To Improve Street Safety, NYPD Cracks Down on Elderly Pedestrians

How far should cops go to ticket jaywalkers, particularly when dealing with non-English speaking senior citizens? An 84-year-old upper-West Side resident was targeted by New York's finest, and ended up arrested, bloodied and hospitalized.

"Kang Wong was strolling north on Broadway and crossing 96th Street at around 5 p.m., when an officer told him to halt because he had walked against the light," writes The Post's Kevin Sheehan. "Police were targeting jaywalkers in the area following the third pedestrian fatality this month around West 96th Street." In fact, a pedestrian fatality had occurred at that intersection earlier in the day, states WNYC's Brian Lehrer on his Jan. 24th show devoted to this topic.

Upon seeing Wong cross the intersection against the light, an officer walked him to a corner, "stood him up against the wall and was trying to write him a ticket. The man didn’t seem to understand, and he started walking away." According to a witness, Wong "didn’t seem to speak English."

“The cop tried to pull him back, and that’s when he began to struggle with the cop,” said the witness. “As soon as he pushed the cop, it was like cops started running in from everywhere.”

Wong was left bleeding and dazed with cuts to his face.

He was cuffed and and taken to St. Luke’s Hospital. After several hours, he was hauled off to the 24th Precinct station house.

"Mayor de Blasio said ticketing pedestrians is not part of his Vision Zero strategy, but he endorsed the 24th precinct’s approach," writes Streetsblog's Brad Aaron. Brian Lehrer plays a short tape of the mayor defending the actions by the police in this arrest.

WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show gets into the nitty-gritty of jaywalking and the particulars of the intersection where the incident took place with "former NYC Traffic Commissioner Sam Schwartz, known as Gridlock Sam at the Daily News and New York State Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell" and call-ins by listeners. 
Full Story: Cops bloody old man — for jaywalking


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