Former Enron CEO taken to hospital

Jeffrey Skilling has been charged with fraud, insider trading and other crimes in the colossal collapse of Enron, the energy trading company.Richard Carson / Reuters file
/ Source: The Associated Press

A police spokesman says Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was acting erratically and was taken into custody. Skilling’s lawyer charges that his client and his wife were assaulted by two men and called police for help.

“Mr. Skilling asked several passing cab drivers to call for the police after he and his wife were followed and harassed by two men, who questioned him about Enron and refused to answer when Mr. Skilling asked whether they were FBI agents,” said Skilling’s lawyer, Bruce Hiler.

During Friday’s confrontation, Skilling and his wife were pushed to the ground, Hiler said. Skilling suffered minor abrasions and his wife suffered a concussion, the attorney said.

Paul Browne, the New York Police Department’s deputy commissioner for public information, said Skilling “was acting erratically and he was taken into custody.”

A police source who spoke on condition of anonymity provided further detail, siad Skilling was taken to a hospital after several people called police saying he was pulling on their clothes and accusing them of being FBI agents.

The source said officers took Skilling to the hospital after finding him at 4 a.m. at the corner of Park Avenue and East 73rd Street and determining he might be an “emotionally disturbed person.”

Another police source, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the log of 911 calls out of Manhattan early Friday conflicts with Skilling’s version of the incident. No one in those calls told police they were being assaulted by two men, the source said.

Police did not charge Skilling with a crime. They took him to New York Presbyterian Hospital for observation. Hospital officials would say only that Skilling had been discharged Friday.

The police source said Skilling ran up to patrons at two bars and pulled open their clothes.

“He was shouting at them, 'You’re an FBI agent and you’re following me,”’ the source said.

The source added that Skilling allegedly did the same thing to people on the street. He was with his wife at the time, and was described as being intoxicated and highly uncooperative when he was approached by police, the source said.

Hiler said Skilling was never at the two Manhattan bars the police source said he visited, American Trash and Vudu Lounge.

Skilling has been charged with fraud, insider trading and other crimes in the energy trader’s colossal collapse.

Skilling is accused of participating in widespread schemes to mislead government regulators and investors about the company’s earnings. He has pleaded innocent to all 35 federal counts against him, and posted his $5 million bond with a cashier’s check.