Citi Bike Cyclist Describes Violent Assault By Two Men In Midtown Bike Lane
A cyclist says she was assaulted in Midtown South this week by two men who tackled her off of her bike and punched her multiple times.
“They seemed pretty proud of what they did,” Ina M., who asked that her last name be withheld for fear of retribution from the men, told Gothamist today. “I wasn’t even doing anything, I was just biking home.” You can see video of the two men walking away from her, with one of them putting up his middle finger, below.
Ina, who is in her 20s, says she was riding on a Citi Bike northbound on 8th Avenue after having dinner with friends in Midtown on Monday around 9:10 p.m. when the incident occurred. She said she was biking with “considerable speed” because she had gone through a couple green lights prior, when she spotted the two men at 35th and 8th, right down the block from the Midtown South precinct. “They were running toward me shoulder-to-shoulder,” she explained. “They were smiling — I thought they were kidding around and were going to get out of the bike lane. It looked like they were going to bodyslam me into the ground.”
The man in the blue shirt, who she noted had several distinctive tattoos including one on his neck of a gun, allegedly stuck his arm out and hit her in the chest, causing her to fall off her bike. “I turned around and asked them what was the matter with them, and why they hit me,” she said. One of them approached her and muttered, “What the fuck did you say?” and sucker punched her in the jaw, she told us. She turned her body so some of the impact was absorbed by her shoulder, and fell to the ground hard, scraping her knees.
“I was on the ground and he threw another punch,” she said. “I think he really wanted to knock me out, but because of my posture, he couldn’t hit my jaw, so instead he connected with my head, in the temple area.”
After the second punch, when she still was on the ground, Ina says the man in blue said, “That’ll teach you.” She thinks he said that because, “I talked back to him. Someone crashed into me, and I was in such shock and wanted to know why they hit me. And I guess he felt humiliated or something? I don’t know… maybe he wanted to show people he could punch a woman, beat her up and get away with it.”
At that point, a crowd had gathered, so the two men started to walk away. “I never thought this kind of incident could ever happen in such a crowded place,” she said. “I was surrounded by 30+ people, and the bystander effect was very real that day. No one came to my aid or tried to stop them. And I don’t blame them because they were pretty menacing, they were large guys.” Ina followed them down the street briefly, which is when she captured that video up above.
Because she was on the same block as the local precinct, she knocked on an NYPD van window to get help from cops before the men walked away. The three officers who emerged, wearing light blue uniforms with badges, said they were “city school security officers” and declined to help. “They were kinda dismissive about it,” she added. The men, meanwhile, got away.
Ina went to the hospital the next day, and had an x-ray on her shoulder and a CT scan on her jaw. She says she has “really deep muscle bruising” to her temple, her jaw, and bruises and scars on her knees and shoulder. She also filed a police report, but was told that the “detective assigned to your case doesn’t return until Saturday,” so she shouldn’t expect to hear from them until Sunday at the earliest.
Ina, who has been biking in the city for years, says she’s never experienced anything like this before. She says it has deeply shaken her: “Honestly, I don’t know if I can bike anymore. And that’s coming from someone who has had an annual Citi Bike membership for a long time. I commute with the bike, and after this, I don’t know if I can do that anymore.”