Tappan Zee Bridge protester speaks exclusively with News 12

In an exclusive interview with News 12, Tappan Zee Bridge protester Michael Davitt explained how and why he dangled himself over the bridge for hours earlier this week.

Davitt says he had planned the protest for weeks. He says wanted to do something big to bring attention to the way he felt he was treated by the Rockland County government after working there as a drug counselor for nearly 20 years.

Officials say he was fired because he could no longer do his job, a charge Davitt disputes.

So to protest, he drove his van onto the bridge and lowered himself down a rope ladder carrying a large protest sign, bringing with him a tobacco pipe and a thermos of coffee.

"I didn't know how long, but I figured on being there until nighttime," says Davitt. "And that's why I was dressed so warmly."

Davit says the reason he jumped off the ladder as police lowered the ladder toward the water was because the boat he was being lowered onto said Rockland County on the side. So, he says, he chose to surrender to the Yonkers police boat.

For an extended interview with Michael Davitt, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

Tappan Zee Bridge protester facing chargesProtester in custody after dangling off Tappan Zee Bridge

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