On Monday morning, Michael A. Davitt, a former New York State employee and known rabblerouser, delayed traffic on the Tappan Zee bridge in Rockland County. As a form of protest, he unfurled a rope ladder from the bridge and sat for hours with a 24-foot banner that accused county officials of a "cover-up."

The 54-year-old fell into the water at about 2 p.m. local time and was pulled into one of the boats that were positioned beneath him.

Rockland County spokesman Ron Levine said Davitt was fired in 2008 "because he didn't perform his job function as a substance abuse counselor" but that he'd applied and been approved for disability retirement from the state.

“This is bizarre,” said Levine, who was unclear about Davitt's complaints. “This is a very strange way of making a point.”

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