Society

One-Armed Cyclist Fined for Riding with One Handbrake

| by Lisa Fogarty

A bicyclist with one arm was fined about $34 by a police officer for riding a bike that had only one handbrake – something the cop deemed “unsafe” and against the law, reports Huffington Post.

Bogdan Ionescu was riding through the city of Cologne, Germany, on his modified bicycle, which features a foot brake he can use instead of one on the handlebar that is useless to him. When the officer stopped him, he reportedly didn’t believe his excuse for why the bike failed to feature both handlebar breaks.

Ionescu, who works at a theatre box office, told The Local that the cop claimed the missing handbrake rendered his bike “unsafe.” He says he told the officer, “But I have one on the left and I have a back pedal brake so that I can stop the back wheel.”

Despite his protest – and his handicap – Ionescu was fined. But the penalty didn’t hold up. Police later determined his bicycle was legal, and they were forced to apologize and issue him a refund for the fine.

They wouldn’t, however, budge on about $27 of the fine, which they say was for Ionescu’s broken bike light. But this also turned out to be a bogus penalty, it was later discovered.

At the end of the day, Ionescu – who told The Independent he believes he was discriminated against – received a full refund and said it was “great news” and that he felt “really happy.”

A spokesperson for the police department confirmed that the man’s bicycle was fit for the road and said, “We only hope something like this never happens again.”

Sources: Huffington Post, The Local, The Independent