Critical Mass Chaos: Cops Booed, Pelted With Objects After Arresting Ice-Cream Bicycle Chef

Categories: Bike Blog

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AJ Constantin is facing misdemeanor charges for selling ice cream out of his bike.
Critical Mass Miami has blown up over the past year. The last-Friday-of-the-month rides now regularly draw more than 2,000 cyclists at a time. Even celebs such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Gabrielle Union have participated.

But there are signs that the movement is experiencing some growing pains, not least of all tension with cops. During last Friday night's ride, Miami Police officers were booed and pelted with objects after arresting local chef Aleric "AJ" Constantin for selling ice cream out of a cart on his bicycle.

"I basically spent a day and a half in jail for selling ice cream," Constantin says. "Pretty much from the get-go, the officers seemed really focused on breaking up the whole mass."

See also: Sear'N Gears: Miami's First Ice-Cream Bicycle Sears Through Critical Mass

Constantin, a line cook at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, first took his specially outfitted food bike to Critical Mass in April. He's quickly made a name for himself by handing out free samples of his outrageous flavors, such as orange mango saffron ice cream with mint-infused whipped cream. After all, everyone likes ice cream. Right?

Apparently not.

At the end of Friday's two-hour, 20-mile bike ride, Constantin and friend Hunter Hoover were eating tater-tots in front of the Filling Station on SE Second Street at First Avenue in downtown. Two young Miami Police officers were walking through the throngs of cyclists and warning them not to block traffic. ("They were pretty vocal about despising the event," Constantin says.)

See also: Cyclists Court Death Daily

Around 10 p.m., one of the officers approached Constantin just as he was selling some ice cream to a fellow cyclist. The cop asked the chef if he had a license to sell his dessert. Constantin handed over his driver's license and said that all of his paperwork was in order. Moreover, he had permission from the Filling Station to be there.

constantin_bike.jpg
AJ Constantin and his ice-cream bicycle
But that wasn't good enough for the officer. He demanded that Constantin leave, Hoover says. When Constantin asked for his ID back, the cop told him he could have it as soon he was packed and ready to go.

"I'm not even driving a car," Constantin said. "Why do you need my ID?"

"Oh, you want to get arrested?" the cop replied, according to Hoover.

(Riptide has requested a copy of the police report, but it was not available Monday. We will update this post as soon as we obtain the report. A Miami Police spokesman declined to comment.)

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187 comments
nick11766
nick11766

Useless cops who never catch real criminals, yet another violation of our rights. The gov’t constantly violates our rights.

They violate the 1st Amendment by caging protesters and banning books like "America Deceived II".

They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by allowing TSA to grope you.

They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars.

Impeach Obama.

Last link of "America Deceived II" before it is completely banned:

http://www.amazon.com/America-Deceived-II-Possession-interrogation/dp/1450257437

caseyryank9
caseyryank9

Dirty cops can always claim 'resisting', just as they can always claim 'interfering with police business'.... unfortunately judges are part of the same system and they endorse dirty cops' blatant lies. 

What's refreshing is to see that other citizens expressed their outrage, for once. Next time a cop shoots a dog or a bunch of 'em beat the holy hell out of a citizen, I'd love to see a thousand normal people descend on the thugs and return the favor in spades. 

bjconnelly
bjconnelly

When the police become worse than the criminals, it is time to disband them or at least put the thug cops in jail.


By the way, THIS kind of tyrannical bullcrap is one of the reasons we have a 2nd Amendment...and should use it to defend ourselves.

hola4259hola4259
hola4259hola4259

wow this is the first article on the new times that i have seen with 150+ comments that didn't mention BRITTO and how people hate his art! maybe i will ride a BRITTO bike next month for CM! yay bicycles!!  i want to ride one!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xt0V0_1MS0Q

info3573
info3573

will we ever see a ciclavia event like in Los Angeles or Columbia? Also,

The name "Critical Mass" is taken from Ted White's 1992 documentary film about bicycling, "Return of the Scorcher". In the film, George Bliss describes a typical scene in China, where cyclists often cannot cross intersections because there is automobile cross-trafic and no traffic lights. Slowly, more and more cyclists amass waiting to cross the road, and when there is a sufficient number of them -- a critical mass, as Bliss called it -- they are able to all move together with the force of their numbers to make cross traffic yield while they cross the road. - critical-mass.info

Michael Grieco
Michael Grieco

Thank you Allison for bringing this to my attention. If anyone knows this guy get him in touch with me. Ill represent him Pro Bono. 305.857.0034. Www.MiamiCriminalDefense.com. Side note, glad to hear the the Miami Beach Police acted respectfully.

