See It! Two Men Physically Intimidate A Woman Citi Biker For Allegedly Touching Their Precious SUV

Two large men physically intimidated a woman on a Citi Bike and prevented her from leaving because they said she scratched their car.
Two large men physically intimidated a woman on a Citi Bike and prevented her from leaving because they said she scratched their car.

Two men physically intimidated a woman biker, and aggressively detained her, after claiming she scratched their massive SUV, which was partially parked in the First Avenue bike lane Tuesday morning — an incident that offers yet another glimpse at the dangers faced by women bikers and why the cycling gender gap persists in this city.

The hostilities from the duo, both with air-pods in their ears, was partly caught on videotape — and will likely spark cycling’s long-overdue version of a #MeToo movement in a city where male cyclists outnumber female riders three to one.

The video begins with the two men hovering over the unidentified Citi Biker — a small-framed, older woman wearing a helmet. The back wheels of their black SUV are in the green painted bike lane. One of the men shouts, “You scratched my car,” while his hand tightly holds the bike by its front rack. At one point in the video, the woman tries to bike away, but the men detain her, possibly illegally.

Several witnesses urge the belligerent men to call the police — standard protocol for collisions involving injury or damage — but the men continue to prevent the woman from leaving.  The woman says, “Help,” and, “This is called kidnapping.” The video ends before cops arrived.

The men acted irrationally, according to a witness who took a video of the scary incident.  

“It was crazy. … The taller guy standing in front of her had his hand the whole time on her basket, kind of jerking her bike around — screaming at her,” said CJ, a female biker from Queens. 

CJ and another witness, bike advocate Austin Horse who works with Biking Public Project, said the altercation began when the woman and others were all stopped waiting at the light on First Avenue near 59th Street when the guys then jumped out of their car and wouldn’t let the woman go all because they claim she scratched their car. 

The men put out their arms and stop the woman from leaving.
The men put out their arms and stop the woman from leaving.

It is unclear why the men believe the woman scratched their car — or if the massive SUV was damaged at all. Many cyclists tap on the sides of cars that violate bike lane rules, frequently enraging the guilty parties. In any event, all parties involved in a crash that results in either property damage or injury or death must stay at the scene until police arrive to give their statements, according to attorney Daniel Flanzig.

But the men did not have the right to restrain the woman in the manner they did, Flanzig added. It’s worth nothing that the SUV being operated by the men has racked up eight parking and camera violations, including two tickets for speeding in a school zone and two for failing to stop at a red light — though in none of those cases of public endangerment were the men physically restrained by anyone.

Eventually, the men did call the cops, but neither CJ nor Horse stayed for the NYPD’s arrival. A police spokesperson later told Streetsblog that police responded to a 911 call about a dispute, but that no summonses or arrests were made, and that there are currently no complaint reports on file. Likely, that means there was no scratch.

The incident will likely have a broader reverberation than normal, everyday disputes because of the gender aggression involved, said CJ. 

“She kept saying, ‘I want to go, leave me alone.’ She was very distraught — big dudes just screaming, you would have thought their car was blown up by a rocket,” she said. 

The video is a reminder why so few women bike in this city — in 2017, nearly 72 percent of bike commuters were men versus 28 percent women. And just 25 percent of all Citi Bike subscriber trips were made by women in 2018, according to the Department of Transportation

The incident luckily took place in broad daylight where others were quickly able to come to the woman’s side to help, but under different circumstances, CJ says she would have been too frightened to ever hop on her bike again. 

“Poor lady. These dudes were huge. She was an older woman, she had a little helmet, she was terrified,” she said. “If this was night-time I’d hang up my helmet and never bike again if two dudes lurched at me.”

  • Joe R.

    No, it’s not citizen’s arrest because she did nothing wrong. Even if she scratched their car, which is highly doubtful, she’s not liable because they were illegally parked. You can’t sue even sue another driver for damages to your vehicle if it’s illegally parked, let alone a cyclist. However, that driver can sue you for damages to your vehicle. Strictly speaking, if you get hit by another motor vehicle while illegally parked you’re considered 100% at fault, and liable for the damages to the other vehicle.

    Below Steve Vaccaro, who is a lawyer, mentions that cyclists are not required by law to stay at scene of property damage only collision, or to report the collision to police. Because she was legally allowed to leave, there was no legal basis for those men to detain her. They should be charged with illegal detention.

