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Bicycle Safety

SEE IT: Armed Security Guard Tackles Cyclist In Manhattan Bike Lane

7:28 AM EST on February 27, 2020

An armed security guard tackles a random cyclist in the Sixth Avenue bike lane on Tuesday night. Video: Vincenzo Tran

A gun-toting hired goon tackled a cyclist riding in the Sixth Avenue bike lane on Tuesday night, in an apparent fit of rage after getting into a verbal argument with another rider.

Vincenzo Tran said he was heading home on his motorized unicycle after a long day of making deliveries when a security guard from the New Jersey-based Harvard Protection Services walked onto the green painted pavement without looking, forcing Tran to quickly swerve out of the way and mess up his mini-mobility machine.

“He was walking just straight on the sidewalk and the last second he never looked up once — he just crossed and I had to veer out to the parked cars, causing me to lose control of the wheel,” said Tran, who told Streetsblog on Wednesday that he was riding no more than seven or eight miles per hour.

Tran said he was about to continue on his way home when the guard started yelling and hurling racial slurs at him — that’s when he turned on his camera and put the guard in his place for walking right onto the bike lane near 20th Street, without checking for oncoming riders.

“This is a bike path. You stepped the fuck out looking at your phone like a fucking piece of shit," Tran says in the video.

The guard, who concealed a handgun in a waist holster, insists that bikers must look out for pedestrians who cross into the bike lane, not the other way around, and tells Tran that he “almost” hit him, sending him to the “almost” hospital.

“Listen to me, I had the right of way to go. You have to watch out for me. You almost hit me,” the armed officer says in the video.

Tran responds just as aggressively, telling the guard that it’s his responsibility to look both ways before entering a roadway mid-block, but in the heat of the argument, forgot to provide the guard with some important numbers to prop up his response — like that since 2012, seven pedestrians have been struck and killed by cyclists, compared to more than 1,000 killed by drivers over the same period, and that last year, 29 cyclists were killed on the streets of New York City.

But even more egregious than the name-calling and verbal insults, the guard then runs after a random, young cyclist, who pedals right past him, and tackles him to the ground.

“That’s a young ass kid what’s wrong with you,” someone else nearby can be heard saying in the video.

The video shows some other bikers nearby help pull the guard off right before it looks like he's about to punch the young cyclist, who then pedaled off in tears.

"The kid was crying and he took off," said Tran. 

Tran says he threatened to call the cops, and that's when the guard drove off in what appeared to be his company car with New Jersey plates — since Nov. 9, 2019, in just 100 days, the car has racked up nine tickets for minor infractions like illegal parking, failing to pay a meter, and parking on the sidewalk.

Tran said he has not yet filed a formal complaint with police and is waiting to hear back from Harvard Protection Services.

Neither the security company, nor NYPD responded to requests for comment from Streetsblog.

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