Aleric2
Aleric2

My favorite part is that "I'm a lawyer".  Or the part where I've had warnings before that night. Or even better the part where I Say "give it back!" LOL. They should write fiction instead of reports. I couldn't stop shaking my head and laughing at the same time  reading this while in jail.

Alan Gribble
Alan Gribble

Plain and simple, if you want to attract respect and consideration for cyclists, don't get in a huge mob and act like degenerates on the streets of miami. I'm always mindful of cyclists and gladly support them. But when a garrison of cyclists runs red lights for a period of over 40 minutes, in the gables area not even in downtown, I can't see how anyone could warp that into a progressive movement.

needs_to_be_more_organized
needs_to_be_more_organized

i dont get why people are complaining when this ride only happens ONCE a month. the tradition of this ride isn't going to change in this city nor other cities because of the complaint of traffic congestion. let me make a public service announcement to the readers and say that......


THIS RIDE OCCURS EVERY LAST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH, RAIN OR SHINE


but the ride is turning into a mess and needs to be organized. there are more and more riders joining the ride. there are idiot riders who get into altercations with motorists and act like morons. like the last ride i think were going to need the help of the police for corking, avoiding fights with cars and general safety for the whole ride.


another suggestion is for the "organizers" to try to get in contact with radio/tv stations to announce the day of what streets/aves are expected to get delays so that all cars going somewhere/coming back from work are notified and can make adjustments.


the "organizers" or "influential" miami cyclists also need to change the ending location. i don't care if other spots are "lame" were going to have trouble consistently with police in the future now that ride is growing larger if we keep ending at the filling station. maybe a couple years ago when the ride only consisted of a few hundred people it was a good place to stop but the ride now turnouts about 2000 people easily. 2000 people in that tiny ass street isn't going to work. why not end at grand central park/grandcentral like the dutch ride?


the whole thing about stopping at red lights, yes you guys are right. cyclist do have to follow the same rules as cars but 2000 people on bikes stopping and going at every intersection isn't going to happen. the whole point of the ride is to simply remind motorist ONE day of the whole month to share the road with cyclists. 

my two cents

Lucy Skipp Craft
Lucy Skipp Craft

Am I the only one that works on a Friday and just wants to get home? It already takes me an hour and a half to go 25 miles from South Beach to Cutler Bay, When the bikes come through it's a nightmare. Why are they not charged for running red lights like cars? Or reckless driving? I can't drive in Coconut Grove on the weekend mornings because the bikes feel they can take the whole lane up. There are so many beautiful places to ride bikes around here, what is the point of biking on the major roads? What happened to just going for a nice ride? Follow the rules of the road if you want to share it with cars, that's what the roads were built for, especially in the city.

twinillusion
twinillusion

I hope this ends up in my court room, LOL!

Rommel Bonilla
Rommel Bonilla

People actually complaining about an event that's held once a month really? lol Cry me a river.

matmcc
matmcc

I have been the guy caught at an intersection for 20 minutes while thousands of bicycles whizzing by, and I get the annoyance.

But this particular CM ride I decided to try it out for the first time, and it was actually really awesome and I think it's something the community should check out and embrace.  

C'mon...it's once a month. For those who haven't tried it, I encourage you to do so. A great night with friends and it doesn't cost you a penny.

cispro
cispro

Well done by the police. These "bicyclists" have no respect for the pedestrians and streets in Miami. They should be following red lights just like all cars if they are on the road. Not once have I seen them do that.

OrganizeItBetter
OrganizeItBetter

the chef should do his due diligence on vending. whether on public or private property...