  • Joe R.

    It’s probably moot whether they do or not. The majority of times cyclists scratch vehicles is because they’re illegally parked. You have no legal recourse to get compensated for damages when you’re not parked legally.

  • Joe R.

    I remind you their SUV was illegally parked in the bike lane. They have no legal recourse to claim damages if their vehicle is parked in a place it’s not allowed to be parked. If a cyclist hit them in a legal curbside parking spot, that’s another story. Here they were blocking a bike lane. When that happens, cyclists go around the vehicle, not intending to purposely scratch it but sometimes it happens if a vehicle in the traffic lane speeds up as they’re going around, forcing them to suddenly move right to stay alive. If you want to pin the fault on someone, first and foremost the jerk who thinks it’s OK to park in a bike lane is to blame. The jerk who decided to speed up because they just couldn’t stand the thought of a cyclist being in the traffic lane momentarily is also to blame. The cyclist has no blame here. If not for the vehicle parked in the bike lane, they would have went on their merry way.

    I don’t know what race has to do with it, either. I’d be just as livid about this if several white women were holding a black male cyclist against his will. Wrong is wrong, regardless of race.

  • ErikBaard

    To say they were in the wrong is not to say she was innocent and perfect. We don’t know if she did anything. We also don’t know if she was fleeing at all, if she was fleeing out of guilt, or if she was fleeing out of fear when so confronted by two larger strangers. They had no right to physically restrain her, and that’s where they were absolutely in the wrong. A supposed scratch doesn’t trump the rights of any person to be free from bodily restraint by some stranger on the street who has no civil authority. If she did damage, a photo of her coupled with the fact that she was using a Citibike in that part of town at that time would make her identifiable.

  • Joe R.

    Right, you park in public streets, expect minor damage to your vehicle from time to time. The same goes whether the vehicle is a car or a bike.

  • Joe R.

    Exactly. Since when are people liable for damage to other people’s property when that property is being stored in a place it’s not allowed to be? If I decided to store a couch in the middle of Times Square, I shouldn’t be surprised if its condition gets progressively worse over the course of time. I certainly shouldn’t expect to be able to sue anyone for damages. A car is no different. Put it where it doesn’t belong, expect that it’s possible you may be stuck repairing damages to it on your own dime.

  • Joe R.

    I’m firmly on the side of Eric Garner, who was killed by police for the petty crime of selling loosies. Nothing justified putting him in a choke hold, or frankly even bothering him at all for trying to make a living.

    On the other hand, these two guys were doing something completely illegal. Store your property where it’s not allowed to be stored, don’t expect it to remain whole, and certainly don’t expect to be able to claim damages. If someone decides to park their car in my driveway without my permission, and I strip it bare, they have no legal recourse.

    Parking in a bike lane is a very dangerous thing to do. Assuming she did scratch their car, which I doubt, the scenario may have been as follows:

    A cyclists comes upon a vehicle parked in the bike lane. The cyclist decides to go around the vehicle, not intending to purposely scratch it but sometimes this happens if a vehicle in the traffic lane speeds up as they’re going around, forcing them to suddenly move right to stay alive. If you want to pin the fault on someone, first and foremost the jerk who thinks it’s OK to park in a bike lane is to blame. The jerk who decided to speed up because they just couldn’t stand the thought of a cyclist being in the traffic lane momentarily is also to blame. The cyclist has no blame here. If not for the vehicle parked in the bike lane, they would have went on their merry way. I don’t intend to scratch people’s cars either when they’re double-parked in bike lanes. However, it’s happened a few times, along with busted mirrors, because I had to move right quickly in order to stay alive. The damage to the vehicles is 100% on the driver. If they had parked legally that’s a different story.

  • Joe R.

    I’m assuming you were parked legally. In that case, yes, if caught a cyclist can be liable for damages to your vehicle. However, as John M. Hammer said below, you still had no right to detain them. And if you were parked illegally, you still have no right to detain them, and no right to try and recover damages. You can’t get damages when you’re doing something illegal, unless those damages are consistent with vandalism. If a cyclist scratches your car or breaks off your mirror which you’re parked in a bike lane, those are damages consistent with the cyclist unintentionally damaging your illegally parked vehicle in the course of trying to go around it. If they slash your tires, that’s vandalism. They would have to pay for damages, and might be subject to prosecution. However, you would also be subject to prosecution for illegally parking.

