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Fleeing the police

This topic contains 47 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  gg 4 mos, 3 weeks.

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Ted

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May 21 2013 at 10:32am #

http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/4053165-74/police-walsh-bicyclists

Pittsburgh police arrested a bicyclist accused of leading officers on a chase through a busy South Side street.

Police charged Cody Walsh, 21, of Murrysville with traffic violations and fleeing police following the incident just before 1 a.m. Sunday. Walsh could not be reached for comment.

Police said they spotted Walsh and another bicyclist weaving in and out of traffic in the 1700 block of East Carson Street when the bicyclists again drove into the opposing lane to pass the police wagon, police said.

An officer yelled for the bicyclists to stop and activated the police lights, but they pedaled faster, police said. The officers followed the bicyclists onto South 18th Street, where police said, “the lead bicyclist again turned and looked back and began to pedal harder,” according to a criminal complaint.

Police used the wagon to trap the bicyclists, and then one of the officers shoved Walsh off his bike when he tried to pull away, the complaint said.

Walsh has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 29.

Does anyone know more about this? I often see bicyclists behaving badly on E Carson, but I’ve never heard of them getting in trouble before.

  • This topic was modified 1 yr, 3 mos ago by  Ted.

JaySherman5000

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May 21 2013 at 10:50am #

It just sounds like drunken asshats being drunken asshats. I hope the judge throws the book at the them. Idiots like this give us all a bad name.


Marko82

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May 21 2013 at 10:56am #

Sounds like they deserve tickets. Can’t wait to see what the comments are going to be.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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May 21 2013 at 11:03am #

Passing a police wagon in the oncoming lane.

Running from police (with lights and sirens).

Attempting to flee once blocked by vehicle.

I suppose it is possible there “may be more to the story,” but this sure looks like a couple of jagoffs.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Natural consequences are a great teacher.

At least nobody got hurt.


jonawebb

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May 21 2013 at 12:05pm #

“Experience is a dear teacher, but some will have no other.”


buffalo buffalo

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May 21 2013 at 12:46pm #

> Passing a police wagon in the oncoming lane.

This one should be legal if they were under the speed limit–after all, if we’re trying to convince drivers to cross over to pass us….

The rest, however, sounds like pure stupid.


pbeaves

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May 21 2013 at 2:00pm #

it sounds as though there is more to the story than “cops chased erratic cyclist punks”.


Mick

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May 21 2013 at 2:12pm #

When I saw the subject, I was hoping this would be a practical “how-to” thread.


JaySherman5000

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May 21 2013 at 2:14pm #

pbeaves wrote:it sounds as though there is more to the story than “cops chased erratic cyclist punks”.

No, not at all actually. Assuming the trib story is accurate, it sounds like some drunken morons were being drunk and moronic in front of the cops, and then, instead of stopping when confronted, they tried to get away and failed.

EDIT: in the interest of fairness, I should not assume the cyclists were drunk. I made that inference based on this happening on a Saturday night in the South Side. For all I know, they could have been sober and moronic.

I’m going to stick with my assumption that they were moronic.


bikeygirl

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May 21 2013 at 2:15pm #

Did anyone else see the news on WPXI last night (monday 5/20) as well?

EDITED

So I’m editing this post since I was just informed that the incident in-question was badly-reported by the news. While a person riding a bike did-get into an altercation with another individual in a personal level, it had nothing to do with cycling, bikes, drivers, or anything bike-related at all.

Please disregard!
And also FAIL to the channel. When I saw the news last night they made it sound like a bigger thing than it really is.


mr marvelous

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May 21 2013 at 2:16pm #

Do we think there is more to the story because they are cyclist and we can’t believe cyclist would ever do such a thing? Is sound like they were delivering subs so fast they mad the police freak


LizziMac

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May 21 2013 at 2:45pm #

The story definitely sounds to me as if the guys were riding aggressively with little regard to road law during a period of time that South Side streets are notoriously traffic-congested and cops are on the lookout for intoxicated machine-operaters, of which I’m assuming these gentlemen were two.

They may have gotten away with a warning if they’d’ve stopped and talked with the police. Generally, when police try to pull you over it is in your best interest to pull over, not evade.

Additionally, I have noticed increased police presence in South Side (due to recent events), as well as increased police interactions with cyclists (being pulled over, reprimanded, and given a warning for a right-turn-on-red). We beg to be given our deserved equal rights on the roads, but with that comes the obligation to adhere to all of the currently established rules of the road and if we do not, then we take the chance of police intervention.

