Law Enforcement | New York | News

Critical Assault


Have you seen the video of rookie cop Patrick Pogan assaulting cyclist Christopher Long during the Critical Mass bike ride demonstration last Friday in NYC?

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

The NY Post reports: "What the video doesn't show is Pogan arresting Long for attempted assault in the third degree, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct - charges that kept the Bloomfield, NJ, man behind bars for 26 hours before his release late Saturday. Adding insult to injury, the criminal complaint drafted by Pogan bears little resemblance to what was witnessed by onlookers and recorded on video. In court papers, Pogan claimed that he wanted to issue Long a summons for failing to keep right, and then ordered Long to stop. The cop accused Long of purposely swerving his bicycle to block traffic and then using it as a weapon to run down the officer, knocking him off his feet and causing a 'laceration' on his forearm. 'You are pawns in the game. I'm going to have your job,' Long told Pogan, as he flailed and kicked his arms and legs, according to the complaint. Pogan has been on the force for just three weeks since graduating from the Police Academy on July 2 and is assigned to Midtown South. A third-generation cop, Pogan lives at home with his father - Patrick Pogan Sr., a highly respected detective and biochemical and mass-destruction expert who is retired from the Joint Terrorism Task Force. 'He's my son. I'm proud of him. He's third-generation that's been serving the city,' said Pogan Sr., 51, who was at home in Massapequa Park, LI, yesterday and said he had not seen the video. 'These people are taking over the streets and impeding the flow of traffic. Then you gotta do what you gotta do.'"

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Pogan has been put on desk duty and his badge and gun withheld pending an investigation. Hopefully, they'll fire him.

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  1. Not too surprising..the NYPD has had it in for Critical Mass for years. I remember a few days before the RNC in 2004 when about 260 cyclists were arrested by the cops..they were kept in terrible conditions near pier 57 for hours and hours not charged with anything. I guess after Diallo, Zongo and Bell..the NYPD still think they can do whatever they want without consequence and they are pretty much correct. Thank's to Hizoner for all that he's done...I guess he can't see much from his Park Ave penthouse..

    Posted by: daveynyc | Jul 29, 2008 9:45:33 AM

  2. Yours truly, Joe Buttafuoco, and now Patrick Pogan. Massapequa sure can turn 'em out.

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | Jul 29, 2008 10:06:35 AM

  3. Three fabulous generations of world-class law enforcement from the Pogan family. It brings a tear to my eye.

    Posted by: David D. | Jul 29, 2008 10:20:09 AM

  4. From where I sit (and where any reasonable person with working eyesight sits) it sure looks like the idiot cop puposely walked right into the guy! The other cop stood there and let them all pass, why couldn't Pogan?

    Posted by: johnny | Jul 29, 2008 10:25:45 AM

  5. Pogan did more than "walk into" Long. He used his forearm to literally knock him off his bike. Watch it again.

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | Jul 29, 2008 10:34:57 AM

  6. "These people are taking over the streets and impeding the flow of traffic. Then you gotta do what you gotta do."

    People in cars have been taking over the streets and impeding the flow of traffic for decades -- it's called rush hour, but no one assaults them. Bike traffic is traffic, too, the main differences being that a bike takes less room, causes less congestion, produces zero emissions, and improves the health and well-being of the rider. For these reasons, shouldn't the bike be getting priority on the street?

    Posted by: Ben S. | Jul 29, 2008 10:43:20 AM

  7. Um, this is NOT uncommon for NYPD. I was minding my own business on a street corner, and the cops were off to the side using unnecessary force to arrest someone. Naturally, 4 cops beating on a man who is cuffed and on the ground will attract some attention. Since, there was a crowd forming, they decided to clear the corner. I had my ipod on, and my back was to the melee. Then suddenly, a cop came from behind me and pushed me into oncoming traffic in an effort to clear the corner! I raised my hands in the air and said I was trying to walk home, and that I had identification, and that I would cross once the traffic light was in my favor. Instead of allowing me to wait for the light to change, the officer then continued to push me into oncoming traffic, and told me to "fuck off", and then he whipped out his billy club, and struck me across the face...I was not resisting anything...I was just waiting for the light to change to cross to walk the block to my apt. Bastards! I'm glad this is caught on tape. Too many times the NY pigs get away with acting like sub-humans, b/c they wear a badge on their chest. We can blame Guiliani for creating a police state...

    Posted by: erb | Jul 29, 2008 10:43:43 AM

  8. From watching many nature shows,the officers actions are the same as when a predator 1)chooses his victim 2)gets within striking range 3)attacks.
    As some would say in law enforcement, its a slam dunk case....against the officer!Purpose and willful attempt to cause great bodily harm.

    Posted by: greg | Jul 29, 2008 10:43:59 AM

  9. The cop should get fired, but I also have very little sympathy for Critical Mass.
    As someone who walks as opposed to riding a bike, I can say they have ZERO respect for pedestrians. In the past I've waited upwards of 15 minutes to cross the street as they swarmed by, shouting "Share the road!"