    Just don’t park in bike lanes, or double-park, period. That makes your life and everyone else’s a lot better.

  • Joe R.

    They wouldn’t have been scary to me, but I’m a 5’9″ male. 56 years old, yes, but probably in better shape than those two. Point of fact I probably could have killed both of them before they even realized what was happening. Of course, the situation didn’t justify it, nor would I have even considered it. I would have been physically able to get them to stop restraining me and then ride off. That’s all I would have done. They would have been unhurt, as would I.

    However, look at it from the point of a middle-aged woman (of any race, really, not just white). She’s powerless to get them to release her. She’s being detained both illegally and against her will. Even if she did scratch their car, since they were parked illegally they have no legal recourse to claim damages. This was probably quite scary to her. She may not have even been thinking rationally. Perhaps she thought they would hurt her or worse, even though they wouldn’t have done this with a bunch of strangers watching.

    I won’t argue that race may have had something to do with it, also, at least from the standpoint of keeping her from thinking rationally. Sad to say, a lot of white people, especially women, have an irrational fear of black men, particularly young black men in groups of more than one. I find this fear ridiculous. As a white person, I’ve been out at night many times, in mostly black areas, and walked right by groups of young black men with no fear. I grew up in a NYC housing project. I never developed a fear of black people because I lived with them. My mother had black friends, one of the few white people in the project at the time (1960s) to do so. I still fondly remember a middle-aged black woman who lived a few floors down.

    But white people are the only people that assume that their norms are right and the only way. That’s my issue.

    Change that to rich white people, especially those who inherited it, and you’re right. I saw my share of them attending Princeton. Couldn’t stand them. I mostly hung around with Asian and black students. Their life experience was lot closer to mine.

  • Tomas Paine

    Nice Bigot ?

  • Philip Neumann

    “Irrational white fear.” You keep bringing up everybody else’s skin color, but you’ll hide yourself in anonymity online. Who’s the one that’s afraid? And my being white doesn’t make me afraid of POC, get your shit together and stop thinking someone’s skintone explains their upbringing or their views or viewpoints or understanding of the world. Isnt that what POC are always asking that white people take into consideration?

  • WodOffPooH

    I don’t really understand everyone’s perceived doubt of damage. PoC will not start a beef with a white woman without reason. It’s not possible. But even if they were in the bike lane and she did damage the vehicle why would she try and leave the scene. She didn’t want to be held accountable. She’s also a citibike rider so you have to assume she is terrible at riding.

  • John M. Hammer

    “What else would be damaged?” Damage to person. Are you pretending to be ignorant or are you really that dim?

    Should, ought, whatever: I agree. But she was not required by law to remain. (And I sincerely doubt there was any damage to their car, anyway. If there was, show me a link to the report.) Those guys WERE required by law to NOT TOUCH HER or restrain her in any way.

    You’re making shit up that jives with your personal beliefs. The law doesn’t always agree with you, apparently. You don’t get to grab someone or beat them or threaten them or intimidate them because you feel it’s justified.

  • Joe R.

    It’s an inanimate object we’re talking about here. You can detain someone fleeing the scene of a crime where they caused injury or death. You can’t do the same for property damage.

    Let me ask you a question. How much force are you willing to use to keep someone from escaping? If I start trying to make you stop detaining me, are you going to continually escalate the level of force until we’re up to deadly force? Are you willing to die here, or kill someone? Over some fucking scratches on your stupid car? Cars in the city get scratches all the time. They get dents all the time. More often than not the people who scratch or dent cars didn’t purposely intend to do, and may not have even realized they did it.

    “Pay for damage to your property” is moot if the person doesn’t have the money. You want to waste your time and money taking them to court when you likely won’t see a dime? Or if you do, you’ll likely still be behind on account of court costs. I had a dispute with a contractor once who lost a camera I lent him and also charged for redoing shoddy work over again. He actually signed an agreement to pay me $500 plus the cost of the camera (about $110). I never saw a dime. In theory I could have taken him to court, but the filing fees and time wasted would have made it not worth my while. He may not even have had the money anyway.

    You get scratches on your car, you get a bottle of touch-up paint and fix them yourself like everyone else who gets scratches on their car.

  • Joe R.