Obviously, with an increase in cycling, there will need to (perhaps, someday, I hope!) be more specific laws directed toward cyclists, as several situations specific to cycling (especially urban cycling) bring unique circumstances. Other cities that have a heavy cycling culture/presence have created specific laws, like allowing cyclists to use standard red lights as stop signs, which prevents cycling-related congestion, yadda yadda, but until that happens, there will be a learning curve.

Best to be pleasant and listen to The Man, since in most interactions, they have the power.


Ahlir

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May 21 2013 at 3:08pm #

“then one of the officers shoved Walsh off his bike when he tried to pull away”
This somehow doesn’t seem completely right, but I guess under the circumstances…

Kind of reminds me of this.


mr marvelous

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May 21 2013 at 3:27pm #

Knocking him off his bike is the same as dragging someone out of their car if they try to drive off.


Pierce

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May 21 2013 at 3:30pm #

I think you meant this:

I thought normal protocol in the South Side was to shoot at people evading the police; perhaps another benefit of cycling is that cops don’t perceive you as a deadly weapon


JaySherman5000

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May 21 2013 at 3:30pm #

This somehow doesn’t seem completely right, but I guess under the circumstances…

This might be my inner curmudgeon coming out, but it sounds like a legit take-down to me. Given the circumstances, the officer probably could have justified using a Taser.


J Z

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May 21 2013 at 3:40pm #

With no other information to base it on, sound like a pair of douches. That said, made me think of this.


Ahlir

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May 21 2013 at 4:49pm #

If the cop had pulled the guy off his bike that would have sounded ok. Or even stuck a nightstick in the spokes. Shoving implies you were close enough (or closer) to do one of the other things.

But of course I wasn’t there and can’t possibly say anything about what actually happened. Just wondering. I’ll let the judge decide.


LizziMac

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May 21 2013 at 7:42pm #

I definitely agree with the above posters who stated the “shoving” seems to be a reasonable use of force by the police. I am by no means for the use of excessive force, but from the report it appears they needed to subdue the cyclist, who was obviously still attempting to evade. At that point, the police are considering/assuming that the person fleeing has a nice (criminal) reason for trying so hard to evade them, which is usually the case. Also why I stated that if they weren’t obviously intoxicated and were polite with the officers, who knows—they may have gotten a warning to abide by traffic laws, or possibly just a citation for something minor.

My interactions thus far with police (when I’ve been theoretically in the wrong) have been more tsk-tsk then stomp-stomp. Then again, my level of d-baggery was likely much lower, as I subscribe to the [STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING]/”Yes, sir/ma’am” method of interacting with authorities.


JaySherman5000

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May 21 2013 at 7:53pm #

Ahlir wrote:If the cop had pulled the guy off his bike that would have sounded ok. Or even stuck a nightstick in the spokes. Shoving implies you were close enough (or closer) to do one of the other things.

But of course I wasn’t there and can’t possibly say anything about what actually happened. Just wondering. I’ll let the judge decide.

Playing armchair quarterback is dangerous and presumptive, even when you have clear video of what happened. Have you ever played football, rugby, or any sport that requires you to bring someone who is attempting to flee to the ground? It’s a lot harder than it looks. Sometimes your best bet is to knock your target off balance and then follow up by gaining wrist control.


pearmask

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May 21 2013 at 8:56pm #

Side note: Channel 11 tried really really really hard to interview me about this and about riding in traffic on the South Side while I was at work today (I do bike delivery for the Jimmy John’s on the 1700 block of Carson), even though I don’t work weekends and didn’t see the incident and don’t know anything about it. But I ride a bike, so I must know everyone else who rides a bike and know about everything they do, right? My managers refused to let us talk to them, which is probably for the best, but I have a feeling there will be a whole lot of B-roll of me delivering sandwiches on the news tonight, because they creepily sat outside the store filming us delivering forrrrever during our lunch rush, and then they sat with cameras at intersections nearby for a while too… I’m just hoping there’s no footage of me doing anything ostensibly illegal


mr marvelous

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May 21 2013 at 9:16pm #

Fear not @pearmask they only filmed your feet. I know your shoes, pedals, and straps.


gg

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May 21 2013 at 10:59pm #

Ahlir wrote: “then one of the officers shoved Walsh off his bike when he tried to pull away”
This somehow doesn’t seem completely right, but I guess under the circumstances…

Kind of reminds me of this.