    Posted by: scientitian | Jul 29, 2008 10:57:13 AM

  10. What? New York Police Department officers injuring innocent citizens and covering it up? No! That could never happen!

    What would have happened to this guy had there not been a video camera to record this?

    This thug cop should not be on the force. He should be behind bars for assault and battery and lying on his report. But, hey, his dad's a cop. So, he'll probably skate on this. Look at the ridiculous statement from the cop's father stating how proud he is of his son's protecting the streets.

    Some people just should not have a badge.

    Last week in Lousiana, an innocent man was tasered to death. The cop lied and said the man was resisting arrest and was high on drugs. The coroner's report showed the man had no drugs in his system, had been shocked 9 times, several times while he was unconscious.

    Posted by: noah | Jul 29, 2008 10:58:05 AM

  11. The Critical Mass people are incredibly obnoxious and annoying -- but completely harmless. That cop is a dangerous piece of shit. He actually started running toward the biker. Can him. Take away his pension. Set an example. Cops are there to prevent crime, not COMMIT it...while gatting paid, no less.

    Posted by: paul | Jul 29, 2008 10:59:05 AM

  12. even if he is a rookie, all those doughnuts make that fat cop a formidable obstacle. there's no way that biker could speak much less have resisted arrest after that body blow

    Posted by: step | Jul 29, 2008 11:00:03 AM


    I live in SF and these bicycle people and their stupid critical mass have been attempting to disrupt our lives on a monthly basis for years.

    Sure, the cop shouldn't have pushed the guy over...there's no excuse for that.

    But there's also no excuse for the Critical mASSholes to disrupt OUR lives, to bash our cars with bicycle chains, to break open windows of mini vans.

    I have had the personal experience and experienced the terror of being surrounded by the Massholes...they stop your car in the interesection, surround it, rock it, one hit it with a bicycle chain...all the while you're locked inside hoping they don't break a window, and hoping against hope the police get there and break it up. Its a disgrace.

    There's plenty of pavement for cars and bikes to coexist. Its not one or the other. And they dont' need to harrass us.

    Posted by: tom | Jul 29, 2008 11:09:10 AM

  14. I heard the same things as Tom about the Critical Mass people. From what I've heard a lot of anarchists have fallen in love with the aspect of causing a a disruption. As a result, they participate for the enjoyment of the disruption and not as much for "cycling rights." I've heard similar things about motorists being assaulted and threatened.

    It doesn't excuse the cop's actions in the least but this may be a cue for the Critical Mass people to try a different approach before the levels of aggression become too high on both sides.

    Posted by: Ed | Jul 29, 2008 11:41:51 AM

  15. I hate the mass show of arrogance that is Critical Mass. But I hate cops more.

    Posted by: GM | Jul 29, 2008 11:42:59 AM

  16. There are videos showing how NYPD officers have infiltrated Critical Mass, especially right before the RNC in 2004. Why do cops think people on bikes are threatening? Are there no rapists, murderers or thieves left?

    Posted by: MarcoPolo | Jul 29, 2008 11:56:33 AM

  17. This is shocking. The asshole who did this should be fired. A shameful reflection on The NYPD!!!!!!

    Posted by: Philbert Gray | Jul 29, 2008 12:02:50 PM

  18. I'm with you Scientitian. As an avid cyclist in Minneapolis, I am ashamed of the behavior of bicyclists towards pedestrians. It's the exact same mentality as car drivers! Our Greenway trail system is full of rude bikers that, even though they have stop signs, fly through them while walkers have to wait for them to pass or sometimes leap out of their way.

    I seem to remember while applying for my motorcycle license that drivers only pay attention to equal-sized threats. Must be the same mentality.

    At any rate, the cop should be busted. But it could be argued that Critical Mass is doing more harm than good. They just add fuel to the 'crazy liberal' fire.

    Posted by: CM | Jul 29, 2008 12:10:42 PM

  19. There's a much bigger picture than this video shows and the mistakes of one cop should not distract us from it. If Critical Mass NY is like Critical Mass San Francisco (which started the idea) then three cheers for the cop! If you've never seen the group in action as they are in SF -- which is far from the prosaic pedaling equivalent of Ghandi or MLK on a bike -- then you don't know what the hell you're talking about. The SF paper's online story about last year's 15th anniversary drew hundreds of mostly negative comments.

    In SF what started out as a decent idea of nonviolent civil disobedience has turned into a monthly excuse to act out by a mass of often "adult children" who are drawn to participate solely by the knowledge that they can get away with whatever they want and rub it in the face of both the cops AND EVERYONE ELSE while giving the majority of riders with good, PEACEFUL intentions a black eye. They're the same kind (probably some of the same people) who use antiwar and other demonstrations as an excuse to set fires, break windows, etc. After the Rodney King verdict years ago, the majority of the looters in SF were so white they wouldn't know Rodney King from Coretta King.

