Donald Trump took a break from campaigning Monday to perform a civic service, reporting for jury duty at Manhattan state Supreme Court and sitting patiently among other prospective jurors until he was dismissed at the end of the day.
The Republican presidential candidate won't have to serve again for six years.
"People are very surprised that I agreed to do this," Trump told reporters in the courthouse. "I'm not surprised. I think it's the right thing to do."CartoonsCartoons about Donald TrumpCommentaryFiller: What candidates really mean on the campaign trailMore coverageOpinion and analysis about the 2016 presidential campaign
Trump arrived in a black limousine eight minutes late for the 9 a.m. start time and sat in the central jury room -- staring into space, chatting jovially with people around him, reading a newspaper story about himself and even appearing to doze off at one point -- until he and more than 350 others were dismissed at 4 p.m.
Trump said he had spent his two-hour lunch break checking in on his 40 Wall St. property.
August is a slow month for court cases, supervising jury clerk Irene Laracuenta said of the lack of need for jurors.
The billionaire businessman, who wore a navy suit with diamond-encrusted cuff links, kept a straight face as Laracuenta told those in the juror pool that they may receive $40 a day in pay and use the vending machines if they need a snack.
Trump seemed to be in campaign mode as he worked through the crowd of fans and photographers packing the courthouse steps. He posed for selfies and autographed dollar bills, books and posters.
The former reality TV star joined a line of celebrities who have reported for jury duty, including Madonna, Woody Allen and Spike Lee. Monday, "Saturday Night Live" cast member Bobby Moynihan was also in court for jury duty.
Trump boasted to reporters sitting around him that the media crush marking his presence is larger than for other big names serving jury duty.
"It's the biggest they've ever seen," he said. "I love records."
He also bragged that he has gained 500,000 new Twitter followers in the past few weeks.
Trump sent a few tweets during jury duty about his newly announced immigration plan and his standing in public polls.
A Fox News poll Monday showed him with 25 percent support nationally, more than double the backing for Ben Carson in second place.
Some protesters heckled Trump outside court over his immigration proposal to deport the children of those in the country illegally.
Trump was accompanied in court only by a personal bodyguard and state Court Officers Association president Dennis Quirk. A special response team of court officers -- deployed only for high-profile cases, Quirk said -- helped guard Trump.
Frances Schuchman, 60, of Greenwich Village, a teacher who also served jury duty Monday, said she supports his Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, but was pleasantly surprised to see Trump.
"It was like sitting in detention, and he didn't expect any special treatment," she said. "He was more likable than I thought he'd be."