UPDATE: Cops cuff driver for hitting cyclist who claimed she swerved into traffic to avoid police van parked in Downtown bike lane

Their fault?: A driver on Wednesday hit a cyclist on Jay Street Downtown, after she pedaled out of the road’s bike lane and into traffic because 88th Precinct Officers Bravo, far left, and Barrow, left, parked their police van in the pedaler’s path, according to the victim.
Photo by Julianne McShane

Police on Wednesday arrested a driver for hitting a cyclist on Jay Street Downtown, after she swerved out of the road’s bike lane because cops parked a police van in it, according to the victim.

Authorities cuffed Fnu Naeem-Ullah after he struck the bicyclist who blamed the cops for the collision, charging the motorist for leaving the scene of an accident with an injury, according to Police Department spokeswoman Det. Sophia Mason, who said officials caught up with the suspect as he tried to drive away.

Mason denied her colleagues caused the crash, claiming their ride was not parked where the incident occurred — but did not deny they parked their van in the bike lane.

“The collision involving the motorist and bicyclist occurred three car lengths behind where the officers were located. They had to walk back to where the accident happened,” Mason said. “The police vehicle had no involvement in the collision.”

Naeem-Ullah struck the woman on Jay Street near Willoughby Street around 11:45 am, after she rode out of the bike lane and into traffic to avoid the van that she claimed 88th Precinct Officers Barrow and Bravo parked in the pedaler’s path.

“They were parked in the bike lane,” the cyclist, who declined to be named, told this reporter after she arrived at the scene steps from the Brooklyn Paper’s MetroTech Center headquarters.

When this newspaper asked Bravo if the cops blocked the bike lane with their four-wheeler — which was parked on the street outside the lane by the time this reporter arrived — he turned off his radio and replied, “no comment.”

And Naeem-Ullah claimed he did nothing wrong before cops cuffed him, blaming the collision on the cyclist since she was riding in traffic.

“She hit my car,” he told this reporter at the scene. “She hit me.”

Following the crash, Park Slope resident and cyclist Ian Dutton claimed on Twitter that, an hour after the collision, he pedaled into Barrow and Bravo at the intersection of Jay and Willoughby streets around 12:45 pm.

By then, the officers re-parked their van in such a way that it straddled the Jay Street bike lane and a painted buffer zone protecting it from traffic, according to Dutton, who said he asked the cops — whom he claimed were standing in the bike lane next to their ride — to move out of the way so he could keep pedaling.

But Bravo instead demanded Dutton “go around him,” and then shoved the cyclist as he walked his two-wheeler past the officers after dismounting it, the local claimed.

“He lunges forward and shoves me with both hands in my shoulder,” Dutton said. “It wasn’t so hard that I fell over, but it definitely knocked me off my path.”

Dutton said he did not file a report about the incident, and Police Department reps did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The city painted the Jay Street bike lane in 2016, but some bicyclists claimed rogue drivers continued to park in it following its installation. And last year, some sneaks repeatedly moved massive planters officials put outside the bike lane to separate it from traffic into the lane, blocking the two-wheelers’ route.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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