    Tell me this, if they weren’t in the bike lane in the first place, exactly how could she have scratched their vehicle since she was riding in the bike lane? That’s why what you’re saying doesn’t make a bit of sense. Either they were partially or fully in the bike lane, perhaps even veered into it suddenly, and she couldn’t avoid colliding with them, or they never were in the bike lane, saw her, and decided to try to pin the blame on her for scratches they already had. The latter is not uncommon. I recall an incident from my childhood where another kid was playing with his basketball. The ball happened to roll in front of me, and I accidentally hit it gently with the front tire of my bike. The basketball was fine. Next time I see this kid, he’s telling me I owe him $10 because I “ruined” his basketball. Now putting aside the fact I didn’t even have $10 (i.e. my allowance was a quarter a week), nor was I going to have $10 any time soon, I know for a fact the basketball was undamaged. I didn’t hear air hissing out, I didn’t see anything that could be construed as damage. It’s possible my tire left a scuff mark, but that easily could have been scrubbed off. Besides that, it wasn’t even my fault I hit the basketball. He threw it in such a way that I really couldn’t have avoided it. My guess is he just want a new basketball on someone else’s dime. Maybe the two guys here were trying to get a stranger to pay for damage their vehicle already had.

    The bottom line though is your supposed version of events doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

    If the incidents which happened to you really did happen as you said, then they were clearly the fault of the cyclist. You’re lucky you were able to get them to pay. For a lot of my adult life, I didn’t have $20 to my name, never mind over $1000. Quite a few people who ride bikes are in the same boat.

    Oh, and the majority of cars I see have scratches and dings galore. It’s a moving object and you’re never going to keep it in pristine condition. My bikes never remain in pristine condition, either. It’s just a fact of life for anything that goes on roads.

  • Joe R.

    How you you be held accountable for damages caused by someone else’s illegal actions? If they weren’t in the bike lane, then how did their vehicle get scratched when she was in the bike lane? The bike couldn’t magically be in two places at once.

    And if they were in the bike lane, how could a cyclist possibly be held accountable for damages? Maybe they suddenly veered partially in the bike lane, she couldn’t avoid hitting them, and their vehicle got scratched as a result. Sure, it sucks to get scratches, but their actions are what caused them in this scenario, not the cyclist’s.

    Whether she’s terrible at riding or not is moot if the SUV was illegally in the bike lane. I’d love for video to surface here. I’ll bet 99-1 the SUV was in the bike lane at some point.

    But even if they were in the bike lane and she did damage the vehicle why would she try and leave the scene.

    Perhaps because per Steve Vaccaro she has no legal obligation to remain at the scene in the case of property damage only, and maybe had someplace she had to be. Or perhaps because she realized she’s not responsible for the damage, so remaining on the scene was moot. I was once doored by someone in a cheap ’80s econobox and knocked his door clean off. I remained upright, bumped over it, and kept going. 100% his fault for opening the door without looking. No way was I going to stay there or let him try to weasel his way into getting me to pay for damages which weren’t even my fault. Honestly, at the time I didn’t have $20 to my name, so he wouldn’t have got a dime, even if a judge sided with him, which is highly doubtful. If he did, I would have turned around and sued the pants off him for injuries, pain/suffering, etc.

  • ErikBaard

    I really can’t go down this rabbit hole with you, so this will be my final comment. We can imagine all kinds of crazy scenarios. I mean, how do we know she’s not an assassin who assumed the identity of one of her victims? In no sane scenario, however, can a you or I physically, forcibly detain someone over an alleged scratch from a traffic accident. And the same goes for these men. Let’s leave aside that they appear to have placed their vehicle diagonal into the bike lane. If they witnessed her deliberately vandalizing their car, such as keying it, they could make a citizen’s arrest in New York State for a misdemeanor. If had strong and reasonable cause to believe that she blew up their car or set fire to their car, they could make a citizens arrest for that felony even if they had not personally witnessed it (at their peril, as there are consequences for wrongful citizens arrest). But they had no legal right — and therefore committed the greater wrong in this incident — to detain someone they suspected had accidentally scratched their car in a traffic infraction.

  • ErikBaard

    “Greenblott quotes an earlier case (Jacques v. Sears, 30 N.Y.2d 466) to the effect that a private arrest is invalid unless the person arrested in fact committed the crime for which the arrest was made. He goes on to say “a private citizen who makes an arrest does so at his peril, and if the person arrested did not in fact commit the crime for which he is arrested, the person who arrests him is liable even if he acts in good faith or has probable cause to make the arrest (Morrello p. 537). The Court of Appeals reversed the majority decision in Morrello “for reasons stated in the dissenting memorandum by former Justice Louis M. Greenblott” (Morrello, Ct. App. 439 N.Y.S.2d, 359).”