Dan Jacob
Dan Jacob

The chef was making a honest living at CM and then ends up getting arrested? Is the City of Miami police anti-business even when one has his papers in order? I find it hard to believe the chef had any intention of breaking the law. It's a shame he became a target though. As a result, the city of Miami police department's community relations with CM recreational cyclists reached a new low. And what were to happen if the chef's case end up being dismissed? What will the police do to rectify the matter? Will they look to improve relations?

miamibluerealty
miamibluerealty

for those guys who were arguing about Real bikers and CM bikers

what is the difference btw Real bikers and CM bikers? Real Bikers are on the JUICE, we're not!!!   By the way N.Bay village and Miami beach cops were extremely helpful and friendly

kiwami
kiwami

I was very impressed with Miami Beach cops as well.. and it really was a different story once you got to the other side of the bridge.. 

Aleric2
Aleric2

I was NEVER, and I do mean NEVER given any verbal warning prior to the night of my arrest.. FYI. The license is irrelevant since I had permission from the owner of the property. Sear'N Gears is a LLC that does more than bike vending. I do private chef events, catering, and Donation based work as well. I wasn't vending on the streets. I was vending as a part of the "hosting" that was being done by The Filling Station right in front of their doors.

Johny Hrndz
Johny Hrndz

A couple of months ago I was driving on Coral Way and thousands of these bicyclist just show up and purposely got in front of my car. I thought it was ridiculous. All the cars where using one lane to let the bicycles use another, but that was not enough for them. They were even looking back at me and laughing. Then I decided to lower the window and asked them if they can move to the other lane and a guy in a bicycle was kind enough to spit in the passenger window (very classy). When I called the police they told me that they couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't believe that there was zero police officers while this activity was going on. The city really needs to start regulating this. I know that not all of the bicyclist are like the ones that I encountered, but it takes a bunch of immature morons to do what they did.

Amanda670
Amanda670 topcommenter

@Michael Grieco gross use of free publicity on your part

megbeachbody
megbeachbody

@Lucy Skipp Craft actually, we are the ones following the rules of the road. when we are in the road, we use hand signals, go with the flow of traffic, obey all traffic laws, lights, signs, and are respectful of cars. however, i can't say the same for motorists who see bicyclists as easy targets, especially when we are not in these large groups being protected by one another. the CM rides are pre-planned a full month in advance, route included, and posted, not just for the group to be informed, but as well as people who may encounter CM on roads while we are riding well after rush hour (from 8-10pm). hope this clears up your "why's".. unless they were all just rhetorical. in that case, i don't know what to tell you. sorry not sorry that we have a healthy, family-friendly, non-violent, fun hobby that inconveniences you.

Aleric2
Aleric2

@cispro I follow traffic laws by the way. My bike is to large not to. As for the rest? I can only speak for myself. 


rbermudez84
rbermudez84

@miamibluerealty @Amanda670 yes, most CM riders are extremely polite and appreciate of the support we get from so many motorists and police. N.bay village and miami beach police were great and i don't understand why city of miami is taking so long to get on the support bandwagon, its just going to make things more difficult in the long dun and damage their image as an urban, safe, life center.

jgcamp99
jgcamp99

@kiwami Might have more to do with DecoBike stations and that affiliation with the community ? Bike friendly because that's what they rent/sell. Yeah, I know DecoBike is on the downtown side, but let's face it, the rental revenues are generated beachside.

rbermudez84
rbermudez84

@kiwami seriously, city of miami showed the classic response of the slow to respond government bureaucracy. if youre too big and unwieldy to respond to something then just throw police dogs at it.

R6exy
R6exy

@Aleric2 who owns the sidewalk? Remind me again please.

rbermudez84
rbermudez84

@Aleric2 aleric's arrest was purely a show of force by the miami police department

R6exy
R6exy

@OrganizeItBetter(6) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast may not impede traffic when traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing and shall ride within a single lane.


