An everyday occurrence turned into a 28 hour ordeal for a Queens man last month when he was arrested for using the emergency subway exit at DeKalb Avenue on the L line in Brooklyn. 32-year-old Todd Zielinski says he used the exit to bypass a crowd of commuters pushing through the turnstiles, but plainclothes cops stopped him, checked his ID, and sent him through what's commonly called "the system." In most cases, the NYPD issues summonses for minor offenses like this, but suspects without IDs or with outstanding warrants are sent on a long trip down to The Tombs before seeing a judge. But Zielinski, a Verizon technician, insists his record is clean and tells the Daily News, "They took 28 hours of my life away from me. People can't believe it. This is what our city's come to? I've taken the subway and buses all my life... If I counted how much money I've given to the MTA to be treated like this." (In 2006, the MTA reported that unnecessary use of the emergency gates was causing the automatic alarms to malfunction.) An NYPD spokesman confirmed the arrest, but it's unclear why Zielinski was detained for so long. Perhaps the inevitable lawsuit will shed more light on the incident.