Ex-cop opts for deal to settle his Occupy Wall Street arrest

Northeast Philadelphia’s socially disobedient ex-cop has made peace with his former law enforcement colleagues in New York City.

Retired Philadelphia Police Department Capt. Ray Lewis — who also is a former president of the Mechanicsville Civic Association — agreed with prosecutors in Manhattan last Wednesday to serve a six-month period of unofficial probation, according to a report by the Associated Press. That is, the prosecutor agreed to drop its disorderly conduct case against Lewis if he steers clear of another arrest for the next six months.

In a front-page story on Nov. 23, the Northeast Times reported that NYPD officers arrested Lewis on Nov. 17 in that city’s Financial District as he joined Occupy Wall Street protesters in defying police orders to clear the street. Lewis was wearing his old Philadelphia captain’s uniform at the time and later admitted he intentionally disregarded the commands of the local police.

In an amateur video filmed before his arrest and that ended up on YouTube, Lewis told an interviewer of his disdain for the greed and pervasive influence of corporate America. In another video, he vowed to continue protesting, even if it meant more arrests.

Lewis’ pinch made headlines throughout the nation and in Europe as news organizations published a snapshot of him sitting on the sidewalk, leaning against a building with his hands tied behind his back and a New York cop standing guard over him. Another amateur videographer filmed a segment of his arrest as riot-equipped cops walked him through a throng of jeering Occupiers and random onlookers.

Lewis lived in the Northeast for about 17 years but sold his house in 2003 and retired from the PPD the following year. He reportedly lives in upstate New York now. The Times has not been in direct contact with him. ••