New York City cops sent an 84-year-old man to the hospital Sunday. The man’s crime? Jaywalking.
Kang Wong was walking on the Upper West Side and wanted to cross the street against the light, the New York Post reported. The cops told him to stop, but Wong didn’t seem to understand, according to bystanders. The police walked Wong to a nearby Citibank to talk to him.
“[The officer] stood him up against the wall and was trying to write him a ticket. The man didn’t seem to understand, and he started walking away,” said one witness.
“The cop tried to pull him back, and that’s when he began to struggle with the cop,” the witness continued. “As soon as he pushed the cop, it was like cops started running in from everywhere.”
Wong, face bleeding, was cuffed and taken to a hospital and then to the police precinct. His son, a 41-year-old lawyer, was angered at being left in the dark about the reason for his father’s arrest.
“The cops are playing games. They won’t tell me what he’s being charged with,” he told the Post, leaving the station.
“Oh, great! Beating up on an 84-year-old man for jaywalking,’’ he said when he finally learned what happened. Even then he wasn’t allowed to see his dad in the hospital for several hours. He was told that Wong was a “prisoner” and not a patient, since he had not checked in voluntarily.
Another of Wong’s sons says he plans to press charges. According to the NYPD, “the incident is under internal review.”
Cops in the area have been aggressively ticketing for jaywalking after a spate of car crashes left several unwitting pedestrians dead. 26-year-old Samantha Lee was killed at that very intersection 12 hours before Wong was apprehended—the fourth death from a traffic accident in two days.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has begun a campaign to bring the number down to zero.
“These latest crashes underscore the urgent need to make our streets safer,” Phillip Walzak, the mayor’s press secretary, told the New York Times.