Cyclist Says She Was Nearly Hit, Then Harassed, by NYPD in Upper Manhattan

While cyclists in Midtown, the West Village and other areas have reported incidents of NYPD entrapment and wrongful ticketing this summer, a resident of Upper Manhattan says she was almost struck by officers in a marked cruiser, who then yelled obscenities at her.

Our tipster, whom we’ll call Joan, is an experienced NYC cyclist. She was riding through Hamilton Heights, in the 30th Precinct, at 6:30 on the morning of July 31, on her way to Central Park. Here is her account, edited for style and clarity:

I was riding my bike south on St. Nicholas Avenue, just after crossing 145th Street, with the green light, [when] a cop car double-parked on the right made a u-turn in front of me — apparently without looking or he would’ve seen my bright orange jersey in his mirror. Thankfully I just barely missed a collision. After passing I heard the cop yelling so I stopped and turned around. The cop in the passenger seat called me a “Jackass” three times, gave me the finger, and the driver took off.

Joan got the car number — 2516 — but did not see if the vehicle was assigned to the 30th Precinct. An Internet search turns up a 2009 photo of NYPD car 2516, but it’s an older Crown Vic which could by now be out of service. The cruiser in the photo is from the Transit Bureau Manhattan Task Force.

Joan has reached out to Community Board 10, and has an interview scheduled with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

“I’m appalled by this,” Joan says. “It’s bad enough that we have to deal with this kind of driving and aggression from motorists. But to experience this from the police has made me very afraid.”

Streetsblog has a message in with NYPD about this incident. We’ll report if we hear back. We’ll also keep in touch with Joan concerning her CCRB complaint.