The cyclist seen in a YouTube video smashing a car window during a recent San Francisco protest ride has been arrested. Hoodline reports that 39-year-old Ian Hespelt was spotted by police who were on cycle patrol outside a Billy Joel concert who recognised him and his bike from footage of the incident.
The man seen in the video has a long moustache and is wearing a T-shirt reading “Non-violence is our strength”. Police also made use of second video to help them identify him. This footage, which was subsequently shown on San Francisco TV channel KPIX 5, is from the same night but earlier in the evening and shows Hespelt’s face more clearly.
After investigators finished questioning him, Hespelt was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism, false imprisonment, and maliciously and wilfully throwing a substance at a vehicle – all of which are felonies. He was also booked on a misdemeanour charge of inciting a riot.
The incident took place during the monthly San Francisco Critical Mass protest ride. A stand-off between protestors and a driver saw a group of cyclists surround a car. When the driver tried to manoeuvre around them, one hit the car with his bike, while Hespelt repeatedly swung at it with a U-lock. The vehicle is said to have sustained about $3,000 dollars’ worth of damage.
Critical Mass is a monthly protest ride that happens on the last Friday of every month in San Francisco with similar events now also taking place in nearly 300 cities around the world.