You've got to hand it to the NYPD for keeping cyclists on their toes; sometimes they'll almost door you then chase you down and arrest you; other times they do door you, and blame you for probably being on drugs. That second scenario was described by a cyclist who was doored by an oblivious cop near Grand Central Terminal. Here's video of the door knocking him right off his bike:
The cyclist, Stephen Mann, tells us "the cop opened his door just enough to catch my knee and handle bars and send me off the bike to land on a hapless bystander, and a stopped taxi cab. I expressed my anger with him, and informed him of the law that states you must check traffic for cars, pedestrians and bicycles before opening a drivers side door into traffic." It's true, but seldom enforced, and certainly not self-enforced by the NYPD. Mann recalls:
I was instantly surrounded by about 7 cops who all started asking me questions, like was I drunk, or on drugs, or how long have I been riding bikes, and all sorts of foolishness. At the same time the driver of the van was reprimanded by another police officer and told to get back in the van and "shut up". Prior to that he asked me why I was riding my bike in the street.
Meanwhile I was bleeding all over my leg and bike, and a random stranger came over and gave me Neosporin and some bandages, which is ten times more than any of the cops did. They filled out an accident report and asked if I wanted an ambulance. I hesitated and wasn't sure, when another police officer came over and told me "get checked" and so I said I wanted to get checked out. But the other cops quickly ushered the helpful police officer away from their group. It was like some sort of bad crime story cover-up; they huddled around me and seemingly tried to intimidate me. I really do think they asked if I was on drugs close to 10 times.
Though Mann said he felt like he was wasting resources, he had an ambulance come anyway, and the EMTs offered to take him to the hospital. But he opted to just let them splash some solvent on the gash in his knee and bandage it. Mann tells us the police refused to give him their names, refused to give him a copy of the accident report, and told him he'd have to contact the local precinct in Manhattan to obtain it. "But since they were all from Brooklyn, they didn't know what the local precinct actually was, and told me to look it up," Mann explains.
"There were never any apologies given," Mann adds, but what do you expect when you get in the way of an important NYPD door opening? Asked why he was videotaping, the 37-year-old animator tells us, "I started taping my rides after witnessing so many things on the bike, and I had heard about a dude in Canada who taped everyday and made a compilation of pedestrians stepping off curbs in front of him, and cars nearly hitting him. So I thought of doing the same. Especially if anything ever did happen, I would have a nice memory of it."