CLEARLY STATED IN THE LAW

samcatee
samcatee

@Shareef Habib Because your lack of patience and desire to get somewhere quickly (lack of planning on your part/procrastination) gives you the right to kill or harm people...

rbermudez84
rbermudez84

@Shareef Habib thats big of you, Habibi.

rbermudez84
rbermudez84

@Johny Hrndz there is no law in miami that states that a cyclist must use only one lane. 

michael1428
michael1428

@Amanda670 For what it's worth...I was being real, and I actually took this case on pro bono and the charges were dropped.  I hadn't seen your comment until just now. Just wanted to let you know that not all lawyers are bad. AJ is a good kid and we actually have some mutual acquaintances.  


ivixl
ivixl

@megbeachbodyActually the mass most certainly does not follow the rules of the road. I almost got hit on Friday when crossing an intersection walking legally through a red light. I was waiting patiently with a large group of pedestrians. The mass finished and we proceeded to cautiously cross. Then out of nowehere in between cars, with no lights, with no signal or warning another group came and took the red light almost hitting all of us. Worst of all, I'm 5 months pregnant. I could have been seriously injured. They were all in violation of the laws of this state. I've also seen them 2 months ago blocking an emergency vehicle. The cop had to dismount from his car and direct traffic to move forward through the mass so that he could pass. He had his emergency lights on. 

Florida Statutes … pretty clear. Follow the same duties as everyone else, make a noise/signal when passing a pedestrian, use a lamp when dark, try to stay in the right lane, do not impede traffic. The latter is less important to me. I don’t mind waiting 20-30 minutes for traffic to pass. I have lived in Miami all my life. But running over pedestrians and not stopping for emergency vehicles is insane, unjust and dangerous.

“A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.”

“A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.”

“Every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance,”

“Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.”

“Persons riding two abreast may not impede traffic when traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic,”

“Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb.”

Florida Statute 316.2065

BTW the ride starts at 7:15. That is still considered rush hour in Miami. Many people get out of work at 6 or 7 p.m. It should be held early Sunday morning. There wouldn't be as many people complaining.

R6exy
R6exy

@Aleric2 So you stopped at every red light, and yielded to traffic that had the right of way? I HIGHLY doubt this. 

cispro
cispro

@Aleric2 @cispro that's great. the only problem is hundreds of other bicyclists don't do what you do so your good actions mean nothing unfortunately until everyone else follows your example.

spac3c0wb0y420
spac3c0wb0y420

Shut the fuck up, you're just badgering and instigating because your life has no purpose, you stand for nothing so you support those who control through fear-mongering and abuse of power. Go eat a cop dick. Oh, and try riding a bike in the morning to work, see how many respectful and courteous drivers out there care about your safety...whether or not you follow the traffic laws.

R6exy
R6exy

@rbermudez84(6) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast may not impede traffic when traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing and shall ride within a single lane.


Florida Statute  316.2065 Bicycle regulations Article 6. Thank you for playing good bye now!

ivixl
ivixl

@megbeachbody@ivixl

I was there. No one used lights, whistles or any kind of signal that would indicate they were going to cross at a red light and there were no corkers. They came in between cars so there was no way to see them coming. it wasn't a small group either. A bike going 15-20 mph can seriously injure a person. People have died from being hit by a bike. Google it. They can suffer internal damage or be knocked down and hit their head. In my case, I'm pregnant. One of the bikes could have easily bumped into me and caused a serious injury or complications to my unborn baby, even death. I think the ride needs to specifically have a defined ending. Pedestrians and motorists have no way of knowing when the ride ends when a group comes lagging behind. I was standing waiting for the mass to pass for a good 10-15 minutes. Most of the bikes I saw had no lights and it was the end of the ride, the sun was completely down and was dark outside. The group that came at the very end minutes after the mass had no lights whatsoever. I've been walking through Downtown for six years. I live here and work here. I know how to cautiously cross the intersection and look both ways. Better implementation and safety precautions must be taken. I'm all for the police intervening and helping when it comes to clearing intersections and providing a clear defined end to the mass. It's becoming very dangerous. I’ve witnessed the mass ride so many times. It is getting overly crowded and crazy. It used to be much more organized and the riders were a lot more conscientious. I rarely see corkers anymore ensuring safety when crossing the intersections. It’s just become the trendy thing to do instead of the right thing to do. Very counteractive for an event that is supposed encourage sharing the roads and being safe towards bicyclists to act in such a reckless and unsafe manner towards pedestrians. And like I said, two months ago the mass did not even stop for an emergency vehicle. That is again just reckless, wrong, dangerous and illegal.

megbeachbody
megbeachbody

@ivixl

“A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.”

