Yesterday Abhi and myself both independently stumbled upon a now-viral video showing an NYPD officer discovering the low-end power of a two-stroke engine — to put it as nicely as possible. We both had a bevy of questions about how this ridiculous situation came to be, and having now done a little digging, I can shine a light on what the hell it is that happened.
The incident took place on Sunday, April 7th at 5:40PM at the corner of Lenox and 135th St. in Harlem. A suspect had reportedly been illegally romping around Harlem with a group of riders, prompting police to respond to the scene. The suspect then supposedly ditched the bike and hopped on a friend’s mount to successfully escape the area. Police recovered the bike not long after.
The local police station, New York City’s 32nd Precinct then had to seize the likely stolen scoot and bring it back to their impound. According to the NYPD’s most recent Patrol Guide, if a trailer isn’t readily available in the area, police are in fact permitted to pilot machines themselves back to the station, which is reportedly what happened here.
The three-two’s officer Brian Hinton can be seen revving the oil burner, taking off and instantly doing what looks like an accidental wheelie, before proceeding through an intersection against a red light, narrowing avoiding a silver Prius (and a pedestrian) before accidentally lofting the front-wheel for a second time in a matter of two seconds, this time resulting in a crash.
Hinton collides with the tarmac hard, with his head and upper body taking the brunt of the impact, resulting in Hinton being treated for a shoulder injury, though it’s remarkable he didn’t need staples based on how hard his head bounced off the ground in the clip. The bike also hits a late-model Caddy that’s waiting at the light, and unsurprisingly, the ordeal has prompted an internal investigation.
I found it interesting that when questioned about the video, police have been open about their policy of having (seemingly untrained) officers (sans helmet or gear) ride seized bikes back to the station. It’s also probably worth pointing out that it was only a few weeks ago that a video popped up of another NYPD officer crashing an impounded motorized two-wheeler (in another entirely avoidable situation) while returning it to the station.