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Actor Alec Baldwin was arrested this morning after police stopped him for allegedly riding his bike in the wrong direction on a street in Manhattan.
New York City police say Baldwin was riding a bike while facing traffic near Union Square Park about 10:15 a.m. When officers stopped him and asked for identification, Baldwin allegedly refused to show ID and became belligerent, prompting his arrest, reports The Associated Press.
Baldwin may have an anger problem, but was he right about this bike thing?
Baldwin was caught at the intersection of 16th Street and Fifth Avenue for riding his bike the "wrong way" down a street. Just like cars in America, bikes are required by law to keep to the right-hand side of the road.
In most states, including New York, the law specifically requires cyclists to ride in the same direction as vehicle traffic. Some larger cities even have their own biking ordinances on top of state laws, and NYC's specifically state to "[r]ide with traffic, not against it."
The most famous Baldwin must not have gotten this memo, as he was allegedly riding the wrong way down a one-way street on his bike. Certainly disobeying traffic laws is a much faster way to get around Manhattan on your bike, but it's also technically illegal.
And as a heads-up to all cyclists with a chip on their shoulders, it's also generally illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk.
Baldwin may have been able to just
walk bike away from his alleged infraction, if he'd just kept his famous mouth shut.
There's no law requiring New Yorkers to carry ID on them at all times, even while on a bike, but officers may be able to arrest you if you refuse to identify yourself. Officers likely needed a name to write on Baldwin's ticket, but Reuters reports that he was acting "in a violent, threatening manner." That's how Baldwin ended up in handcuffs with a disorderly conduct charge, which could mean up to a $250 fine.
Taking to Twitter, Baldwin blasted Gotham law enforcement:
New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign.-- ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) May 13, 2014
Perhaps Baldwin just needs to take a breather. Remember that airplane incident? Time to find your spiritual center, Alec... not to mention the right side of the road.
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