Christina Thede was riding her bike on Amsterdam Avenue when a driver's-side door of a double-parked car suddenly opened up, nearly hitting her. "I had to brake so abruptly that a delivery biker behind me ran into me," said Thede, who admits she "had a verbal exchange with the driver in which I told him to watch what he was doing." But! The driver got back in his car and was following her. It turned out he was a police officer.
He was driving after me and I was scared. He kept slowing down alongside me, so I cut all the way over to the left lane. But he angrily skidded to a stop in front of me, pulling his car perpendicular to traffic in the left lane. Then I got off my bike and tried to walk my bike onto the sidewalk because I wasn't going to run out into traffic. That's when he grabbed the back of my bike and started pulling it.
He didn't say he was a cop and I thought, 'This guy's crazy, he's attacking me!' I screamed for help and he started restraining my arms and holding me so I couldn't move. People on the street stopped and started asking him what he was doing. I did not hear him say he was a police officer or see any indication he was a police officer, so I was terrified. Then an NYPD squad car arrived and my initial thought was that they were going to save me from this guy; I figured the bystanders had called 911.
But no, actually, the officers were there to arrest Thede and charged her with reckless operation of a bicycle and disorderly conduct. "He told me that when I went around the door of his car to continue, that that was reckless because I was going into traffic," said Thede. "He maintained that I wasn't allowed to swerve around. But I came to a complete stop, exchanged words with him, then rode around his still-opened door. He said he arrested me because he was concerned for his safety." Thede is
now considering suing the city, and hopes the ticket will be dismissed. Protecting and serving!