Mayor Michael Bloomberg was fuming Tuesday when he heard that hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs got a police escort after leaving his concert Friday at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
“The bottom line is the police department should treat everyone exactly the same,” Bloomberg said at an unrelated news conference. “If you don’t get a police escort, P. Diddy shouldn’t.”
The mayor said the city was investigating why an escort was even needed. Normally, it’s only warranted as a security measure, he added.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said in a statement that Diddy, 41, was escorted one block from W. 35th Street to Dyer Avenue. It was initially reported that his motorcade was accompanied for nearly 20 miles to Club 4 Sixty 6 in West Orange, N.J. John Mahdessian, who helped prep Diddy’s clothes for the concert show, told reporters he set up the escort.
“Although a distance of just one block, the assistance provided was unauthorized and is under investigation,” said Browne, noting that a police van escorted Diddy at the order of an unnamed sergeant.
Diddy had first planned to get to the club using a helicopter, but published reports said it hadn’t received the necessary clearance.
His use of city resources – even for a short distance – outraged some city officials and New Yorkers Tuesday.
“If P. Diddy is really ‘All About the Benjamins,’ he will fully reimburse the city for the NYPD escort,” demanded Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria).
“Hell no, he’s not the president!” South Bronx resident Terrence Mitchell, 41, said.
But Robert McCrie, a security management professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said nothing’s wrong with a cop extending a courtesy such as giving a ride or escorting someone to keep them safe.
“Escorting them one block or into a club, I don’t see any problem with that,” McCrie said. “But if the club returns week after week asking for [special treatment], that can lead to abuse.”
(With Sheila Anne Feeney)
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Other escorted celebs
•Oct. 29, 2009: Rapper Jay-Z performed his hit, “Empire State of Mind,” at Game 2 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium. In a later interview on the “Mike & Mike in the Morning” show on ESPN, he said he was awed by the experience, which ended with him getting a police escort to the airport.
•Aug. 29, 2008: When Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was stuck in traffic on the Cross Bronx Expressway on his way to a game, he flagged down a cop car. The officers turned on the siren and gave him a ride, a team spokesman said in published reports after the incident.
•June 2005: “Gladiator” actor Russell Crowe crowed about the special treatment he got after his assault arrest at a New York hotel. Crowe reportedly sailed through processing and was given a police escort to the courthouse. (He pleaded guilty to the charge.)