SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


Cyclist Arrested on Caltrain?

This video came my way via the Party Car list. Supposedly the bike-commuter disagreed with a Caltrain conductor's instruction to not board the bike car because it was full. Reportedly this person boarded the car just as another bike-commuter was detraining with his bike, so he didn't understand why the conductor was telling him that the car was full and not to get on board. I wasn't on that train so I don't know the whole story...but from what I can see on the video, the guy was throwing some major attitude which just made the situation worse. This is a classic case of fighting the wrong battle at the wrong time with the wrong people. Sure, the whole situation seems ridiculous, but the commuter's beef should be with the conductor, not the cops -- they're just there trying to do what seems to be a mostly unpleasant job. At the start of the video, the officers seem to be mostly trying to understand what the complaint(s) are and refereeing, and things degrade from there after the officers warn the guy multiple times. Also, the guy with the video camera doesn't seem to be helping much, either: if an officer told me to get out of his face, I would certainly do that. Call me a sheep, OK, but I don't relish thoughts of handcuffs and jail. Video guy is being all pseudo-journalistic and self-righteous...and all that does is crank up tension levels all around. I know if someone came up to me while I was trying to do my job and stuck a video camera in my face with a "what are YOU doing right now?!?", I'd feel pretty self-conscious about it too. Nobody likes to be micromanaged! I'm not opposed to the video-ing of things like this, but give the folks involved some personal space at least. At any rate, it seems to me the proper way to fight this battle is by filing a complaint with Caltrain management and/or disputing in court any citations a conductor might issue. The police only exist to enforce public laws, they don't make them and can't change them. Fighting fire with fire only burns everyone.

Now, the real question is: If this guy really was arrested and taken away in handcuffs -- and we don't know that for sure because the video ends abruptly -- what happened to his bike, which was presumably left on board?


Blogger Ernie said...

Few more details in the Gate's coverage

12:44 PM  

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