Sleepy New Yorkers beware: Putting your feet up on a subway seat during a late-night train ride can land you behind bars.
The New York Times reports that police arrested 1,600 people last year for violating a 7-year-old law that makes it a crime to put your feet up on the subway or sprawl out over more than one seat, even if the train is empty.
Another 6,000 people escaped arrest but got hit with a $50 fine.
The practice of tossing people in jail for an etiquette infraction has outraged some lawyers, who say it is overly harsh.
Police Department spokesman Paul Browne says rigorous enforcement makes the subway system safer.
He says many of those subway rule-breakers turn out to be wanted felons.
In a recent decision, a Brooklyn judge, Noach Dear, dismissed the case of a man cited for taking up more than one seat on an A train at 3:10 a.m. on Dec. 24. “There appears to be a disconnect between the code’s goals and its enforcement,” Judge Dear wrote in his decision. He said that he and other Brooklyn judges had found these arrests happened “late at night or early in the morning when subways are generally at their least crowded levels.”