Bike theft and assault, Riverside Drive, morning 5/25

  • Home
  • Bike theft and assault, Riverside Drive, morning 5/25
29 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

An NYCC member had a horrific experience this morning. At about 6 am, near Grant's Tomb, 3 guys jumped my friend. One subdued the cyclist, while the other 2 A-holes grabbed the bike right from under this person. The bike (brand new, btw) was tossed into a car and the theives/assailants sped off. A good samaritan provided a lift to the 26, where a police report was filed. M is a little sore, and a lot pissed off. Even at 6 am, there was auto traffic, joggers, etc,. but the whole thing went down in about 15 seconds. Let's all be careful.

Anonymous's picture
marcella butler (not verified)


Anonymous's picture
marcella butler (not verified)

Not the thread I want to start, but everyone should take note. Location: Riverside Drive coming south at Grants Tomb. This morning, around 6 am, I was grabbed by three young men (late teens?), two of whom took my bike and one of whom held me down while the bike was put in a car. When it happened, I had stopped for water and was straddling the bike, out of my pedals. I was pushed down to the ground where I stayed until I was sure they were gone. I did not see the car. They threatened me but never showed a weapon. It took about 15 seconds total, I think. I accepted a ride from a motorist to the nearest precinct on W 126. Apparently there have been other thefts/assaults there, on solo cyclists who have stopped, or by the introduction of marbles/ball bearings that cause a rider to stop.
I am bruised but unhurt. We all love our bikes, but it is a fully replaceable item. I do want to say that I am truly, truly touched by the kind words of NYCC members who have heard about this. I won't be riding but will be in the Berkshires this weekend and look forward to saying 'thank you' in person.
REPORT THEFTS. If there is a pattern, the police need to know - and insurance companies require police reports.
Don't let these jerks get away with it. It was light, and I was not the only person out there - but it took only seconds.
See you on the roads.
Giant OCR, composite frame, grey with red trim, red seat bag. Less than a month old and only about 400 miles on the bike. TOGA decals.

Anonymous's picture
Rob M (not verified)
Unlikely but...

... Ultegra? Size? Wheels? etc

Not likely but we can all keep an eye out for it on craigslist and ebay.

Anonymous's picture
marcella butler (not verified)

Shimano Ultegra; triple chain ring; medium frame; women's saddle; Keo pedals.

Anonymous's picture
Ron Torok (not verified)

That's crazy.... I am really sorry to hear about this, but glad you are ok. As difficult as it can be, not resisting was definitely smart.

As mentioned before, a good description of the assailants for all of us is very important as we keep our eyes out while doing the ride ourselves. What did they look like? Were they hiding in advance of the attack or were they in plain sight beforehand?

Anonymous's picture
marcella butler (not verified)

I had stopped for water and I did not see where they came from. I don't recall passing them, but I was focused more on avoiding road debris and car doors opening than people on the sidewalk - sorry. I usually keep my eyes peeled, but they caught me totally off guard. Came from behind - from where I had passed. I don't think I was their first. They had me off the bike, and pinned between parked cars, before I knew what was happening.
Note: keys, money, metrocard, and phone were in my jersey - not seat bag. Keep valuables ON YOUR PERSON for this very reason. All they wanted was the bike.

Anonymous's picture
FPT (not verified)

What do these [email protected] do with the bike once it's stolen? If they are in fact targeting high-end bikes, they must have a way to sell into that market (which seems unlikely at first glance).

Anonymous's picture
Hector (not verified)

I was just wondering if you could describe your assailants. It doesn't hurt to have a description of these guys just in case they are spotted in the neighborhood again. Also, even the color of the car could help. Sorry to hear of this incident.

Anonymous's picture
marcella butler (not verified)

Thank you. It was unfortunate, but it was only a bike. There were 3 young men - early twenties? I gave a full description to the police. They were white or light-skinned hispanic. I only got a close look at the one holding me down, as he blocked the other two from my view. I am 6', and he was slightly shorter. He was stocky. Fat not muscled. Cleanshaven except for beard around his jawline. I think the others were cleanshaven. All three in mesh sports-team jerseys and baseball-style mesh caps. I was on the ground and never saw the car (heard it leave). Not much I know, but the best I can do for now. It happened very quickly. Thank you again.

Anonymous's picture
mike p (not verified)
how often has this happened in this area?

you know now that you mention marbles, i recall getting whacked by marbles on my rides via riverside. i may have been chased in that area.
i have seen suspicious activity in that area on my afternoon rides in , i thought the suspicious vehicle was looking to steal cars. maybe nypd could put some undercover bicycle cops here.

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)

A few years ago I was told that an off duty cop had his bike stolen in the same location and in the same manner; going south on RSD at Grant's Tomb.

For some reason, 6 am is not the time I would have expected this sort of crime. If the past is any indication of the future, we should all be aware of this.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Mike's idea of undercover bike cops. Exactly!

One female bike cop, riding alone, dressed in spandex and bike jersey (to telegraph to the thieves her bike is a good one) on a good (non-NYPD marked) bicycle. In fact, likely the thieves know expensive/good bikes from cheap/bad ones. (There is no such thing as a bad bike.)

Rather than have her cruise the area, if she is not intercepted, she leaves.

Fifteen, twenty minutes later, another female bike cop comes by alone. ...And so forth.

Police back-ups parked on one of the contiguous side streets in unmarked car pointed towards RSD.


In another thread someone asked where to buy a good used bike here. Reputable bike shops won't sell used bikes because that simply gives an outlet to the thieves to sell/fence them.

Anonymous's picture
Popeye Doyle (not verified)


Anonymous's picture
ja (not verified)
what about CP?

