By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Gothamist reported on July 8 that a police officer “forcefully stopped” a cyclist from allegedly running a red light near Tompkins Square Park and ultimately ran over the Citi Bike that he was riding on July 5. The incident occurred on Avenue A near the park last Friday evening, and a photo widely shared on Twitter shows an NYPD SVU parked over the bike lane with a Citi Bike stuck in one of its back wheels.
Police said that the cyclist was riding east on St. Mark’s Place when an officer saw him go through two red lights. The cyclist was reportedly wearing headphones and police said that he ignored sirens and orders to pull over, but the man who shared the photo on Twitter told Gothamist that he didn’t hear any sirens prior to the bike getting dragged under the SUV.
Witnesses told Gothamist that the officer cut off another car making a right turn from St. Mark’s and drove on the wrong side of the street before swerving in front of the cyclist.
The cyclist ultimately received four summonses, including for running a red light and wearing headphones, and the Mayor’s Office said that the incident is currently under review. The mayor appeared to defend the actions of the officer during an unrelated press conference, however, saying that there has to be “respect” for law enforcement.
The collision occurred only three days after the mayor announced a campaign to protect cyclists.