported/his vacation docked. if you see something, say something!”
“I was just sort of startled and looking at other people, half expecting
that there would be more reactions,” Bisi said of noticing the snoozing
The sleeping officer is 43-year-old Matthew Sobota. He’s a 20-year veteran cop who has been recognized several
times for acts of bravery. Sobota shot and wounded a man known for
attacking cops in 2010.
The photo shows Sobota asleep on a subway seat with his holstered gun in
plain view. He was reportedly off duty at the time, but on his way to a
paid security gig sanctioned by the NYPD.
Bisi snapped the picture before getting off the train at Jay Street and then showed it to a police officer outside the subway station. She took his information and within an hour, Bisi said he got a call from who he believed to be an NYPD lieutenant.
“The lieutenant thought it was very serious. He used the words ‘disgusted’ and ‘embarrassed,’” Bisi told Metro. “The impression I got was that it didn’t matter whether [the sleeping officer] was on duty or off duty.”
NYPD officials told Metro that Sobota has not yet been disciplined. Bisi said the lieutenant told him the officer would be docked vacation days. Since tweeting the photo, Bisi has gotten hundreds of comments, some critical of him for not waking the officer.
“The officer’s eyes opened twice very briefly. When his eyes would open, he tried to wake up but his head would drop into his chest. There were moments where he was struggling to wake up but clearly couldn’t,” Bisi said.
“There was no way I was going to touch him,” he added. “How do I know how he would have seen that touch? He wakes up and sees an arm reaching toward him, he might be justifiably alarmed.”