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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Artist Raises Eyebrows with Submarine Stunt

APNew York harbor police officers hauling a replica submarine ashore Friday. It was captured near the Queen Mary 2.
NEW YORK -- Duke Riley: Artist. Patriot. Moron?

On the morning after Riley's arrest in New York City Harbor, the skipper of a ramshackle replica of a U.S. Revolutionary War-era, wooden-hulled submarine found himself splashed across the city's front pages Saturday in less than flattering terms.

"SUB MORON," declared the New York Post. Not to be outdone, the Daily News announced: "SUB-STANDARD BRAINS."

Philip "Duke" Riley, 35, was surrounded Friday by officers of the police harbor unit and the U.S. Coast Guard after two friends in an inflatable boat towed his plywood and fiberglass replica of the 1776 "Turtle" submarine toward the luxury ocean liner Queen Mary 2.

It may not have been the brightest idea in security conscious New York. Riley was taken into custody and his floating homage to the spirit of 1776 was impounded.

Riley, a Brooklyn sculptor and performance artist described on his web site as an "artist-patriot," did not respond to calls or e-mails seeking comment Saturday, but his stunt spoke for itself -- although perhaps none too eloquently.

He was hoping to get videotape of his tiny, egg-shaped sub against the towering majesty of the ocean liner for one of his upcoming shows.

The vessel was a replica of a submarine used during the American Revolution, resembling a diving bell, with a hatch on top. It was propelled by a pedal-operated paddle.

He got within 60 meters of the ship's bow before a detective with the New York Police Department Intelligence Division spotted the partially submerged sub violating the security zone around the Queen Mary.

The Coast Guard issued citations for an unsafe vessel and violating a security zone, and the city police ticketed him for reckless operation of a craft and towing in a reckless manner. Riley's two friends escaped unscathed.