K.C., who writes the blog A Girl and Her Bike, is a girl with a bike. She's also a District of Columbia police officer. But the second part's not so obvious when she's riding on a Capital Bikeshare bike, out of uniform and just trying to get home from work. Which is probably why some jackasses stopped behind her at a red light decided it would be fun to bump her bike with their car. At very least, they probably thought it wouldn't get them arrested. Suckers!
Instead, the bumper bump turned the Girl on a Bike into a Pissed-Off Police Officer Out to Punish Evildoers on a Bike, as K.C. first flashed her badge and then chased down and caught the fleeing car on her bicycle (with the help of other D.C. officers).
It's a hair-raising story:
I'm not sure why I decided to go after him. I was on a CaBi, in civilian attire, off-duty. Instinct I guess? I did though. I followed him up Kenyon where he had gotten stuck in traffic & the light at 14th St. NW. I guess he saw me coming after him, because all of a sudden his reverse lights came on (he couldn't go anywhere else), and he started driving backwards towards me. I thought he was going to try to escape down the alley, but I guess he figured it was a dead-end. … I managed to get out of the way without him hitting me, but it was very close. So close I was able to hit his side mirror as he went by. The light had changed at 14th & the traffic had begun clearing, so he gunned it and managed to flee out of the block, down 14th St. It was at this time I grabbed my radio (it was in my bag) and broadcasted a look-out and that I needed help.
Read the rest at A Girl and Her Bike. K.C. says several times on her blog that she's not a superhero just because she has a badge, but frankly, if you have to SAY it …
And it gets even badder of ass. The driver, Mr. Harrison, wasn't just the kind of charming fellow who likes to ram his car into bicyclists. He was the kind of charming fellow who likes to ram his car into bicyclists in his time off from dealing drugs. How do they know this?
Because the criminal genius that he is, made a phone call to his girlfriend from the DC Jail. Phone calls which are RECORDED and MONITORED. And he asked her if she wouldn't mind hiding his drugs and gun for him.
Yeah. Super Smart.
An emergency search warrant was obtained and his room searched. Sure enough, a gun was recovered.
The assault happened back in February, but A Girl and Her Bike is revisiting the story (with more details) now. Harrison pled guilty to felony possession of a firearm, felony fleeing, and misdemeanor assault on a police officer, but not vehicular assault — those charges were dropped. So right now, he could go through his whole trial without any acknowledgment that his original crime was using a car to threaten the safety or life of a bicyclist (who, yes, also happened to be a police officer, but right now that's the only part he's getting charged for). K.C. has a call to arms:
Mr. Harrison's sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 19th at DC Superior Court. I want to pack the courtroom with cyclists. As the victim of a crime, I am able to present a "Victim Impact Statement" to the judge. You better believe that I intend to bring up the fact that I am a cyclist first and foremost, and that this whole saga began when a driver decided to literally push around a cyclist with his motor vehicle. It was just a matter of luck that this cyclist also happens to be a police officer as well. It is Not Okay for drivers to bully cyclists on our streets. His actions were not only irresponsible, but CRIMINAL. He didn't "accidentally" hit me–he made a conscious decision to hit a human being with a 2-ton vehicle. That is assault. These sorts of things have to STOP.
If you're a bicyclist in D.C., consider going over to the Superior Court (500 Indiana Ave., NW) on August 19 and showing this badass lady that you've got her back.
Victory (sort of), A Girl and Her Bike.