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Port Authority top security officer grabs groper

Photo Credit: Courtesy PORT AUTHORITY PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The Port Authority’s chief security officer grabbed a groper on a Manhattan street and held him for uniformed units yesterday.

A woman approached Joseph Dunne, the popular former NYPD First Deputy Commissioner, near the World Trade Center pedestrian bridge at the corner of West and Vesey Streets around 9:45 a.m., the authority’s Joseph Pentangelo said.

She then pointed to a man she said groped her and another woman moments earlier.

Dunne ( inset ), who was wearing a coat with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey logo, walked up and grabbed him while alerting uniformed officers.

Taken into custody without incident was 32-year-old Ivan Escobar-Jimenez of Pavonia Avenue in Jersey City ( above ). He was charged with sexual abuse and forcible touching.

Dunne, a 33-year NYPD veteran, was appointed chief security of the authority in November 2012. He’s responsible for security and public safety, including the more than 1,700-member police department.

Dunne, who was was passed over for NYPD commissioner by then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in favor of Bernard Kerik, has been mentioned as a possible successor to current city Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

A veteran operational commander, he has an outstanding reputation among the rank and file and within various city communities.

When he was sworn in as chief of the NYPD in 1999, police officers and civilians clapped, stomped and roared their approval.

Giuliani pegged Kerik for the commissioner’s job a year later and Dunne took a promotion to first deputy.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed,” he said at the time. “But I’m a cop. I would have stayed on if they made me dog-catcher.”

Dunne’s Port Authority position was created after a study of terrorism-related security lapses following 9/11.

Ironically, he didn’t apply for the job — he was sought out and then appointed.

MUGSHOT, PHOTO: Courtesy PORT AUTHORITY PD

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