I've been warned to be careful at the north end of CP, esp. on the hill - it is often pretty quiet, but have never actually heard of a bike being stolen there. I don't mean to generate hysteria, just want to know if anyone has ever heard of this actually happening in the park.

Anonymous's picture
E. Novélo (not verified)
How do I prepare for...

I can empathize with this situation. I was once mugged and it only took seconds.

A lot of us including myself ride with ID and cell phone in the saddle bag. It was good advice to stop doing this.

However, I seem to be uncomfortable about my lack of preparedness.

How does a rider prepare for a situation where I’m injured and my ID was also stolen?

Anonymous's picture
mike p (not verified)
zigzag above light house also danger

watch the zigzag above the lighthouse too.
seems to be crews that like this area too.
lot of debris to trip a rider , alleged pedestrians walking along that will be walking in front of you and bend over to tie their shoe laces etc to try and force you to stop

Anonymous's picture
Rob M (not verified)

Where is the light house? Somewhere near the GWB? and where are the zig-zags?

Stop for a ped, you must be joking. Run 'em down.

Anonymous's picture
mike p (not verified)

on the bike path north of the lighthouse , it goes through a desolate area near the gw bridge and over the amtrak tracks. its a very steep climb up the path heading north , and can be a tough descent due to sand and debris from weather and human traps. i found out on Wednesday times up green way ride that it a notorious drug use area.

Anonymous's picture
Jenni (not verified)

Dear Friend,
I am a cyclist from Rockland county and a member of the Rockland Bike Club. We are so deeply saddened to hear about your terrible terrible situation. Hopefully your story will inspire everyone who reads it to be more diligent. I certainly will.

I hope you recover from your bruises soon and that you're back riding soon. You're always welcome to come up by our way for a ride around- maybe when you're back on the road you'll take me up on that!

Anyway, our site is if you want to get in touch.
Again, I hope you're riding soon.

Your friend in cycling,

Anonymous's picture
Cat (not verified)
good spirit

Jenni-- so nice of you to reach out. Maybe we don't make it clear or we seem like prickly pears here at the NYCC, but please know that you are welcome to ride with us any time also! Introduce yourself (/yourselves) if you do.

Maybe we can organize some joint-club rides. . . we are in your neighborhood all the time, after all.


Anonymous's picture
ja (not verified)
lighthouse and amtrak tracks

Where exactly is this?

Anonymous's picture
mike p (not verified)
how do the police report this crime?

police precincts have been downgrading crimes to make their numbers and get their promotions.

Anonymous's picture
art (not verified)
Thats a bad area (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Isaac (not verified)
Questions, the bigger picture and an appeal

"I'm curious as to the motive and MO of the people who attacked Marcella. Was their intent to sieze a bike for resale or parts or was this some sort of initiation ritual (scavenger hunt) for some sort of gang or other group. I recall reading about ""rice burning"" a ritual where a motorcycle gang steals a Japanese motorcycle then publicly destroy it. Is this connected with the attacks in Prospect and if so, is this about packs of criminals re-asserting their power to terrorize the people of this city? Could it be some group who wants us to feel more dependent on (and less antagonistic to) ""the authorities""? Has this act been repeated there or elsewhere?

I also wonder whether Marcella's was particularly targeted and why? Do not assume that it was the new carbon bike. On the other hand, supposing it was, who tipped off the robbers that she was coming? Where was this person stationed and how could s/he be spotted? was the ""motorist's"" role completely benign or was he like the ""helpful"" person in a pickpocket situation who's role is to block the mark from chasing the pickpocket?

Bottom line, to me, this is an act of terrorism. It is the kind of thing that gets people talking and worrying that certain activities or certain places are ""bad"" or not safe. I had hoped we'd matured as a city.

In honor of Marcella and as an investment in our collective quality of life, I'm making a donation to our cycling advcacy,, I encourage you to do the same.



Anonymous's picture
David Cole (not verified)
Incident on Riverside Drive at Grant Memorial

"I recently saw the report about the woman who had her new bike stolen right out from under her in the south bound lane of Riverside Drive. After reading this report on this message board, I realized my truck was parked in the exact same location the woman must have been in and went out to check on it. Someone had broken into my truck, taking the stereo and a few other things. I also noted three other ""fresh"" piles of broken glass on the curb in the same area. So again, exercise caution and try to be aware of your surroundings here.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Call the precinct

Concerned citizens, please call the 24th Precinct and ask them to increase patrols in the area.

Noah Budnick from TA emailed me today and said he will continue to phone the precinct until he reaches a live person. If the police are aware of this problem, we need to put some heat on them to do something about it.

Here's the contact info:

Community Affairs
(212) 678 1803

24 Precinct's main number
(212) 678-1811

Let Noah know if you hear of any more incidents or developments (projects AT

P.S. The Post ran an article today about a series of muggings happening in Prospect Park over the past six weeks. We could always make this into a Post cover story if we have to.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Called today

I finally had a chance to phone the precinct community affairs number today. I left a message describing my concern and requested increased patrols.

Anyone hear back?

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)

CORRECTION: It should be the 26th Precinct, not the 24th.
The number of Community Affairs is 212.678.1301, ask for Officer Palmer.


I just spoke with Officer Palmer. She will speak to the lieutenant late today when he comes in for his shift, to find out if there have been more reports and what is being done about them. She'll call me back on Monday.

Both of these com. affairs officers have been responsive and friendly.

Anonymous's picture
Rich (not verified)
How many other assaults on cyclists?

Marcella's first post above referred to several other thefts & assaults against cyclists. Presumably this is information the local precinct gave her? Is there more information? If Marcella was not the first, why is she only the first one to have alerted the local cycling community?


cycling trips