New York Daily News

July 29, 2008 


PBA: Rookie cop who decked cyclist was doing his job

BY ERIN EINHORN and TAMER EL-GHOBASHY
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

A rookie cop under investigation for violently knocking a cyclist to the ground was backed Tuesday by his union, which insisted he was protecting the public from an out-of-control rider.

"This officer observed the reckless actions of a specific individual weaving in and out of traffic and creating a hazardous condition for the public and took action," Policemen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said in a statement.

But that version was quickly dismissed by Mayor Bloomberg, who said the videotaped attack appeared "totally over the top and inappropriate."

Officer Patrick Pogan, 22, of the Midtown South Precinct, has been stripped of his gun and badge and banished to desk duty since the stunning video of the incident surfaced on YouTube.

Internal Affairs investigators are probing the incident, which occurred Friday during a Critical Mass bike ride through Times Square.

"I have no explanation," said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. "I can't explain why it happened."

The video appears to capture Pogan observing the bike ride in the middle of Seventh Ave. before suddenly singling out one rider, walking several feet to intercept him and then shoulder-checking him onto the ground.

Biker Christopher Long, 29, was then charged with attempted assault and other charges. Pogan claimed in court papers that Long disrupted traffic and purposedly crashed into him.

The charges against Long, of Bloomfield, N.J., will likely be dropped and Pogan will almost surely be fired, police sources said.

eeinhorn@nydailynews.com

With Edgar Sandoval and John Lauinger