NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A mob of bicyclists took over the streets of Chelsea on Saturday, taunting drivers and causing a crash that injured a police officer.
Police said a group of at least 16 teens were riding the wrong way in the area of 23rd Street and Seventh Avenue.READ MORE: COVID Restrictions: New York City Restaurants Can Increase Capacity, New Jersey Raises Gathering Limits
Dash cam video from an Uber driver shows a bicyclist cutting him off, then more bicyclists riding erratically in front of him, CBS2’s Erin Logan reported. As the driver keeps going, he notices an NYPD car and pulls over. He said that’s when at least one of the bicyclists hit the back of his car.
“Smashing into cars, not cool. But everyone goes the wrong way around here. There’s no structure at all,” Rafael Milano, a bicyclist from Brooklyn obeying the rules, told Logan. “You ever been to Harlem? In Harlem, they do it for blocks and blocks and blocks.”
Police said one of the bicyclists went up to a driver and broke his rear window. At one point, the startled driver made some type of turn and ended up hitting an NYPD officer standing nearby. The officer suffered minor injuries to his right hand and leg.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine In NYC: City Officials Modifying Outreach Efforts As Demand For Vaccines Plummets
Employees at an area restaurant said they don’t typically witness bicyclists damaging people’s property, but they’ve seen them around in big groups making their own rules.
“We always see that – kids, young people riding the bikes the wrong way,” Ibrahim Sanou said. “It’s not their fault. If they’re doing it and nobody stops them, they’ll keep doing it.”
Last September, hundreds of young bike riders shut down parts of the Cross Bronx Expressway, as drivers watched in confusion and honked their horns. The event, known as “rideout,” was an impromptu mass gathering of cyclists posted on social media.
“It’s not right, it’s not good. It’s dangerous for them and other people,” said Sanou.MORE NEWS: New York Population Declines By More Than 100K, Census Numbers Show
Police said the bicyclists involved could face a number of charges, including criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.