SEE IT: Video Emerges of Bike Getting Vandalized — As Witnesses Do Nothing!
You’ve got to see it to believe it.
Streetsblog contributor Steve Scofield has uncovered a video showing the woman who repeatedly vandalized his bike on a Fort Greene street last month — as witnesses walked by and did nothing.
Scofield had written about the Sept 16 incident in a Streetsblog post last month. In the piece, he described what happened after he locked his bike on a pole in front of 35 Cumberland Street:
I returned an hour later to find it lying on its side (still locked to the pole) with its tires slashed and brake cables damaged. My helmet, which I had chained to my bike, lay in the street with the straps cut out. A woman was sitting at a second-floor window, so I asked her if she’d seen anything. Instead of answering, she yelled repeatedly, “Get your bike off my property!” — even though the sidewalk and the sign pole aren’t her property. Given her outburst, I wondered whether she might have had something to do with the vandalism.
That story focused mostly on the initial police investigation (hint: it was poor). Cops had said they could not do anything without evidence — evidence that they made no effort to obtain.
But Scofield — a part-time investigator for the law firm Vaccaro and White — doggedly did the cops’ job for them. And on Monday, Scofield brought the video to the 88th Precinct and was able to file an amended complaint (though precinct officers did not allow Scofield to submit the new evidence).
“I was told to hang onto all of that, and that a detective will get back to me in ‘a week or two,'” he told Streetsblog. “We’ll see. I think that the new information allowed me to raise it up to where a detective might pay attention, and the service I received was courteous and professional, but hardly enthusiastic.”
All of the action takes place on the far right side of the video embedded below (you’ll have to blow it up to see what’s going on). Over the full 16 minutes, it’s clear that the woman doing the demolition work on Scofield’s bike lives in the building (she goes in and out several times). It is not clear that it is the same woman who berated Scofield when he locked up, but the circumstantial evidences suggests that it is.
The most shocking part of the video is how many people stroll past the woman as she is destroying Scofield’s bike. It’s not exactly a Kitty Genovese situation, but you can’t help wondering if so many people would have gone about their business — and if the cops would have basically blown off Scofield’s initial complaint — if the woman has been vandalizing a car instead of a bike.