A Critical Mass bicycle ride in Fort Lauderdale last Friday ended for one cycling enthusiast with him in handcuffs and on his way to jail.
Fifty-five-year-old Raymond Strack was riding with about 800 bicyclists when the group reached the Oakland Park Intercoastal Bridge. The bridge is where Strack almost lost his life six months ago when he was hit by a car while riding his bike.
During Friday’s ride, a Fort Lauderdale Police sergeant leading the ride set the speed at three miles per hour, which bikers said was too slow.
“It was a complete misunderstanding,” said Joshua Beatty, 45, a friend of Strack. “I mean, he was just trying to instruct her that it’s dangerous. People are gonna get hurt. People are gonna fall. The speed needs to pick up or we need to stop and people need to walk up the bridge.”
Beatty said when Strack began talking about the issue; the officer allegedly used her motorcycle to cut him off between the road and the curb. Strack allegedly questioned the office for stopping him and then Beatty said another officer on a bicycle came up behind Strack and pulled him off the bike.
“He was really taken down with more force than a retired person with a spinal injury should be, especially when everybody’s telling him, ‘He’s an old man with a spinal injury. Please don’t throw him to the ground,” Beatty said.
Strack was released from jail on a $100 bond, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department isn’t commenting on the case because it said the investigation is ongoing. Strack has hired a lawyer to deal with his case.