Police gear up for Critical Mass
By Brent Begin
April 24, 2007
The San Francisco Police Department will put extra officers
on the streets this Friday for Critical Mass in response to some
violent episodes reported at the last event.
According to police Sgt. Steve Mannina, the normal contingent
of officers is expected plus added motorcycle units and Honda
Mannina also said that the department's top brass has met with
the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the city's Bicycle Advisory
Committee to assess the temperament of what is expected to be
a larger than usual Critical Mass.
Tempers flared during a March 30 event in which a visiting mother
had the back window of her minivan smashed. Riders say the woman
took off after hitting one of their own and she was at fault.
Police said that on the same evening a limousine driver got into
a fracas with some bicyclists after they blocked his path at an
One man was arrested in that incident. Mannina added that he
would be available for media inquiries if the event proceeds as
expected. Police are expected to have a formal briefing on Friday
and put together a mobile command post.
Critical Mass is an unplanned and spontaneous gathering of bicyclists
who ride through the city to promote alternative transportation.
Bicyclists typically gather at Justin Hermann Plaza on the last
Friday evening of every month.
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