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OTRC: Robin Williams says he was pulled over for riding bike

Robin Williams appears in the Broadway play 'Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo' in April 2011. (bengaltigeronbroadway.com)

Robin Williams says he was pulled over in New York recently for riding his bike.

The 59-year-old Oscar-winning actor, who sported a scruffy beard and mustache, made his comments on the ABC morning show "The View" on Tuesday, April 19, during an interview to promote his role in the new play "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo," which marks his Broadway acting debut.

"I didn't know there's a new regulation in New York where you can't ride your bike on a sidewalk," Williams said.

"I wasn't dressed in bike clothing. I had a single speed track bike and I had on a balaclava, which basically makes me look like a terrorist or a crack dealer," he joked. "I was riding on a bike. No one was on the sidewalk. All of a sudden, 'Pull over!' I'm like, 'I'm on a bike - wow!'"

Williams said the cops recognized him and let him go.

"'There's a new law,'" he quoted one of them as saying. "'We won't give you a ticket this time. Be careful, there's a guy under the underpass over there who's been attacking cyclists.'"

In "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo," Rajiv Joseph's Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, Williams plays a tiger ghost and does not wear an animal costume. His character was shot and taken prisoner after he bit off the hand of an American soldier.

Now the tiger is confined to a cage and must listen to fighters' stories about their war experiences. Williams' character often makes graphic comments about bloody scenes he has witnessed himself.

"The girl is no dummy, even if she does only have half a brain," the Los Angeles Times quoted the character as saying, after describing watching a little girl's skull get blown apart by a bomb.

Williams told the newspaper he was inspired to perform in the play after spending time with a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, adding: "The writing was so powerful. I felt like it was speaking to the experience of soldiers like him."

Williams, known for comedy movies such as "Mrs. Doubtfire" and drama films such as "Good will Hunting" and "Dead Poets Society," trained at the Juilliard School in New York and has performed in plays off-Broadway before as well as in his own comedy show on Broadway.

He has performed comedy shows for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan several times. In 2009, he postponed his one-man tour to undergo heart surgery.

Get tickets for "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" and check out a sneak peek video from the play below.

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