  • Joe R.

    I didn’t chase it because it would have made no sense to do so. Court and lawyer costs would easily have been in the thousands. Even if I won I would have lost. And that’s assuming the person had the money in the first place. Suing someone who’s broke is a waste of time and money. Sad to say, life isn’t fair, the world isn’t fair. Sometimes people do wrong to you and you have no recourse, legal or otherwise. Sometimes legal recourse isn’t cost effective.

    car scratches can cost hundreds into thousands to fix, btw, I know as I’ve had it done several times, at someone else’s expense as they caused it

    Ever heard of sandpaper, touch-up paint, and polishing compound? That’s how my brother fixes scratches on his cars. If I scratched someone’s car and it really was 100% my fault, I would make good on it, but via the least expensive method possible. I would offer to buy any needed supplies and use my own labor to fix the problem. Or ask my brother for help. Either way, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the end result from something done at a repair shop. In fact, I’ve seen my share of really awful touch-up work from so-called professionals. That’s why my brother does his own work.

    I don’t own a car but if I did and was really concerned about scratches I would never park it on public streets or drive it in the city at all. It’s not right but cars driven and parked in NYC get scratches and dings all the time. As I said, lots of people don’t even realize when they scratch someone’s vehicle. And what about pebbles and debris kicked up from the road? If a semi in front of you kicks up a big rock and it damages your windshield, or makes a big dent, are you going to chase the driver down to make him pay? This is exactly what I mean by accidents. Cars get scratched and dinged just in the course of being used. If a person can’t deal with it, they shouldn’t be driving.

    Also, cars depreciate enormously. That modest $15K to $20K car you mentioned is already worth less the second you drive it off the lot. If you keep it for 5 years before selling it, it’s probably only worth a few thousand. If there are big scratches, maybe it’s worth a few hundred less. My mom’s 2006 car was $46K when new. It’s still in nice shape, nothing more than minor scratches, but she would be lucky to get $10K for it at this point. In another 10 years it will probably be worth less than half that, regardless of condition.

    sure you’d let them ride off into the sunset never to be seen again when you could have caught them

    Tell me exactly how I would even be able to do that without creating an undue hazard to innocent bystanders? Are you suggesting if someone scratched a car I owned with a bike I should chase them down? How exactly can I make a bike stop using a car, short of ramming it? That would be considered unjustifiable use of deadly physical force, and I would be doing a few decades upstate. If i try to get ahead of them and just block their path, they can easily do a quick 180, hop on the sidewalk, make a u-turn, and any number of other evasive maneuvers. You’re not stopping someone on a bike with a car, short of ramming them.

    I’m really surprised how the woman came to be restrained in the first place. A cyclist only ends up in that position if they let themselves end up in that position. It happened to me only once, but after that I just turned off in another direction if I got bad vibes about a situation. I would have did that here before even reaching the SUV.

  • Joe R.

    You do know why most people don’t even bother pursuing things that far, don’t you? Most of the time, whether or not they’re legally entitled to collect court costs, interest, etc., they reach a point where they realize it’s not worthwhile. Suppose someone scratched my vehicle, I paid $1,000 to fix it, I know who did it, and I want to be made whole. OK, I can file a claim in small claims court. I don’t think the filing fee is much. Now suppose they don’t pay. I have to hire a lawyer or debt collector. Either more money out of my pocket right now, or they just take a percentage of whatever they recover. Either way, maybe I’ll be lucky to net half the damages. Now perhaps the person is either indigent, or good at fighting this stuff. In the first case, I’m not getting anything, so I might as well just drop the matter. In the second, more courts, more lawyers. Often I have to lay out in advance for this. There’s no guarantee the person I’m after will ever make good on these costs. Even assuming they do, again everyone involved takes their cut, maybe now I’m lucky to clear $250.

    This is why medical debt collection cases often end up settling for pennies on the dollar. They realize continuing to pursue the matter is a point of diminishing returns. Better to get $1,000 out of $10,000 supposedly owed right now, then continue to pursue it, and be in the red because of paying legal fees which will never be reimbursed.

    They can legally enter her home and remove most goods up to the sale value (or as good as they can get) until or unless she pays up.