    One of CMs typical actions, when they're not yelling obscenities at/threatening drivers and purposely scratching their cars as they zoom by, is to not just run red lights en masse (by itself not a big, if dangerous, deal) but stop and surround cars that legally have the right to move when the light changes. Legally that is probably assault in the same way if a group on foot surrounded you as you were trying to walk down the street and prevented you from doing it. How would YOU like that?

    Just two incidents where this subgroup of thugs violently assaulted cars and threatened their drivers who unintentionally found themselves suddenly (much of the rides are done at breakneck speed) in the middle of HUNDREDS (sometimes thousands) of riders just as they [the drivers] were trying to turn onto another street thus impeding the fast moving swarm many of whom magine themselves IN TOTAL UNQUESTIONABLE CONTROL OF the streets when the "Massers" as the asshats arrogantly call themselves as if they were something special enough to need their own coined name are "demonstrating" and have the attitude, and often the action, of "fuck you (PEDESTRIANS included) if you get in my way!"

    In both instancs the drivers were from out of town and had no idea of what to do to get out of the intersection but SLOWLY continue driving. CMs take this as an a priori attempt to run them down and stop and swarm the cars and begin beating upon them with their fists and bikes. One van which contained a woman driver and five suddenly petrified and screaming young ACTUAL children had its back window broken out among another damage. Another time it was a couple in their 70s whose car was assaulted when they tried to get out of the way.

    If this was a group of hundreds/thousands rampaging EVERY MONTH through the streets ON FOOT threatening everyone caught innocently in their path, tying up traffic at times for hours [imagine how much more CO2 poisoning the air THAT cause], NO ONE would put up with it regardless of what "cause" it was done in! Even people with the best of intentions STILL have obligations to everyone else doing nothing wrong AND to recognize when good milk has gone sour.

    Posted by: ToddSF | Jul 29, 2008 12:18:45 PM

  20. I've been wanting to do that for years. Critical Mass is an obnoxious, trustafarian hanky head bunch of spoiled rich white boys form the suburbs. They need to get a life.

    Posted by: cynical mass | Jul 29, 2008 12:22:08 PM

  21. Attention Critical Mass- Please note and do something about the critical flaw in how you go about promoting your message of "sharing the road". It would really help your argument and build respect for what you stand for if you obeyed traffic signals and respected pedestrians by letting them pass on the road as well.

    Posted by: DCMNYC | Jul 29, 2008 12:29:27 PM

  22. As a cyclist in NYC and member of Transportation Alternatives, I was shocked to see this video. Since the rider was not wearing a helmet, the cop endangered his life by tackling him and knocking him off his bike.

    I support Critical Mass in theory, but I am wary of a mob mentality.

    SCIENTITIAN, I know where you're coming from. There are many hostile bikers on the street, but we have to be hyper-aware, diligent and aggressive in order to stay alive. Pedestrians that stand in bike lanes and cross against the lights put us at equal danger (them getting hit, and me flying over my handle bars). I can't tell you how many times I've nearly been sideswiped by cars and pushed towards the curb and nearly hit pedestrians that feel entitled to cross in the middle of the street without looking.

    There has been an incredible surge of cyclists in the city and awareness needs to be raised on all levels.

    Posted by: Mark | Jul 29, 2008 12:30:40 PM

  23. Look, slamming someone off a bike is horrible and unecessary. However, I have to say that on a daily basis I see these a-hole bike riders screaming through red lights almost running down people in the crosswalk, riding on the sidewalk, or riding the wrong way on a one way street. I myself have daydreamed about clothslining one of these smug hippies myself.

    Posted by: scott | Jul 29, 2008 12:50:41 PM

  24. In the mind of most cops, their job is to enforce "normalcy" more than the law itself. Anything they view as abnormal (which depends a lot on where they come from) would be curbed. Thus, hippie, long-hair, commie freaks, such as Critical Mass, are going to rub the cops the wrong way. This is also why they routinely allow "normal" crimes to happen. In some respects, it's the job of the cop to align their sense of decorum with the polity at large, and it helps if they start out the same. This is also why minorities are so frequently targeted by cops.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 29, 2008 12:51:26 PM

  25. TODDSF's observations are all perfect.

    Dont let what happend in SF happen in NY. The Massholes will attempt to take over in a subverted attempt at Ghandi like civil disobedience....its just a RUSE.

    SF has a history of 'tolerance' which in my opnion, in many areas has gone way too far. The rights of the majority are subverted to the illegally operating minority.

    We now have our 'sanctuary' law to add to that, where we give sanctuary to illegal aliens who now cluster in our city, knowing that no matter what they do, they wont be deported. We're seeing the repercussions of that policy...increased theft, now murder and other crimes.

    Tolerance is good, but in SF it's now over overindulging the behavior of bad children..There's a difference.

    Posted by: tom | Jul 29, 2008 12:55:39 PM

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