A white New York hospital worker is accused of trying to steal a Citi bike from a black man who had already paid for it.
In a now-viral video, the hospital worker – donning blue scrubs emblazoned with “NYC Health + Hospitals” – could be seen screaming for help and accusing a black man of assault, even in tears as a crowd gathered.
But the man’s friends say in the video that he was the one who bought the rental bike and say she is trying to steal it from him.
The video caught the attention of famed civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who tweeted that the Bellevue Hospital worker “grossly attempted to weaponize her tears to portray this man as a threat.”
“This is EXACTLY the type of behavior that has endangered so many black men in the past!” he wrote on Sunday.
It is still unclear what happened before the one-minute-thirty-second video, and Bellevue Hospital says it is currently investigating the incident.
Viral video claims to show a white woman trying to steal a Citi bike from a black man who had already paid for it
In the video, the unidentified Bellevue Hospital worker could be seen screaming for help
The video, posted to TikTok and Twitter, shows an unidentified woman arguing with a black man outside Bellevue Hospital in New York City over the weekend near a Citi bike rack.
One of the men’s friends tells the woman he is recording the situation as the black man has his hand on the bike.
The woman then cries out for help, saying, “Help! Help me! Help me please!’
But the man’s friend, off camera, says to him: “It’s not your bike.”
The hospital worker then screams for help again and asks the black man to “please come down”.
She then removes her hospital badge in an apparent effort to hide her identity, as one of the men could be heard asking her, “You know you won’t get that bike?”
The woman screams for help again and tries to get on the rental bike, before swiping the black man’s phone.
‘Why are you taking his phone?’ one of the man’s friends asks the woman. ‘What’s wrong?
“Don’t touch his phone, don’t touch his phone,” he told the hospital worker.
She then tells the man that he is “hurting my unborn baby”, to which the black man replies, “You put your belly on my hand”.
The woman then turns around and starts screaming for help again, at which point one of her co-workers approaches.
The black man tries to explain, “It’s my bike, it’s on my account” and tells the woman to “please move”.
At the time, the woman can be seen apparently crying – although the black man’s friends say these are fake tears.
At one point, the woman accuses the black man of assault saying he’s ‘hurting my unborn baby’, although the man says she put her belly on her hand
The woman also grabs the black man’s cell phone at one point in the video
The woman could even be seen crying in the video as she jumped on the disputed bike
The black man’s friends accused the hospital worker of ‘fake crying’, claiming she hadn’t even shed a tear
She then continues to climb on the bike, hysterical with tears, as her colleague suggests that they just “reset the bike”.
But the man’s friends continue to defend him, saying, “It’s up to him, it’s up to him.”
One of the friends then again accuses the woman of “pretending to cry”, telling her to stop, while the black man asks her to “stop touching me”.
The woman then gets off the bike and seemingly stops crying as she pulls but her phone.
“Not a tear fell, miss,” the friend says at the end of the video.
According to Citi Bike policies, anyone who keeps a bike outside for more than 45 minutes at a time will be charged $0.17 for each additional minute and may have their account suspended.
If a customer does not return a bike within 24 hours, the account holder will be charged a lost or stolen bike fee of $1,200 plus tax.
Bellevue Hospital has announced that it is investigating the incident involving its employee
DailyMail.com has contacted the New York Police Department and Lyft, which operates Citi bikes, for comment.
Meanwhile, Bellevue Hospital said in a statement it was investigating the incident.
“We recently became aware of an incident that occurred off campus over the weekend that appears to involve one of our employees,” he said.
“We are sorry this has happened and we are reviewing the incident.”
The hospital added that it is “committed to providing the highest quality care to all New Yorkers with dignity, cultural sensitivity and compassion.”