New York City trucker accused of owing $28,000 in unpaid tolls

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 7/16/2013

A truck driver from Queens, N.Y., stands accused of being a serial toll cheater, according to authorities with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

Marcus Tifa, 34, was apprehended on Friday, July 12, by port authority police after attempting to cross the George Washington Bridge without paying the toll.

Police spokesman Joe Pentangelo said the front and rear license plates on Tifa’s 2003 Freightliner truck were hidden when he attempted to drive through the cash lanes without paying the $75 toll.

“The rear plate was tucked up under the body of the trailer so all you could read was the bottom of it, that it was assigned to the state of New Jersey,” Pentangelo said. “In front he attached the plate to the grill with two wire ties, and he had it flipped up so the back of the plate was facing out. That’s what you would see, and you can’t see any numbers on it.”

Pentangelo said Tifa was arraigned Monday and charged with theft of services and tampering with public records. The $28,000 figure represents multiple times that Tifa is alleged to have crossed the bridge without paying tolls.

“He owns other vehicles as well, not just the one from (Friday),” Pentangelo said. “The amount is assigned to him rather than to that particular vehicle. He also had three warrants for unpaid traffic tickets exclusive of this, and he also had a suspended license in the state of New Jersey.”

Tifa’s arrest marks the 49th such bust since the port authority began a crackdown on alleged toll cheats last year.

“It is a serious issue and there are serious consequences to it,” Pentangelo said. “I don’t know what the determination is going to be, but it would’ve been avoided if he paid the toll.”

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