Brooklyn biker ticketed after he asks police to stop blocking Ocean Parkway bike lane
Brooklyn bicylist Ben Kopciel
A Brooklyn bicyclist is charging a ticket he was issued for running a red light was retaliation for urging cops to stop blocking a popular bike path.
Ben Kopciel, 28, was biking to work on Ocean Parkway when he was forced to swerve to the side due to a squad car blocking the bike lane as he crossed Ditmas Ave. on July 12 at 10:30 a.m., a video recording from his phone shows.
Kopciel asked the officers in the squad car to “move back” as he pedaled through the intersection while the cross walk countdown clock blinked numbers before the stop light turned red, the video reveals.
“I was just irritated. I didn't mean any disrespect. There are always people blocking the bike path. I didn't curse him,” the Flatbush resident recalled on Thursday.
He continued down his route towards his office in Borough Park but was pulled over by the same officers as he tried to cross the next intersection.
An unidentified officer from the 70th Precinct asked him why he ran the red light and then wrote him an approximately $200 ticket, the video shows.
Kopciel told the officer about the video proof from his phone which he attached to his knapsack before his morning commute -a safety precaution in case of an accident he started using several days before the incident.
“I told him we'll see what it shows. He just said ‘ok.’ He obviously came after me,” Kopciel charged.
He filed a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board on Tuesday, arguing that the bogus ticket was issued in retaliation.
The NYPD declined to comment.
While other Brooklyn residents complain about similar questionable tickets, the number of CCRB grievances against the borough’s 23 precincts has actually dropped by 21% over the past three years, from 2,560 in 2009 to 2008 in 2011, records show.
As for Kopciel, he’s looking forward to his day in court, noting that he'd still have the right of way even if the light had turned yellow.
“I knew for sure it wasn't red because cars were still going through on Ocean Parkway,” he said.