Who Is Michael Arkinson? Rookie Sag Harbor Cop Who Arrested Justin Timberlake Joined Force Just 3 Months Back and Is Already Known for Being a Strict Officer

He began as a part-time traffic control officer in 2017, earning less than $15 an hour, before becoming a full-time Sag Harbor officer in March 2024.

The rookie Sag Harbor police officer who pulled over pop star Justin Timberlake for suspected drunk driving is quite famous in the ritzy town. Officer Michael Arkinson, who will turn 24, stopped the "SexyBack" singer on Tuesday morning after allegedly observing him run a stop sign and swerve in the right lane.

Arkinson has gained a reputation among Sag Harbor's wealthy residents, earning nicknames like "the Sag Harbor Nazi" and "little red-headed dips–t" for his stringent enforcement of traffic laws, in just three months on the force. Despite Timberlake's international fame, Arkinson, who was born after Timberlake joined NSync in 1995, had no idea who he was dealing with.

Star in His Own Right

Michael Arkinson
Michael Arkinson Facebook

When Timberlake's hit "Bye Bye Bye" reached the top of the charts in 2000, Arkinson was only a toddler. A writer from Shelter Island, who introduced himself as Spencer, shared a unpleasant experience with Arkinson while looking for a parking spot in Sag Harbor and making a U-turn.

"I was surprised he pulled me over," Spencer told the Daily Mail.

"It was off-season, and no one was around. It was a d–khead move. I felt like he pulled me over just for the sake of doing it."

Although Spencer was given a warning the first time, his next encounter with Arkinson was less forgiving.

When he was pulled over for talking on his cell phone, Spencer argued that he was using the speakerphone. "He told me I should have been using Bluetooth," Spencer told the outlet.

Despite his explanations, Arkinson issued him a $145 ticket. "I thought he would give me a break... It really interrupted my workout and lunch plans.

"'I think Justin Timberlake was a victim of over-aggressive Sag Harbor police," he added.

Upright Cop

Justin Timberlake mugshot
Justin Timberlake's mugshot after his arrest shows his bloodshot and glassy eyes X

Meanwhile, a long-time Sag Harbor resident remembered Arkinson's early days as a traffic control officer, or "brownie," before he joined the police force.

"Everyone knew where the cops would park on Main Street," the resident told the outlet, adding Arkinson's ignorance of Timberlake's fame was understandable: "If that is not your taste in music, how would you know?"

Standing at 6-foot-4, Arkinson played lacrosse at Southampton High School and Roger Williams University.

He began as a part-time traffic control officer in 2017, earning less than $15 an hour, before becoming a full-time Sag Harbor officer in March 2024.

Officers in the Sag Harbor Police Department earn about $70,000 annually.

On the night of Timberlake's arrest, Arkinson reported that Timberlake "performed poorly on all standardized field sobriety tests," smelled strongly of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet, and spoke slowly.

Timberlake insisted he "only had one martini" and was following his friends home.

He refused a breathalyzer test three times, resulting in his arrest and transport to the Sag Harbor Police Department Headquarters.

Timberlake pleaded not guilty in Sag Harbor Village Court on Tuesday and was bailed out by his lawyer, Eddie Burke. By Wednesday, he had left the Hamptons to get ready for his concert in Chicago on Friday night.

His case is set to return to court on July 26, but the star is not required to attend.