Wow. You never know. I think the Pittsburgh Police really need a total overhaul. It happened in NYC and the city has changed for the better IMHO. Around here it is a mess IMHO. There should be no off duty officers hired for door people anywhere in the city. That reeks of corruption and conflicts of interest!


edmonds59

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May 22 2013 at 5:27am #

God, if that kid hadn’t been stopped he might have taken out any number of parked cars, pedestrians, and storefronts! Thank god!
Wait, is zero a number?
FTP.


LizziMac

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May 22 2013 at 7:10am #

edmonds59 wrote:God, if that kid hadn’t been stopped he might have taken out any number of parked cars, pedestrians, and storefronts! Thank god! Wait, is zero a number?FTP.

Unfortunately, “zero” is not a number in this case where a cyclist speeding through an intersection killed a pedestrian and is now being charged with felony gross vehicular manslaughter. Although certainly less deadly than motor vehicles, one must still respect the lives of others.


jonawebb

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May 22 2013 at 7:13am #

gg wrote:I think the Pittsburgh Police really need a total overhaul.

A total overhaul where, when you try to run away from the police, they don’t try to grab you? Come on, now. If you try to get away, you’re going to get shoved, grabbed, or stopped somehow.


mr marvelous

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May 22 2013 at 7:29am #

I once saw a officer tackle someone running from then like a linebacker, and the guy still kept trying to get away. are you just sensitive about it because he was on a bike?


edmonds59

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May 22 2013 at 8:30am #

Meh, I’m not going to get heavily into this line of discourse because I don’t actually care all that much.
But yes lizzimac, through the revelation of evidence and due process, “that case” was entirely appropriate.
I just believe that police response to things should be commensurate with the actual danger to society. And they need to be accountable for their actions.
And no one should ever feel obligated to address a police officer as “sir”, that’s bullshit. They are public servants, not our goddamn overseers.


JaySherman5000

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May 22 2013 at 9:47am #

edmonds59 wrote:
I just believe that police response to things should be commensurate with the actual danger to society.

I think the response was commensurate with the danger to society. The police saw some idiots swerving into oncoming traffic and ordered them to stop. The situation only escalated when the suspects attempted to flee. It was resolved when the perps were tackled, cuffed, and booked for their stupidity.

Had the cops not ordered them to stop, they may have caused a collision by weaving through traffic, especially if they were crossing the center line. Think about what would happen if a car, truck, or bus swerved to avoid a head-on collision with some asshats that veered into the oncoming lane. The potential for injury and destruction of property was simply too high. Kudos to the cops for making the right call.


edmonds59

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May 22 2013 at 10:32am #

Ok.


sew

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May 22 2013 at 11:35am #

pearmask wrote:Side note: Channel 11 tried really really really hard to interview me about this…

I saw this, I ate there yesterday and watched the girl try to talk to a few folks. No WPXI logo, so I wasn’t sure what was going on. I may have been in the background as they were filming the one rider coming back as I was walking up to the store.


Pierce

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May 22 2013 at 11:54am #

“At that point, the police are considering/assuming that the person fleeing has a nice (criminal) reason for trying so hard to evade them, which is usually the case.”

- Yeah, tell that to Jordan Miles

“Wow. You never know. I think the Pittsburgh Police really need a total overhaul. It happened in NYC and the city has changed for the better IMHO.”

- Tell that to the NYC minority population who gets stopped and frisked more times than their population, and 90% of the time The Police comes up with nothing

“I think the response was commensurate with the danger to society. The police saw some idiots swerving into oncoming traffic and ordered them to stop.”

And we automatically assume The Police are right. Isn’t traffic in the SS on Carson St usually gridlocked during that time? So what I’m picturing is the bikes trying to go around essentially stopped cars. Not much room to maneuver. Maybe the bike was moving up the line of cars to make a left hand turn and crossed the line a little bit, something that cars do all the time. And yeah, that’s really a danger to society!

“where a cyclist speeding through an intersection killed a pedestrian”

Nobody accused these guys of speeding through intersections or even breaking right of way laws

The problem I think I and others have here, is that the cops can’t be bothered to do anything when people actually get hurt by cars, myself included, and the other homicides, which have only been dealt with because people literally brought the offenders to the cops.