“A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.”

“Every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance,”

“Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.”

“Persons riding two abreast may not impede traffic when traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic,”

“Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb.”


we follow those rules like Bible. also, it is a pretty far-fetched idea to be able to 'run over a pedestrian', unless said pedestrian is in between groups of riders and/or not paying any mind to the flow of the bike traffic. try to understand, it is much more difficult if not close to impossible for a biker to simply stop, especially when in a group, than it is for someone on foot or even in a car. when we ride, we ride in groups for safety purposes, as well as to be able to move at a higher pace, and when we are at that speed, we are purposely moving quickly as to NOT impede traffic or otherwise slow down the normal flow of movement within a large metropolitan area like Miami. there are also people within the group who are designated to actually direct or stop (if necessary) traffic while we move through lights, for everyone's safety. this is so cars don't run down bikes and so pedestrians don't get caught in the crosswalks. these CM rides are and always have been highly orchestrated, and it's why they're planned an entire month ahead. we do them several times a week in smaller groups of around 60-100 riders in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, WPB, and several other cities separately. so, when we convene in a large group once monthly, it's not to piss people off. it's to bring together a large community of like-minded people with a common interest. sorry that we can't accommodate everyone elses schedules to appease when they'd like US to ride. we DO understand that not every single one bicyclist in a group of around 3,000 is going to be completely courteous, respectful, and follow all of the rules, but they are not the ones who ride every week/month, and we also cannot single people out and correct for their mistakes. just like there are douchey motorists on the road who make your day worse with their simultaneous texting/paperwork/shaving/driving/road rage/overall stupidity, there are bound to be a few bikers who will ruin a good time for an otherwise respectful, courteous, diligent group who go out of our way to follow the rules and share the road properly. by grouping us all as the problem, it makes people sound ignorant to how much work we truly DO put into making this as easy, fun, and overall safe as possible for all involved, not just those riding.

thanks.

rbermudez84
rbermudez84

I see you're unfamiliar with the constitutional right of every American to demonstrate in the public space.

samcatee
samcatee

@R6exy @spac3c0wb0y420 Just because you "play by the book" doesn't mean it is the norm or even right. You sound like a government boot licker who lives some happy-sappy life watching TV and thinking everything in this country is perfectly fine..

andrew.mclees
andrew.mclees

@R6exy @spac3c0wb0y420 Extremely presumptive of you to judge, don't you think? How do you think others would judge you based on your divisive, confrontational comments? Also, owning a motorcycle automatically puts you in an extraordinarily high risk bracket for injury or death, so you technically put yourself in positions where you can get hit every day. Don't act like you're so much better than everyone with overarching moral authority over others. Why don't you try riding at CM one of these days to see it from another perspective?

R6exy
R6exy

@spac3c0wb0y420

I ride my motorcycle everyday to work. From wynwood to hollywood. You want to talk about respectful and courteous drivers? I can't count how many times I've nearly been killed due to some cagers negligence. However, I don't put myself in positions where I can get myself hit or piss off others on the road. You want to "fight the system" then do it by the book. By your name I can tell you're a stoner that wants to show the government whos boss!! guaranteed you're also one of the guys who camped out at Gov Center for Occupy bullshit. I stand for a lot of things, but I play by the book. 

R6exy
R6exy

@rbermudez84 

 Wow you must be a moron. 

MAY NOT RIDE MORE THAN TWO ABREAST EXCEPT ON PATHS OR PARTS OF ROADWAYS SET ASIDE EXCLUSIVE USE OF BICYCLES. MAY NOT IMPEDE TRAFFIC. 

YOU NEED TO LEARN THE ENGRISH

rbermudez84
rbermudez84

If you read your posting it only specifies that persons riding two abreast may use a single lane. It doesn't specify, clearly, there is a prohibition on two persons riding abreast in each lane. Please Learn2english.

rbermudez84
rbermudez84

@HarryTheHandyman @rbermudez84 agreed, i'm not aware of any such law barring me from being an asshole. thankfully i don't make my moral decisions based on the legal system so i'm not an asshole.

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