An 18-year-old who was hospitalized this week after a crash near the University Bridge may be the first victim of a bike share vandal who cut the brake lines on his Lime e-bike. The teen is in stable condition, reports Gabe Cohen of KOMO News.
If caught, the person who cut those brakes could be charged with assault, police told KOMO. But catching the suspect will be the hard part.
Seattle Police recently released surveillance video of one person casually snipping brake cables in Sodo. You get the idea from the video that this is not the first time the suspect has cut bike cables. Brake cables on bike share bikes have been cut all over the city, and it’s not clear if this one suspect is just very prolific or whether multiple people are cutting them.
It’s very disturbing behavior to sabotage bikes, risking random strangers’ lives. Unlike most forms of vandalism, this is not just property damage.
You can protect yourself by making it a habit to check the brakes before you start pedaling, not only checking whether the levers move but also confirming they are stopping the wheels. This is in general a good idea even with your personal bike just in case a thief or vandal has tampered with the brakes since you locked it up. But the reality is that everyone is not going to check their brakes every single time they get on a bike.
We hope the victim heals up, and I hope whoever is doing this stops before anyone else gets hurt.
A Seattle Fire Department spokesperson says the 18-year-old man was taken to the hospital in stable condition after the crash, which happened on Fuhrman Avenue East in Portage Bay, a block from University Bridge.
A KOMO News crew responded to the scene and found a Lime e-bike there with slashed brakes.
Police say this has been an ongoing problem, with several incidents of brake slashings over the summer. I found four vandalized Lime bikes with their brakes either cut or ripped out Tuesday.