After Cyclist Vandalizes His Car, DenDekker Compares Self to Gabby Giffords

Just months ago, Queens Assembly Member Michael DenDekker was reaping widespread scorn for his proposal to require every cyclist in the state, even those just off their training wheels, to obtain a license. He also floated the idea of enforcing non-existent helmet laws with the widespread use of cameras. (He eventually withdrew the bike license legislation.)

Now he’s claiming that in retaliation for his bike bills, a “rogue cyclist” vandalized his car, identifiable due to its special State Assembly license plate. In response, he’s trying to pass a state law making it a felony to damage the property of someone known to be an elected official.

Assembly Member Michael DenDekker

At a press conference today, DenDekker showed security footage from his home, which you can see above, that shows a cyclist deliberately breaking the mirror off the side of his car before riding away, allegedly the only such incident in the area that night. He theorized, though he admitted he lacked much evidence, that it was a response to his proposed anti-cyclist legislation.

All elected officials suffer such incidents as “retaliation for our positions on legislation,” he claimed, going so far as to state that the foundations of democracy were shaken when elected officials were subject to the threat of violence.

And then DenDekker went there. He compared his broken-off mirror to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and nineteen others this January, and his assailant to a potential Jared Lee Loughner. “I believe this person is capable of doing something so violent, after you see the video,” DenDekker warned.

If his legislation isn’t passed, DenDekker warned, the consequences could be dire: He’s considering not renewing his special State Assembly license plate, reverting to the regular seven character plate next year instead. This will, of course, be a loss to everyone in his district: “We put those license plates on so that when we’re at public events, our constituents can know we’re there.”

We’re just wondering if DenDekker will ditch his parking placard, a form of ID with more tangible benefits, as well.

  • Hyperbole

    Do all of the bike hating crazies in this town have spy cameras pointing at the street from their homes?

    Who were the guys who cut down the tree to get the $50 bike the other night retaliating against?  The Million Trees initiative?

  • Hyperbole

    Do all of the bike hating crazies in this town have spy cameras pointing at the street from their homes?

    Who were the guys who cut down the tree to get the $50 bike the other night retaliating against?  The Million Trees initiative?

  • This DenDekker-Ulrich contest has gone too far.

  • Streetsman

    Well maybe if people’s personal property weren’t stored on public land it wouldn’t be subject to such petty acts of vandalism as commonly occur in even the most civil urban environments.

    Regardless of who you are, arguing that damage intentionally caused to personal property, property which you have abandoned on a city street no less, is an offense graver than inciting a riot or criminal possession of a weapon (both misdemeanors in New York) seems a stretch to put it mildly.

  • Streetsman

    Well maybe if people’s personal property weren’t stored on public land it wouldn’t be subject to such petty acts of vandalism as commonly occur in even the most civil urban environments.

    Regardless of who you are, arguing that damage intentionally caused to personal property, property which you have abandoned on a city street no less, is an offense graver than inciting a riot or criminal possession of a weapon (both misdemeanors in New York) seems a stretch to put it mildly.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Well, whoever did the vandalism is obviously a jerk.  I say that as someone who has had my car and my bike vandalized while parked on the street.

    But if more people were aware of the effect on the future of things the state legislature has done in the past, there would be a line of folks beating the cyclist to that mirror.

    I understand that State Senator Adams, in fact, has introduced legislation making it more illegal to assault a public official. 

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304259304576376001997079940.html?mod=WSJ_NY_LEFTTopStories

    When people realize that there is nothing they can do about their situation, and that their votes really don’t count, and given the desperation and instability of some of them, that legislation may be timely.  For reasons having little to do with bicycles OR cars.

  • Eric McClure

    I sympathize with DenDekker for the property damage — that’s just plain wrong — but Gabby Giffords?  The act was undeniably knuckleheaded, against the law and mean-spirited, but hardly “something so violent.” 

  • Joe R.

    Yes, the legislation against assaulting public officials is very timely indeed.  The way things are going in the country, the rich and powerful will soon need to live in gated communities, and have armed guards for both themselves and their family, just like in some third world countries.

  • Saul Bikinsky

    Clearly, it’s a bad idea to vandalize property, particularly belonging to elected officials. You can’t really condone it. But I have a feeling I share the vandal’s sense of outrage and anger. If I didn’t have a wife, kids and a mortgage, I might be taking direct action just like this myself.

  • Anonymous

    In an interview with The Arizona Republic, Carusone provides us with both hopeful and discouraging words for the Arizona congresswomen.      http://bit.ly/jByNPY

  • This seems to be a common conservative tactic – my hangnail is more tragic than your gunshot wound to the head syndrome.

    “Some liberal politician was shot in the head? Well, one of you awful, awful liberals actually VANDALIZED A (completely empty) CAR! YOU’RE JUST AS BAD! See, extremists on the left are * just as bad* as extremists on the right! If not worse!!!”

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