A Brooklyn couple was pulled off a New York City ferry in handcuffs after they refused to wear masks

  • Police pulled a couple off of a New York ferry in handcuffs after they refused multiple orders to put on masks, Gothamist reports. 
  • The husband and wife were each slapped with summonses for disorderly conduct.
  • They were intially allowed to board, but police were called after the couple became hostile toward crew members and other passengers, an NYPD spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A Brooklyn couple was hauled off of a New York ferry in handcuffs Saturday night after refusing multiple requests to put on face masks, Gothamist reports.

The husband and wife each received a summons for disorderly conduct and for violating an emergency measure established by the mayor, an NYPD spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider.

According to Gothamist, the boat's captain requested that the couple either put on face masks or leave the ferry, but the husband and wife claimed they had a medical condition that allowed them to ride without masks. Face coverings are currently required on all NYC Ferry vessels, except for in cases when a medical condition prevents passengers from wearing them, a spokesperson for NYC Ferry told Business Insider.

Gothamist reporter Jake Offenhartz witnessed the incident and chronicled the event in multiple videos posted to Twitter.

The couple was initially allowed to board, but later became verbally abusive toward passengers and crew members, which led the crew to call the police, an NYC Ferry spokesperson told Business Insider.

The husband and wife stood on the ferry's top deck defying orders for approximately 45 minutes before police arrived. One police officer asked for evidence of the couples' medical condition, which they refused to provide, Gothamist reports.

"Because we can't wear a mask, we're being discriminated against," said the man, who identified himself to Gothamist as David, according to the outlet.

"If we were f—ing Black, I can guarantee you that guy would never come out and tell us put a mask on," the woman said, per Gothamist.

According to the report, NYPD officers offered the couple the opportunity to disembark voluntarily before walking them off in handcuffs.

The woman told Gothamist they were in the process of suing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority — which operates New York's transit system — after a similar incident on a bus, and that they may sue the ferry service as well.

"NYC Ferry is continuing to investigate the incident in question," an NYC Ferry spokesperson told Business Insider. "The safety of our riders and crew is our number one priority. We sincerely thank the NYPD for their rapid response to last night's incident and we greatly appreciate the professionalism of our crew along with the patience of our riders."

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