They do essentially 0 traffic enforcement of people speeding, driving inattentively, etc, stuff that actually kills people, but when some dude crosses the yellow line on a bike, they’re going on a Police chase


jonawebb

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May 22 2013 at 12:12pm #

@Pierce, while I agree with you about the police mostly not enforcing laws that would protect cyclists, I really can’t imagine any of us would want to live in a world where if the police tell someone to stop doing something illegal, and they run away, the police would let them go. Regardless of whether what they were doing was a really significant violation of the law or not.


LizziMac

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May 22 2013 at 12:34pm #

Pierce:

What happened to Jordan Miles was not okay, I’ll give him that. I’m stating as a general rule when the cops tell you to stop and comply, it is in your best interest to stop and comply. It is not valid in 100% of situations, but that is life, unfortunately.

As to you quoting my reference to the cyclist who killed a pedestrian—I was not comparing that case to this event at all. I brought up that case to indicate a situation in which a bicycle has been a deadly vehicular weapon in response to a comment that bicycles are never deadly weapons. I was not suggesting that these accused gentlemen were acting in such a manner as to kill a pedestrian or were committing the same actions as that case, although JaySherman5000 brings up a valid point where cyclists riding in such a manner could trigger a series of traffic events that could have the ability to cause property/life destruction.

I’ll end the discussion to say that I feel as cyclists we are at a drastic disadvantage on the road, but that doesn’t negate us from having to follow laws or choosing to not follow those laws and take our chances at being reprimanded. If I decide to make an illegal action on my bicycle and am caught by police, I will pull over, and if ticketed, I will pay my ticket, and if said ticket is for speeding, I will post it to facebook.


JaySherman5000

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May 22 2013 at 12:38pm #

“tell that to…” blah blah blah [red herrings everywhere]

None of those cases are relevant to the incident described in the trib story in this thread. As I already said, ASSUMING THE STORY IS ACCURATE, the police were absolutely right to order the cyclists to stop after observing their reckless behavior. When the cyclists refused to comply, that’s when the situation escalated. Had the suspects simply stopped and taken the stern talking to and/or citation, there would have been no police chase.

Regardless of the state of traffic on Carson (or any street) there is a right and wrong way to filter through traffic, and clearly the cyclists in this story were doing it wrong.


JaySherman5000

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May 22 2013 at 12:52pm #

“The problem I think I and others have here, is that the cops can’t be bothered to do anything when people actually get hurt by cars…”

When cops see asshats careening into oncoming traffic at 1am, on a weekend in the busiest, drunkiest section of town, should it be any surprise that maybe they conclude that when cyclists are hurt by cars it’s our fault? Idiotic behavior, such as that described in the news article above, is what makes people, including the police, hate us and not want to do anything when one of us hurt or killed in traffic.

I can understand taking exception with police activity now and then, but I have ZERO patience for blatant stupidity.


Pierce

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May 22 2013 at 1:17pm #

Maybe if the Police used statistical data to engage in law enforcement rather than stereotypes they’d be a lot more effective at actually reducing crime/accidents

I got hit when there were no other moving vehicles in sight on a four lane road, I’m pretty sure the guys who were killed on Penn Ave did as well

Even if the story is accurate, your loaded terms like “careening,” make my scenario seem totally impossible.

From the manual: “it’s usually legal for you, or any driver, to cautiously disobey normal traffic rules when the road is “obstructed.”

For all we know, the guys were doing just that, but when the cop throws around words like “weaving” and you use words like “careening,” the story quickly changes in the cop’s favor


JaySherman5000

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May 22 2013 at 2:11pm #

your loaded terms like “careening,”

Well now you’re just being pedantic. What other word(s) give an accurate depiction of cyclists weaving through traffic, haphazardly crossing into oncoming traffic at 1am on a Saturday night?

And what stereotypes, exactly, were the police using to order two careless cyclists to stop doing illegal things? If the cyclists in question were acting cautiously, then why was there a confrontation at all? All signs point to this being a case of idiots on bikes being idiots in front of the police and getting called out for it. Regardless of whatever cases of alleged malfeasance you want to cherry-pick from the PPD’s past, this sounds like an open and shut case.

Again, this is all assuming the story is accurate. I don’t think your scenario of “totally and always innocent cyclists being harassed by overlord neo-gestapo police-state enforcers” is impossible, but I do think its probability of being true is negligible at best.


Elmo

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May 23 2013 at 6:58am #

http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/bicyclist-arrested-busy-south-side-street/nXybP/

Sharrows…bike lane..tomato…tomatoe


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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May 23 2013 at 8:38am #

The last words of the report: “Police don’t make many stops of cyclists because cyclists know the rules of the road and usually follow them.”

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