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Cyclist Claims NYPD Gave Him Disorderly Conduct Ticket After Almost Running Him Over

Bert Spaan, seen here cycling without incident in rural Pennsylvania.
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Bert Spaan, seen here cycling without incident in rural Pennsylvania.

A Brooklyn cyclist claims NYPD officers gave him a disorderly conduct ticket after nearly running him off the road earlier this year.

Bert Spaan, 34, told Gothamist that he was riding his bike east on Myrtle Avenue in Bed-Stuy on the evening of May 24th when an NYPD officer driving a police cruiser suddenly swerved to the right. According to Spaan, the officer forced him to swerve into an empty parking lane in the vicinity of Kent Avenue.

After the near-miss, Spaan said he "knocked on the window to make sure they saw me and would not continue moving right. It wasn't a really hard knock, just with my index finger's knuckle," and then biked past the cruiser. The officers took exception to that, according to Spaan, and pulled him over.

"I told them that they almost hit me, but there was no use talking to them. The first thing they told me was that I should wear a helmet," Spaan told Gothamist. (Adult cyclists are not required to wear helmets in NYC.) Spaan said he apologized a number of times, but was issued a summons for disorderly conduct.

In addition to almost hitting him with their car, Spaan said the officers parked the cruiser in the middle of the intersection where they pulled him over, and accused him of causing an accident. He posted a picture of the summons on Twitter on Wednesday night:

Spaan, a Greenpoint resident, says he intends to lodge a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Reached for comment, the NYPD told Gothamist that Spaan "was given a disorderly conduct summons for blocking vehicular traffic and not for knocking on the window of the car."

A Twitter user shared a similar encounter with an NYPD officer that happened last year, in which an officer in an unmarked car drove dangerously close to him while in Manhattan.

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