A bike-jacking on the Williamsburg Bridge was foiled on Monday afternoon by the actions of some quick thinking, ballsy cyclists. At about 2:15PM, Stephen Perry, a 28-year-old Philly transplant who has been in the city “about a year,” told ANIMAL that he was riding home to Brooklyn and just as he reached the top of the first incline, a man grabbed his handlebars and told him: “Get off the bike, I need the bike. I’ll cut your face.”
The thief was concealing one of his hands, leaving Perry somewhat startled and confused. He ended up dismounting off his Fuji hybrid — which he said is worth about $300 — and proceeded to argue with the guy. That’s when the thief jumped on the bike and started riding it towards Manhattan. Perry ran after him yelling “That guy stole my bike.” Moments later, filmmaker Ian Bell, 29, was riding his fixed gear Bridgestone when he noticed the commotion taking place. After quickly confirming what was happening, he started pursuing the bike thief. A French photographer named Charles who had also just made the climb up the bridge, decided to turn around and joined the chase.
The thief made his way onto Delancey Street and then turned the wrong way up Suffolk Street. Bell, saw the man make the turn and rode alongside him. With his adrenaline pumping, he grabbed the guy’s shirt and then proceeded to tackle him to the ground. Both bikes came to a grinding halt and the man simply started briskly walking away and didn’t say a word. At about this point, Charles arrived and while Bell decided to stay with the bike, the Frenchman crashed his bike into the thief. A true professional, the man was mostly unfazed and once again started scurrying away, but not before Charles was able to snap a very candid shot of the man (pictured above).
Eventually the thief ducked into the subway as the police just started arriving to the scene and that was the last anyone saw of him. Minutes later, Perry was reunited with his bike and was quite appreciative. “I’m so grateful for those guys. Ian had to do some pretty dangerous riding to shove the guy off my bicycle,” he said. When asked why he intervened, Charles explained, “No one wants to see a bicycle stolen. I’ve been riding here for five years. It’s super annoying. It’s 2pm in the afternoon and he’s trying to steal a guy’s bike? Fuck that.” That was a sentiment echoed by Bell. “Fuck bike thieves. If you have a bike, I hope other people won’t let your bike get stolen.” Or even worse, just film it happening.
(Photo: Charles the Frenchman/ANIMALNewYork)