A 20-year-old cyclist, who violated a number of traffic laws, had to part with $650 in cash today.
Akeem Jabarry Lamario Coombs, of Beckles Avenue, New Orleans, St Michael, admitted to riding a motorcycle around 11:15 a.m. yesterday without a helmet, driver’s licence, insurance and registration, as well as to using fraudulent licence plates.
Sergeant Rudy Pilgrim said police were conducting investigations in Coombs’ neighbourhood when they spotted him at the junction of Kensington New Road and Sixth Avenue, New Orleans on the cycle without a helmet.
According to Pilgrim, Coombs fell and was apprehended while attempting to evade police after they signalled for him to stop.
However, the accused tried to convince Magistrate Douglas Frederick that this was not the case.
“I was not trying to escape from the police,” Coombs, who is a mason by trade, told the magistrate as he sought to defend his actions.
“When I get to the junction, a truck was coming and I try to evade it, but the police were already at the next gap out of the vehicle. So when I tried to step off the bike, I missed and [fell].
“I don’t know who the bike concern. It’s just an errand bike for anybody . . . to use . . . to go to the shop or anything like that,” Coombs explained.
But while the magistrate seemed amused at the characterization of the motorcycle, he was definitely not happy that Coombs had placed not only himself, but the general public in danger.
“Riding a motorcycle is a lot of fun but you have to know how to ride it because it can also be very dangerous. You need to have everything in place. You have to understand the road signs and regulations. It is not about putting a wheel in the air and doing foolishness . . . and putting yourself and the public at risk. You are making it bad for other legitimate riders out there . . . . If you want to ride, make sure everything is right,” Frederick said in chastising the young man before ordering him to pay the fine.
The alternative was a two-month stay at HMP Dodds.