Police Cruisers Chase Bicyclist, Make First Bicycle Violation Arrest
The biker pedaled through a "do not enter" sign and then tried to avoid police, according to a police report.
An Allston man likely would have pedaled away with nothing more than a verbal warning had he stopped for police.
Instead, 28-year-old Ryoji Uyehara allegedly led police cruisers on a short chase and became the first person to be arrested in Somerville for committing a bicycle violation, according to Deputy Chief Paul Upton of the Somerville Police Department.
According to a police report, officers were stationed at Tufts and Washington streets in East Somerville the morning of June 22. Tufts Street had a "Do Not Enter 7AM-9AM" sign posted, and at about 7:55 a.m. Uyehara, riding a bike, turned up Tufts Street in violation of the sign, the police report says.
According to the report, one of the officers was standing next to his cruiser, which had blue lights flashing, and the officer stepped into the road, put his hands up and said "stop."
Instead of stopping, Uyehara swerved to go around the officer, the police report alleges.
The officer stepped into the bike's path again, hands raised, and yelled, "Stop Police," but Uyehara swerved around the officer and kept heading up Tufts, pedaling "briskly," the report says.
Officers got into their cruisers and pursued Uyehara with flashing lights and sirens, following him up Glen Street, where he "blew right thr[ough] the stop sign at Oliver Street," and ultimately cutting him off at Flint and Glen streets, the report says.
Upton said the officers "never [had] any intention to do anything other than verbally warn him," but he wouldn't stop for the officers.
Since police actively started enforcing traffic laws for bicyclists in April, this was the first arrest, Upton said, and it wasn't related to a bicycle enforcement measure. Rather, the officers were stationed at Tufts Street to enforce the "Do Not Enter" sign with cars, he said.
"You really have to go to an extreme to get yourself arrested on a bicycle," the deputy chief said. "Most of what we've been doing has been warnings."
Uyehara was arrested and charged with a bicycle violation and refusing to give his name to a police officer.
Please remember that allegations contained in police reports do not indicate a conviction.