Gothamist has the story of Wilfred Chan, 28, who was riding north on First Avenue Wednesday afternoon when a man, standing in the gray pedestrian median of the crosswalk at Fourth Street, forced him off his bike.
"As I was approaching, we made eye contact, and I noticed he was staring pretty intensely at me," Chan said. Chan initially had been cycling in the bike lane, but says he swerved out into the car lane to avoid pedestrians standing in the bike lane. "I was going 20 MPH so it didn't make sense to be in the bike lane," he added. "I was comfortably keeping pace with traffic, and I had the green light."
As he passed the intersection at Fourth Street, Chan says the man stepped out from the crosswalk and kicked him off his bike. He swerved left into the orange barrier between the car and bike lanes, crashed, flipped over and landed in the bike lane on his head. As a result of the fall, he was bleeding from a gash on his forehead; he injured his elbow; and his bike was mangled, with the front wheel and handle bars twisted.
By this point, a crowd of bystanders had gathered, several of whom had witnessed what happened to Chan. When the man tried to leave, Chan says some onlookers tried to keep him there, and a fight broke out, with several punches thrown. At this point, it attracted the attention of some nearby NYPD officers from the 9th Precinct.
Chan says he told them what had happened, but was met with immediate skepticism and aggressive questioning. According to Chan, the officers accused him of changing his story because he wasn't sure if the man kicked his bike or put his foot in front of the bike.
"They immediately started gaslighting me," Chan said. "They had an idea already of what happened, and anything I said did not matter. They approached with a demeanor of deep suspicion and skepticism at everything I said, I felt like I was the one being interrogated rather than the person who kicked me off my bike."
"To me, the main point is just the utter and willful inadequacy of the police as a system for keeping the city safe for cyclists," he said. "We face terrifying threats every day just trying to get from point A to B and the city has repeatedly shown it does not give a fuck. The cops' attitude to me totally confirmed this — the fact that I was on a bike meant I had no rights. That if I got hurt, even if someone attacked me, it was my fault."
Read the full post here.
EVG photo of First Avenue and Fourth Street from earlier this summer.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Reader reports: The NYPD forcibly stops a Citi Biker on Avenue A for his own safety