33 Arrested at Critical Mass Bike Ride
October 30th, 2004 8:05 am US/Eastern
Police arrested 33 people Friday during a monthly bike ride that attracts hundreds of cyclists, a day after a federal judge ruled that the “Critical Mass” event did not need a parade permit.
Most of the bicyclists were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct for blocking automobile traffic, said Sgt. Michael Wysokowski, a police department spokesman.
The ride began at Union Square Park and headed north on Park Avenue, but eventually splintered into a few different groups. Police, who were out in force, urged riders to stick to a specific route and passed out flyers which said cyclists could be arrested for violating traffic rules.
Between 1,000 and 1,200 cyclists took part in the ride, said Leah Rorvig, a volunteer with the group Time’s Up, which advocates the monthly event. Many were dressed in costumes to mark Halloween.
Several additional arrests were made shortly after midnight outside the Time’s Up office at 49 East Houston Street on the Lower East Side, where about 200 bicyclists gathered after the ride, said witness Angela Coppola. Police said they were responding to reports of overcrowding, Coppola said.
On Thursday, a federal judge ruled that the cyclists did not have to get a parade permit for the rides and said the city could not seize bicycles unless riders were charged with a crime or violate the law. The city had asked the judge to prevent the bicycle rides unless the cyclists obtained a permit.
During August’s Critical Mass bike ride, days before the start of the Republican National Convention, 264 people were arrested.
Copyright 2004, MMIV Infinity Broadcasting Corp.