Good Samaritans foil bike-riding cellphone thief

By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas
6:17 pm, August 26, 2013

Source: Chicago Tribune


John Ramirez

A Bridgeport man was arrested Sunday evening on robbery charges after he tried to take a woman’s cell phone and flee on his bicycle, county prosecutors said.

John Ramirez, 29, of the 2900 block of South Archer Avenue, was riding a bicycle on Archer Avenue, prosecutors said, when he saw a woman on Canal Street talking on her cellphone. He allegedly grabbed the cellphone from her hand and pushed her away, then attempted to flee on his bike, but couldn’t because the woman, 22, grabbed the bike and wouldn’t let go.

Ramirez punched the woman in the face several times, causing bruising and swelling, in his attempt to flee, but two witnesses heard her calling for help, ran to the street corner and grabbed him, according to the police report.

Ramirez fled on Archer Avenue until a police officer caught up with him and arrested him around 10 p.m. One of the witnesses returned the woman’s cellphone to her, but it was damaged.

Ramirez was brought to the Cook County Criminal Courthouse on Monday afternoon and ordered held on $75,000 bond.


You are unlikely to see this article get much press in either the Chicago ChainLink Forum or perhaps the StreetsBlog or Grid Chicago online news sources because frankly it does not add to the image of cyclists as ‘victims‘. Had this been a story of a pedestrians yanking a cell phone from the hands of a passing cyclist causing her to crash to the pavement and be bruised there would be a candlelight vigil this very evening and Active Transportation Alliance would be soliciting for funds to help them find a more effective way of combating violence perpetrated upon cyclists.

But this is a story about someone using a bike in the commission of a crime and as I said before it does not fit into the ‘Talking Points‘ handed out by the Church of Urban Cycling. Besides Active Transportation Alliance is too busy ignoring complaints about a mixed-gender tandem team of elderly riders who spent most of their time blowing stops signs as we followed along behind them. But hey, you would never hear the end of the story of them being “Doored” while riding along on the right side of the cyclist they were passing had that happened.

Yep, we cyclists know how to paper over our own imperfections while complaining to the heavens about those who drive cars or walk alongside us.