A CBS local affiliate is reporting out of New York that a gang of thugs is targeting lone bike riders along the Hudson river and across the George Washington Bridge in Washington Heights, choosing to strike when it’s dark and there is little chance of anyone seeing.
Cyclist Keith Cho, the rider pictured, was riding his bike on the evening of August 24 when he ran into a clothesline booby trap that was nearly impossible to see. The robbers then set upon him with brass knuckles and took his possessions: his bike, a phone, and the money in his wallet. Since the incident, Cho has felt deeply traumatized. “I lived in this area for 35 years and for the first time in my life, I feel afraid to come to the city… They could’ve just taken my bike and just went off. I was in no condition to chase them or go after them,” he said to reporters in the CBS video.
Cho would not be the last cyclist targeted. Last Thursday, a second cyclist was knocked off his bike with a bat in the same area, his wallet and bike also stolen. Sections of the Washington Heights cycling path are pitch black, and Cho has said it’s nearly impossible to see if anyone else is out there, let alone if there’s a clothesline in the path.
One woman who lives in the area spoke with CBS reporters about the possibility of incidents happening around the area. “If something happens,” resident Susan Hurse said to the cameras, “no one can see you… You could be there for a couple of days in the brush without someone finding you.”
Vague descriptions of 20-something men accompany increased NYPD patrols in the area in an effort to apprehend the crooks, who are believed to be targeting the cycling path to acquire high-end bikes for easy resale.
[Image via the CBS-2 Report]