See Driver Hit Bike Cop. See Driver Run. See Driver Get Arrested.

Photo: Sean Rea

Reader Sean Rea witnessed a pretty brazen act of dangerous and petty driving behavior last Thursday on downtown Mission Street: Another hit-and-run on a vulnerable street user. But it wasn’t just any ordinary victim this driver knicked and fled from. It was an officer of the SF Police Department:

I was riding down Mission (due to closure of Howard that is the Dreamforce fiasco) and just before Fourth came upon a bike cop. A car came up on our left, clipped his radio and handlebar, and then sped through a yellow as the officer yelled and took chase. At the next green I took off and stuck around to give a statement.

Rea said the officer thought the driver may not face serious penalties, but Rea “took solace in the fact that the driver had to sit there on the curb in embarrassment for a half hour, at least.”

It’s hard to imagine why this driver shouldn’t face charges similar to those of assaulting a police officer. But we can add one more to the list of benefits of having police patrol by foot, bike and transit (not just cruisers). Cavalier drivers might be a little more cautious if they know they could potentially maim or kill a cop. Unfortunately, the risk of running over everyday people doesn’t seem to be enough of a deterrent.

  • Anonymous

    Excepting the fact that somebody on a bike was hit by an idiot driver (though at least it sounds like the cop was thankfully okay), this is one of the best things I’ve read in a while. Sweet, sweet justice.

    This is exactly why we need more cops patrolling on bicycles: they will very quickly develop an understanding of what cyclists have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, and you can bet that police (and hence societal) bias will diminish quickly.

  • I am conflicted — knowing that the driver had to sit on the curb and experience the range of emotions that must bring was pretty satisfying. But it’s also highly deflating to realize that the officer may be right and this guy might be back out behind the wheel having faced no other consequences.

  • Anonymous

    So the bicycle cop chased down the car after getting hit? That’s a pretty good adrenaline rush.

  • I, too, am always happy when I see a cop on a bicycle.

    When someone drives recklessly in a dense pedestrian and bicycle-filled urban environment, their car should be impounded for a month. The cop should call for a tow truck. Simple as that. If the person wants to appeal, they can go through the steps for an appeal while their car sits in car jail.

  • Yep, that’s exactly what happened.

  • This actually annoys me. I think the cop should have had to suffer the indignity of having to call SFPD to report a hit and run and be told that it was probably his own fault, and that there is nothing that they can do.

  • Gneiss

    This is exactly the kind of guy who would have claimed that “the cyclist came out of nowhere” and been believed by officers dispatched in a vehicle to the crash.  Clean cut, nice car, totally non-confrontational looking.  The more police we get on bikes, the less likely they are to believe the fictional accounts motorist tell them after a crash with a cyclist.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s hard to imagine why this driver shouldn’t face charges similar to those of assaulting a police officer. ”

    Wow, it’s hard for you to even *imagine* why an accident shouldn’t be equated to an assault? Interesting.

    So I’m sure you’re 100% in favor of charging bicyclists who hit pedestrians with assault. Riiiight?

    Yeah. I thought so.

  • “So I’m sure you’re 100% in favor of charging bicyclists who hit pedestrians with assault. Riiiight?”

    Why wouldn’t you charge anyone who hits a pedestrian?

  • driving away after you hit someone is no accident.

  • Gneiss

    Look at the right side mirror in that photo.  This guy knew (or should have known) that he had hit someone, yet tried to run away by speeding on through the yellow after the  assault.    This is a clear case of a guy trying to get away with something not realizing that the cyclist he hit was a police officer.

  • mikesonn

    He would have gotten away with it if the cyclist wasn’t a police officer. Heck, sounds like he will anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Aaron, you’re saying it’s appropriate to charge bicyclists who accidentally hit pedestrians with assault?

    Great, can’t wait for your next blog post advocating that.

  • when did you stop beating your wife, abolish?

    There isn’t really a lot of need to advocate for charging cyclists as George Gascon has made it quite clear that pressing such charges are a priority for his office. And charging motorists who do the same is not a priority.


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