Getting the MTA’s Goat at the Verrazano Bridge


While Mary-Kate Olsen’s denial she had anything to do with Heath Ledger’s OD death takes up the majority of front-page real estate in both tabloids this morning, there’s one bizarre story that deserves to be highlighted. It’s a humorous look at anti-terror security measures (well, as humorous as anything surrounding that subject could be).

The Daily News has an exclusive on “BAAAAD SECURITY” around the Verrazano Bridge. A few goats (yes, goats) wandered from their spot on National Park Service land and managed to get past a fence near the base of the bridge. The goats were from a farm upstate and on Staten Island’s Fort Wadsworth to gnaw on the vegetation that can ruin the structural integrity of the historical buildings. Having hungry goats chomp on the weeds growing in the cracks is safer than using gas-powered trimmers. Speculation is that the critters breached the fence in search of better grub, and a MTA Bridge and Tunnel officer spotted the goats. This is when the story gets truly ridiculous:

“‘The goats were taken into custody and turned over to the Army once it was determined not to be illegal aliens or agents of terror,’ said a source.”

How does one determine a goat is not an “agent of terror?” It’s really hard to tell if this quote is facetious or not. The tone of the article is quite playful, with its mentions of “weapons of grass destruction” and a Park Service employee commenting that the guard probably “thought he was hallucinating” when the guard saw the 13 yearlings wandering around. There is, however, still concern over how (un)successful these safety measures may actually be. The goats managed to breach the fence without sounding any alarm, and the News makes sure to mention that the MTA has “invested a small fortune in police overtime, barricades, sensors, intrusion alarms and surveillance cameras to protect its property against trespassers.” The MTA, meanwhile, insists that there actually was no security breach because the true security perimeter is a second fence that the goats did not reach.

So, do we have a wacky animal story or an indictment of the MTA’s security measures? Guess it depends on what side of the fence you’re on. BAAAAH.