MURRAY WEISS, KATI CORNELL and KYLE MURPHY
The New York Post
July 29, 2008
A rookie cop – the son of a highly respected New York City detective – has been stripped of his badge and gun after being caught on video viciously attacking a bicyclist who was part of a Times Square demonstration. ‘
The startling YouTube video shows Officer Patrick Pogan, 22, apparently setting his sights on – and then tackling – a bicyclist as he pedaled along Seventh Avenue as part of last Friday’s controversial Critical Mass ride.
Christopher Long, 29, was among a throng of riders as he whizzed toward the corner of West 46th Street at 9:30 p.m. and appeared to try and swerve away from the officer.
But the video shows Pogan pick up his pace as he stares down Long before shoving the cyclist, slamming him to the pavement.
To the dismay of stunned pedestrians, Long, who was not wearing a helmet, hurtles several feet through the air as he flips off the bicycle and lands on the curb.
Pogan and a second officer then lunge toward the prone cyclist as the video fades to black. The footage, filmed by a tourist and posted anonymously on YouTube, sparked imme diate public outcry and prompted the NYPD to place Pogan on desk duty while the Internal Affairs Bureau investigates.
The NYPD declined to comment further.
What the video doesn’t show is Pogan arresting Long for attempted assault in the third degree, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct – charges that kept the Bloomfield, NJ, man behind bars for 26 hours before his release late Saturday.
Adding insult to injury, the criminal complaint drafted by Pogan bears little resemblance to what was witnessed by onlookers and recorded on video.
In court papers, Pogan accused Long of purposely swerving his bicycle to block traffic and then using it as a weapon to run down the officer, knocking him off his feet and causing a "laceration" on his forearm. "You are pawns in the game. I’m going to have your job," Long told Pogan, as he flailed and kicked his arms and legs, according to the complaint.
Pogan has been on the force for just three weeks since graduating from the Police Academy on July 2 and is assigned to Midtown South.
A third-generation cop, Pogan lives at home with his father – Patrick Pogan Sr., a highly respected detective and biochemical and mass-destruction expert who is retired from the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
"He’s my son. I’m proud of him. He’s third-generation that’s been serving the city," said Pogan Sr., who was at home in Massapequa Park, LI, today and said he had not seen the video. "These people are taking over the streets and impeding the flow of traffic. Then you gotta do what you gotta do," said Pogan, 51.
Long declined comment through his lawyer.
"If it wasn’t caught on video people would not have believed it," said Christopher Ryan, who rides with Critical Mass and is filming the monthly protests for a documentary. "The video just shows what the cyclists have been saying all along, that the police are still harassing and intimidating them from doing group rides," said Ryan. "An officer assaulted a cyclist for no reason. It’s just crazy."
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