Police sorry for fining one-armed bike rider
The Local · 1 Jul 2014, 14:37
Published: 01 Jul 2014 14:37 GMT+02:00
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Bogdan Ionescu from Cologne modified his bicycle so that he could drive it safely using his one hand. But he was stopped at the end of March by a policeman who told him the bike was illegal according to German road safety laws.
The bike had no right-hand brake and so was not roadworthy, the officer told him, and handed him a €25 fine.
Now, after the cyclist's plight caught the attention of local and national media on Wednesday, he received an apology from the police and the offer of a full refund.
It turned out Ionescu's modifications were fully legal, the Kölner Stadtanzeiger newspaper reported on Monday.
A spokesman for Cologne Police told The Local on Tuesday they had apologized to Ionescu for their mistake. He said they only became aware of the error after Ionescu complained to the Kölner Stadtanzeiger.
The city's police chief Wolfgang Albers is also set to apologize personally to the cyclist.
Ionescu, who works in a theatre box office in Cologne, is said to be relieved that the fine has been dropped.
"It's great news, I'm really happy," he told the Kölner Stadtanzeiger and said that the incident had been weighing on him over the past weeks. He felt frustrated and believed he had been discriminated against.
"It's good that this is how it ends, it's unbelievably good," he said.
Ionescu said police stopped him on March 25th at around 1.15 pm. "Your bike is unsafe, you have no brake on the right of your handlebar," the officer told him, according to Ionescu.
"I know," he answered, "but I have one on the left and I have a back pedal brake so that I can stop the back wheel.”