NEW YORK (WCBS) — A Manhattan man said he was attacked after he tried telling illegal bike riders they were wrong for riding in a park.
The muffled but loud noise of illegal bikers is a reminder of the pain one man is feeling.
The 76-year-old is recovering at home after he says two people on either Vespas or mopeds assaulted him Sunday, seconds after nearly running him down at Isham Park in Inwood.
“I say in Spanish, ‘You’re not allowed to be in the park,’” the man named Roberto told CBS2’s Cory James on Monday.
He said the two illegal bikers then circled around and followed him down the pavement, before chucking what he believes were logs of wood at him.
“They throw [at] me five or six,” Roberto said.
He was taken to the hospital with bruises on his head, nose, leg, and an injured arm.
“[They tried] to kill me, you know,” Roberto said.
CBS2 first told you about this problem of illegal motorists back in April. Similar aggression was shown from some of them at Astoria Park.
But Isham parkgoers are frustrated the citywide banned activity is still happening.
“It’s reckless. It’s inconsiderate. It’s deliberately aggressive,” one person said.
“You’re supposed to be safe,” another said.
“It is becoming worse and worse since COVID-19,” another added.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer wrote a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, suggesting the city do things like increasing the cost of citations and fining gas stations allowing illegal riders to fill up.
“I’m not interested in arrests. I’m not interested necessarily in fining. I’m interested in stopping the practice,” Brewer said.
Meanwhile, Roberto said he will recover, but hopes something can be done to put an end to this so that people like him who speak up don’t risk getting attacked.
The NYPD says if an officer is able to safely stop any motorcyclist driving illegally, they will do that and confiscate the bike.
Meanwhile, the Parks Department said it is exploring options on how to deter bikers from riding in Isham Park.
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