An argument between a driver and bike messengers in Manhattan yesterday almost became deadly when the driver pulled out a gun. Reports of a gunman spread, and a local elementary school was even put on lockdown, but thankfully police and firefighters arrived before anyone was shot.
Then an unarmed bicyclist was arrested, and not the angry man with the gun, because the angry man with a gun was also an off-duty cop.
As reported by WABC-TV and the New York Daily News, the confrontation began when the driver apparently drove into the bike lane, causing the cyclists to yell at him (and, police claim, hit his side-view mirror or his window), whereupon the officer (in plainclothes, and without identifying himself as a police officer) exited his car and drew his gun.
“He did not even say he was a cop. Literally got out of car with his weapon drawn,” a biker said.
“We kept asking him, identify yourself. He just wouldn’t,” another friend of the biker’s said.
As word spread through the village that there was a gunman on the loose, a nearby elementary school was put on temporary lockdown instead of regular dismissal.
On-duty cops eventually arrived and, naturally, arrested one of the cyclists: Dejaune Jones, 19, who was charged with criminal mischief, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing and harassment. The gun-wielding cop was not arrested, nor has he been identified. (The Daily News says he is a sergeant.)
Police claim Jones had an icepick, though they did not recover an icepick from the scene and all the bicyclists involved deny that any of them were armed. Video of the confrontation was captured by one of the cyclists. Another video is on WABC’s website.
As the old saying goes, the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a bicycle is an enraged good guy with a gun and nothing identifying him as an officer of the law.