Interaction between the police and the public is at times a tricky thing. Being on the other side of the desk today was eye opening.
On Thursday, the 3rd of September at about one thirty p.m., I was riding my bicycle north on Central Ave at about 59 th. Street. I was legally using the right lane. A Barr & Miles truck # 962 Blasted the horn at me and passed in the right lane that I had the right of way to. I yelled at him to watch it . The driver slammed on his brakes and caused me to strike the right rear tire of the truck. My bike flipped over I struck the truck then the ground rolling and hitting my helmet on the ground. I was stunned. I got up and walked toward the truck. The driver drove away leaving me scraped and scratched. I grabbed my bicycle and began to chase the truck. Luckily the driver had to stop at red lights so I was able to keep the truck in sight. I followed the truck to the company's garage. The driver was surprised to see me and began to shout profanities at me and said I couldn’t prove any thing.
I entered the office and spoke with a manager and told him of the situation. The manager came out with me to the lot. My bicycle was now on the ground damaged so severely I was unable to use it. I did not see who further damaged the bicycle but it was inside the fence and in the garage area.
I followed the truck from the scene of the incident. He clearly tried and succeeded in causing the crash. He fled the scene of a personal injury accident using a company vehicle. State law required him to stop and see if I was injured. Since he failed to do so I have to believe it was intentional
I called 911. The call taker stated , it occurred outside of our town limits ( I crossed the line in the chase.) He transferred me to the city. The city dispatcher wouldn't send a car because I was outside of the city. "Go to the nearest police station" she said. My bike is trashed, how am i going to get there? I had to call for a ride. The trucking company sent their driver in his car. I called the station and asked to delay him till I got there. I identified myself of course.
When I got there he was gone and the very young desk officer is telling me that since I struck the truck I must be at fault. "The striking vehicle isn't necessarily the at fault vehicle," I tried to explain. I spoke with a sergeant,( also very young). No help. Now I'm beginning to understand why the public dislikes the police. Just write the report. I'll deal with the hit and run unit. "But sir the other driver came in so it's not a hit and run." I chased this guy two miles at least. (biking eighteen miles four days a week paid off) That's your story she says. Can you believe it? He beats me to the station so he's now the good guy? Write the report but please say I chased him. I 'll wait to get a copy from records section and deal with it later. Meanwhile, my bike is trashed. I've got tire impressions on my shoulder and general road rash on my legs and hands.
I'm composing a nice letter to the listed company president. I hope he is more responsive. The police department sure left me angry and disappointed. Twenty years ago coppers would have been all over this type of incident. This time I have to agree with some people who say, "police are assholes."