Back in August, we told you about Stephen Arthur, a Park Slope computer programmer who was biking home from work on Navy Street when he was hit in the face with a giant brick. The projectile was lobbed from a pedestrian bridge that runs over the street, connecting the Walt Whitman and Ingersoll housing projects. The impact knocked Arthur off his bike and, judging by witness accounts, he's lucky he didn't get killed. Of course, the punks who threw the brick ran away, and it seems the spot is still a popular place for cyclist target practice.
Arthur is still recovering from the accident, and hasn't biked since. The brick broke one of his teeth, his left wrist was still in an air cast months after the attack, and he had to get a hernia operation last month—a condition he attributes to falling off his bike. "Everyone seems to think that I got off easy from this attack, but it is not true," he tells us via email. "Sure, relative to being killed or brain damage, I am okay... I am in physical therapy now for TFCC, so I am putting a lot of effort into that, so as to avoid surgery. The hernia surgery was completed in early November, that seems to be going as planned, but I have sworn off biking until I am fully healed, which could be another few months."
So if you bike along Navy Street under that bridge, be careful: The Brooklyn Paper reports that cyclists have been hit with rocks, golf balls, beer bottles, and other junk at the location, and no one has yet been brought to justice. A spokeswoman for the 88th Precinct says, "We are working with the housing complex to increase patrol near the footbridge." In other words, you should continue to pedal very cautiously by that bridge, because whatever the cops doing isn't making a difference. The good news is that reports of violence have dwindled as winter beings to set in.
Arthur, for his part, was never satisfied with the NYPD's "investigation," if you can call it that, into his assault. He tells us:
I am wondering why the police never investigated the crime. It was only in the first weekend of December that I got a return phone call from a detective from the 88th precinct, Detective Orrego, partially because I supplied a photo to a Captain Lola Obe, who is in charge of policing the housing projects. Detective Orrego told me that there are cameras somewhere on either end of the bridge, where they might be able to fingerprint the kids who attacked me, and others. But I am wondering: Why did they need my photos in order to do that? The police knew the time that the crime occurred, around 6:35 p.m... I am more than willing to work with the NYPD on this, as it is proven that there are multiple instances of these attacks occurring from that spot.