Here's a scene that many cyclists might find familiar: a car passes too close and administers brush with death, you curse driver, driver curses you, and that's where Road Rage babies come from.
In Matthew Ramos's case, he was biking on 34th Street yesterday when this black Camry passed him "within inches" (the law says cars must give cyclists a reasonable distance) crossing 7th Avenue. So Ramos exchanges words (0:50) and a little spit with the driver and his vehicle. According to Ramos, the driver got out of his car and shoved him.
After finding an NYPD traffic officer to hear him out, the driver approaches Ramos and the officer and appears to flash an NYPD courtesy badge, because it should courteously excuse him from uttering the pleasantry, "I will break your fucking jaw." Ramos asks the driver if he's a police officer. "You saw my badge, right, faggot?" the driver asks. "My badge number's my dick."
"I didn't get a great view of the badge but it looked like a mini NYPD badge, it definitely wasn't as large like one you would normally see being displayed by an officer," Ramos writes via email, adding that he records most of his bike trips for his own safety. "I thought it looked gold in color. He walked up to the traffic cop and flipped open his wallet and said, 'Alright.' The officer said something like 'oh, OK.' "
We're not lawyers but we'd say Ramos may have committed criminal mischief, and the driver, well, take your pick off this menu. This scene might become a tad more familiar this month once 10,000 more bikes are on the road.