Peter Shankman is a CEO, TEDx speaker, NASA advisor, and HARO founder, amongst other things. He can now add one more accolade to his resume: being the jogger who was ticketed for running too early in the morning in Central Park.
Shankman was with his running partner in Central Park at 4:30 a.m. training for an upcoming triathlon when a police officer cited him.
According to the NYPD officer, “the people’s park” does not open until 6am.
"Most people who've gotten in touch think it's a bogus charge, and have mentioned end of the month quotas as a reason I didn't just get a warning," Shankman told Gothamist.
Shankman gave an account of what happened on his Facebook page:
At 4:30 this morning in Central Park, at mile 2 of my ten mile run, I was stopped by the police and given a summons for exercising in the park "before it opened." Apparently, Central Park doesn't "open" until 6am, and my exercising (running) in the park before 6am is illegal. Note - Running in the park. Not "performing sex acts for crack," or "laying down explosive charges," but "running." Because apparently, a 215 pound man running through Central Park at just over a 9:10 pace is a threat to Manhattan.
To answer the question of why I was running so early - I needed to do ten miles today as part of Ironman training. If I didn't start that early, I wouldn't be done before my first meeting of the day.
A "hey, buddy, the park doesn't open until six, you need to run on the sidewalk outside" from the police officer wouldn't have sufficed? Apparently not, since he made it clear that his boss was in the car with him, so he had to write me up.
I now get to go to court in May and fight this. What a waste of taxpayer money, and my time. Ridiculous.
Shankman claims he saw no signs or warnings at 63rd Street and Central Park West where he entered the park, reports the Daily Mail.
“The last 12 years have really been about getting the city healthy, you know,” Shankman said to Pix 11. "No smoking in bars, no trans fats, and here I was, I was running, I was exercising, trying to lose a few more pounds before this race. Thank god I wasn’t holding a BIG Gulp.”
Shankman faces a fine of up to $1,000 and must appear in court in May.