Chicago Indymedia :
Chicago Indymedia

LOCAL News :: Crime & Police : Miscellaneous

Memorial of Slain Bicyclist Interrupted by Police: 4 Arrested

At the end of January Critical Mass (CM), 4 bicyclists were detained and then taken to jail while standing on the sidewalk at the memorial of a slain bicyclist. The 4 were cited with blocking traffic and refusing to cease and desist. They were released from the 13th precinct about an hour and a half after being detained.

Approximately 450 bicyclists converged at Cortez and Western around 7:30 P.M. to honor the memory of Isai Medina, an avid bicyclist, Critical Masser, Chicago Freakbiker, and Rat Patroller among other things, killed by a chain of events that started with a driver speeding through an intersection.

Police arrived at the memorial to deal with traffic and move the bicyclists on as those gathered paid their respects to Medina.

One detainee, Brenda O'Connor, said that the sergeant at the scene was "pretty perturbed" and wanted "everyone cleared off the street." She protested by stating that a man had been "torn limb from limb; he got torn into three pieces here." O'Connor continued that the officer "really didn’t like me voicing my opinion on the situation. [He] just grabbed me and handcuffed me and lead me out of there and then threw my ass in the patty wagon; enough of that. No nonsense for that man. And that was it."

A "chopper" ghost bike was chained to the bike rack at Cortez and Western where Medina was killed. The chopper-style bicycle was chosen because Medina always rode his elaborately designed and decorated choppers everywhere.

Ghost bikes, as explained at the Chicago Ghost Bike Yahoogroup, are "trashed bikes, painted all white, and installed where cyclists were struck by traffic. They [are] grim but necessary reminders of the hazards cyclists face on our roadways. They remember the victims and raise awareness of the dangers of motor vehicles for those who drive. The group's goal is to make this group unnecessary."

This is Chicago's first installment of a ghost bike. Other cities such as New York, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Portland, and Seattle have used them to raise public awareness "of the need for safer conditions for cyclists and increased motorist education and awareness," according to the Chicago Ghost Bike press release.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times Metro Briefs, on January 15, Cook County Judge Laura Sullivan set bond at $150,000 for Caesar A. Pantoja, the driver that killed Medina. Pantoja has been charged with vehicular homicide.



Account Login

Media Centers


This site made manifest by dadaIMC software