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Black Teen Was Charged with Stealing White Woman’s Citi Bike Shares his side of the story and displays his own receipts

Citi Bike
Credit: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

There has been another update in the viral story involving a 17-year-old Black girl who was involved in a violent argument with a white woman over a rental bike. In the viral video, she accused the boy of stealing the bike. Shortly after she provided receipts to show she paid for the rental bike, the teenager responded with his own evidence.

He recently defended himself in an interview with News One, joined by his mother and sister. Betty, his mother, agreed to participate in the interview after verifying that her children can use nicknames to hide their identities.

During the interview, Betty’s son, referred to as Michael in the story, showed his receipts. Michael hired the bike at 5:53 p.m. on May 12, then re-docked and re-used it many times that night until reaching at his final destination at 10:12 p.m., according to the receipts.

According to Yahoo News, Sarah Jane Comrie and her attorney, Justin Marino, presented receipts to establish that she was the one who paid for the rental bike, as previously reported by Blavity. Michael claims he has been harassed since then. “When those receipts got released, everything flipped,” he told News One. “People started calling me a ‘thief,’ a ‘thug,’ and a ‘Black man.’”

Michael’s sister, who is known as Mary in the News One story, said her brother has been riding Citi Bikes for three years. “I’m the person that’s appointed to be the representative for my family,” she told the news outlet. “My parents are immigrants. My mom doesn’t know what to do. She can’t handle any of this, so it’s up to me to figure out what to do.”

Mary said she has been looking for attorneys to represent her brother, but so far they haven’t received any help. “There have been a bunch of roadblocks to getting my brother’s story out there,” Mary said. “He’s only 17. He doesn’t deserve to be going through this. And this woman just comes up and starts harassing a bunch of teenagers.”

Comrie, a Bellevue Hospital employee, was seen yelling as she argued with the teen and his friends, who insisted on her getting off the bike they had paid for. She cried, “Help! Help! Help!” Comrie was also bashed on social media for faking crying. The argument raged on until Comrie took the empty bike next to her.

After the tale went viral, Bellevue Hospital placed Comrie on leave. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump also condemned Comrie in a statement, which he subsequently deleted. “This is unacceptable! A white woman was caught on camera attempting to STEAL a Citi Bike from a young Black man in NYC,” Crump tweeted at the time. “She grossly tried to weaponize her tears to paint this man as a threat.”

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