Wheel good news! Unicyclist beats the rap in sidewalk-riding caper

This wheel’s on fire — Cyclones’ unicyclist sues city for $3M over wrongful tickets
Photo by Bess Adler

Call him “Free Wheel-y!”

Unicyclist Kyle Petersen was back in his slightly imbalanced saddle again on Tuesday after a judge dismissed a disorderly conduct charge against the one-wheeled wonder for riding on the sidewalk two months ago.

“I’m quite relieved,” said Petersen. “I was just happy that common sense won the day.”

Peterson is best known for entertaining the multitudes at MCU Park as the unicycle-riding vendor for the Brooklyn Cyclones — but off the field, he’s less entertaining to cops.

Petersen’s legal troubles date back to 2007, when he was ticketed for riding on the sidewalk of Madison Street near his Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment. Then, on Nov. 2, 2010, cops again hit Petersen with a summons for the same alleged violation. This time, the high roller tried diplomacy.

“I told the cops that I’d been through this before and that unicycling on the sidewalk is completely legal,” Peterson said.

So cops summonsed him for something else: disorderly conduct, court papers show.

For the record, riding a unicycle on the sidewalk is actually legal because state law defines a bicycle as having at least two wheels, and the judge dismissed the case this week.

Dismissal or not, Petersen’s legal cycle continues.

Last year, he filed a $3-million suit against the city for the wrongful arrest.

“The police had no business detaining me and stopping me, and it shows a pattern of behavior among the NYPD,” said Petersen.

Petersen says his civil suit is not about his personal agony, but about winning protection for everyone, whether they use wheels or not.

“I’ve watched shootings, people selling drugs on a daily basis, but the police seem more inclined to go after minor infractions,” said Petersen. “I’m suing because I see something wrong in society and I hope to make it better.”

Despite his jubilation over having his criminal case dismissed, Petersen couldn’t celebrate his victory in his own personal style; he’d arrived at the Schermerhorn Street courthouse on a train, rather than on his one-wheeler.

“They didn’t have a valet for my unicycle, so I had to take the train,” said the 26-year-old Petersen.