|Doty (inset) is accused of brandishing a handgun as the Critical Mass bike ride passed him. | Milosh Kosanovich|
We’ve all seen Chicago’s Critical Mass bicycle tours—the seemingly mile-long stretch of bike riders who pedal their way through the streets on the last Friday of every month.
Last Friday’s ride, dubbed a “14-mile ride & dance party,” went swimmingly as it rolled up the Magnificent Mile then turned south in Old Town.
As the bikers headed south on Halsted at Jackson around 7:50 p.m., one motorist was allegedly not too pleased with the event.
25-year-old Alexander Doty of the Chatham neighborhood is accused of displaying a handgun—either to get bike riders off of his car or to get the bike ride to let him through, depending on whose version of the story you’re hearing.
A police strike team just happened to be directly behind Doty’s car, and they immediately executed an arrest, the department said.
Doty is charged with one count of aggravated unlawful use of a loaded weapon without a firearms owner identification card.
At The Chainlink, biker Waymond Smith wrote about what he saw:
I saw the 4 officers jump out of the vehicle and remove the weapon from his hand, eject the rounds from the magazine and handcuff him. My concern was that people wanted to stop and gawk while I was telling them to keep moving because someone had a gun. Scary ride because of that! What happened to the [police] escort that we normally get?
Another rider named Juan said that Doty may have been provoked:
It happened as I was at the front of the mass. My voice was weak due to all the yelling before hand in trying to keep the mass together and asking the riders to let the cars pass. They just got out of control and sat on the guys hood. No bueno! That’s when he put the car in park and went to the trunk of his auto to fetch the gun.
Other posters suggested that Friday’s event may have had some unwelcome participants. SteveI was among them:
A few more incidents like this from riders will encourage Chicago to question whether they continue to allow the ride or not. Let’s not give the Chicago a choice. Call out those responsible for showing aggressiveness on the ride, and show the police chaperoning us we appreciate their assistance and help on the ride. Please.