    Most people’s homes are full of old junk. It takes time and money to sell stuff. If someone came calling on me to settle a debt, I’d let them take my father’s baseball cards. Maybe on paper they’re worth low four figures. It’s not even worth my time or effort to sell them given the work involved (you’re looking at over 1,000 sets plus loose cards).

    The only time I hear of debt collectors taking people’s goods is when the people are rich. For almost everyone else, the debt collectors will be in the red trying to sell their stuff.

  • John M. Hammer

    We talked about citizen’s arrest already. Apparently you didn’t do the reading I suggested.

    Buh-bye now, I’m not going to waste my time with you anymore, dumbass.

  • Joe R.

    Yeah, I know claiming someone’s car is the usual way you can get them to make good on money they owe. In NYC though more than half the households don’t own cars. That leaves other stuff in their homes or apartments. Sometimes they have something of obvious value, many times it’s just a house full of nearly worthless junk.

  • Joe R.

    The majority of times when a car gets severely scratched, it’s because the vehicle which hit it was a car or a truck. In that case the other person’s insurance covers you since they’re at fault. Isn’t there also no fault insurance if someone hits your vehicle while parked? It seems you have bad luck with cyclists hitting your cars. I don’t know of one single person who had their car damaged by a cyclist.

    It’s hard for me to see exactly how a bike can make scratches requiring $1,000 or more to repair. The part which sticks out the furthest is the ends of the handlebars but those are typically covering in handlebar tape (hence no possibility of scratches). Hitting mirrors is more common with cyclists but fortunately most modern cars have either retractable and/or breakaway side mirrors. When the vehicle is parked, the mirrors are retracted, hence no chance of a cyclist breaking them off. If it’s breakaway mirrors, the mirror will spring out and back with no damage. These designs came to be because breaking off mirrors is a common form of damage. It’s actually caused a lot more by other cars than by bikes, but the design also prevents cyclists from damaging mirrors.

    Let me turn this on its head. Suppose a vehicle either hits me while I’m on my bike, or causes me to crash? Once a taxi rear-ended me while I was waiting for traffic to clear while making a left turn. He was too impatient to wait until I could safely go. I was unhurt, but my rear wheel was toast. He briefly stopped to yell at me for being in his way, then drove off. I never got a dime. I didn’t even know anything about medallion numbers at the time, though I doubt he would have paid anything even if caught.

    Several times people opened their doors without looking, causing me to fall, and causing damage to my bike. Thankfully, I didn’t need medical attention, but I was on the hook for bike repairs. Just so you know, if you have a decent bike hitting a door can easily cause a few hundred in damages. A ruined wheel alone can be $200 or more. If the frame cracks or bends, the bike is worthless. All you can do is salvage whatever parts you can and buy a new bike. A decent new bike is at least high three figures. That’s comparable to what you paid to have the scratches on your car fixed. I never once got a dime out of anyone who doored me. I likely would not have been able to. The police might have came, blamed me as they always blame cyclists, then sent the driver on his/her merry way with no charges. I would have been laughed right of court claiming damages to a bike.

    Point of fact drivers in this city routinely kill cyclists and pedestrians and rarely answer for it. So long as they stay at the scene and are sober they’ll often get off with just a traffic ticket at best by saying they didn’t see the person they killed, or they lost control.

    And you’re complaining about damaged paint and potential loss of resale value? If you hit me while driving and killed me, even if you were at fault, in all likelihood you would at best pay a few hundred in tickets. When we live in a world where instead you’ll have to pay my family for lost income, pain and suffering, etc. out of your own funds, then maybe I’ll say having a cyclist pay $1,050 for some scratches is fair. Oh, and two more cyclists were killed yesterday. No charges for the drivers as usual. Maybe one or both of them will file a claim against the dead cyclists families for scratches on their vehicles.

  • Joe R.

    No, my point is anyone with a little knowledge of debt collection and laws can gum up the works for anyone trying to get money from them to the point they just give up. That’s exactly what insurance companies do when they refuse to pay for procedures which they supposedly have to cover. In theory you could fight and fight and maybe after 5 years and hundreds of thousands you spent on legal fees they’ll pay up. Unfortunately, you’re on the hook for those legal fees, so you’re way, way behind. So no, no sane person will bother pursuing things in circumstances like that. In the incidents that happened to me, the people all drove off before I could even get their license plate, not that it would have mattered.

    I’m explaining things away because in the scheme of things scratches on a car are part of normal wear and tear. You’re beef is that they supposedly decrease the resale value of a vehicle but for a lot of people that’s moot. Most people buy a car, new or used, and then just run it into the ground. You think my brother gives a shit about scratches on his 22 year old car because it affects the resale value? If he cares at all, it’s solely for appearance sake. The majority of people who get scratches on their car either leave them be, or get a bottle of touch of point.

  • William Lawson

    No she wouldn’t, she would be escaping from a couple of clearly aggressive and dangerous men who were frightening her, as is her basic right.

  • William Lawson

    Yeah because nobody’s ever been assaulted or worse in a public place “surrounded by loads of others.” You remind me of George Costanza speculating that Nazis wouldn’t shoot them “in the city.” Jerry: “No, it’s not like anyone’s ever been shot in the city before.”

  • William Lawson

    “Terrible” how?

  • William Lawson

    No, she would have simply taken a photo of the two men stealing her bike, plus their license plate, and reported it to the police, gotten a crime report and given that to CitiBike.

  • William Lawson

    I’m sorry but no. It’s them physically stopping her from leaving the scene that MAKES it aggressive.

  • William Lawson

    If they weren’t physically restraining her then why couldn’t she ride away?

  • William Lawson

    Of course it’s aggression. Two burly young males like that physically preventing a slight, older woman from leaving like she wanted to? That’s aggression, intimidation, menacing, whatever you want to call it. You have no evidence that she caused any damage. And as lawyer Steve Vaccaro explains right below – there is no legal “stay on the scene” requirement for cyclists in this situation.

  • William Lawson

    You honestly sound mentally ill, perhaps psychotic.

  • William Lawson

    Exactly the same as when a driver dings an adjacent car when leaving a spot. Is the driver required to sit and wait for the other owner to return to their car? Of course not, that would be ridiculous. They either write a note and then leave, or they leave without writing a note (which is dishonest and immoral). In the latter case, you are free to attempt to find out who the culprit was and track them down if possible. But there is no legal requirement for anyone to stay on the scene as if it was a collision. And there is nothing special about the fact that a cyclist was alleged to have caused the damage here. It would be exactly the same situation if a car driver had damaged someone’s bicycle and then driven off dishonestly. Your comment sounds like you’re insinuating that cyclists have some kind of unfair “right” to damage people’s cars and then leave. The modes of transport (or type of property) involved in the equation are irrelevant.

  • William Lawson

    No you’re not. That is not a legal requirement at all. You are free to go, and to defend yourself physically if the other person attempts to use force to stop you. You seem to have a somewhat totalitarian view of individual rights.

  • William Lawson

    That happens to you again, simply make your fingers into a V shape and poke him squarely in the eye. He’ll let go of you and your bike in less than a tenth of a second. Nobody has the right to initiate physical force against you like that – only in self defense. You are entitled to defend yourself physically against someone else’s initiation of force.

  • William Lawson

    You are really clueless about individual rights and physical force, particularly when it comes to the difference between initiation of force and force used in self defense. In this case, the motorist has initiated physical force against the cyclist (the fact that he’s accusing the cyclist of property damage is irrelevant) and thus the cyclist is quite free to use physical force to defend themselves. You were to grab me in such a manner, and refuse to let go, I would poke you so squarely in the eye that you’d be in danger of blindness. I take self defense very seriously, and so should everyone.

  • William Lawson

    “in most countries” is irrelevant.
    The law in NYC is what matters in this context.
    You are allowed to carry a gravity knife.

  • William Lawson

    That’s not how citizen’s arrest works in NYC. The citizen does not have the same arrest rights as a cop. An NYC police officer is allowed to arrest someone if they have reasonable belief of them having committed a crime. An NYC citizen must know that the person has committed the crime before making the arrest. A “potential incident” is not enough, unless the potentiality occurs on your property, in which case the property owner can make an arrest on a reasonable belief. In the context of future legal repercussions, they can get into a lot of trouble making a citizen’s arrest without proof.

  • Bill Silverstein

    Just because they were illegally parked, that does not absolved her from the alleged scratched caused by her alleged negligence. New York is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that the illegal parking may have contributed to the scratch, and the recovery from the scratch would have been reduced by amount that the illegal parking contributed to the scratch.

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