Sarah Jane Comrie lawyer insists Bellevue Karen had receipt as CitiBike alleged theft and fake tears against young black man takes a new twist as hospital worker is now placed on leave.
And the drama intensifies. A white Manhattan hospital worker accused of taking a Citi Bike from a young black man along with ‘weaponizing her tears’ is said to have ‘paid’ for the bicycle rentable, her lawyer claims.
Lawyer, Justin Marino, who is representing the six-months-pregnant Bellevue Hospital employee in the now-viral video of the incident, claims she was wheeling the bike away from the dock when a nearby group pushed it back in and started filming.
The female hospital employee — donning blue scrubs emblazoned with ‘NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue’— since identified as 34 year old woman, Sarah Jane Comrie aka Bellevue Karen could be seen screaming for help along with tearfully accusing a black man of assault as crowd gathered around them.
‘Heckled and pressured to find a new bike’
In the video a friend of the man can be heard defending him, saying the woman, since branded a ‘Karen’ (pejorative for white entitled woman) was in fact trying to steal from him.
Marino has vehemently denied these allegations on behalf of the hospital worker in a statement on his firm’s website – even saying he has the receipts to prove it.
According to Marino’s statement, the first receipt allegedly shows the bike seen in the video was paid for and taken out before it was re-locked one minute later.
The second receipt allegedly shows another bike being taken out a minute later from the same docking station – the bike Marino said his client used to get home after being ‘heckled and pressured to find a new bike’ by the group according to the nypost.
Marino said that his client was placed on leave by NYC Health + Hospitals this week after the encounter was caught on tape – insisting that the interaction was ‘incomplete and lacking facts.’
The attorney claims that his client had finished a 12-hour shift before getting on an available bike which ‘no individuals were on or touching’. He claims she paid for this through the Citi Bike app.
‘One or more individuals in that group physically pushed her bike (with her on it) back into the docking station, causing it to re-lock,’ Marino said in the written statement.
This moment does not feature in the viral video.
It’s been claimed that one individual then covered the bike’s QR code stopping her from paying for it again, Marino said.
‘In blocking the QR code, this individual’s arm was touching my client’s pregnant stomach, a condition of which she had made them aware,’ he added.
‘Throughout this time and for the remainder of the video, roughly five individuals were telling her to get off the bike and heckling her.
‘The fact anyone would treat another person like this is tragic, especially a visibly pregnant woman.’
The New York lawyer then went on to defend his client’s reputation saying that ‘her entire life has been focused on helping others, irrespective of their background.’
The roughly 90-second clip that begins mid-confrontation shows the woman dressed in hospital-branded scrubs screaming for help as she tugs at the bike.
‘Help! Help me! Please, help me,’ she yells.
The young man kept his grip on the bike’s handlebars and repeatedly told the woman that he already paid to use that particular bike and it wasn’t hers.
‘Get off me! Get off me, you’re hurting my fetus,’ the woman then shouted as she pushed the man away.
‘I’m not touching you! You’re putting your stomach on my hand,’ the man replied.
A spokesperson for the New York Police Department said it did not receive any 911 calls or reports about the incident, but is aware of the video.
Hey @BellevueHosp , have you fired Medical Karen, SARAH JANE COMRIE yet?
What about this Dr. Captain Save-A-Karen, who tried to get the boy to give up his bike, the one she wanted to steal?
Are all your employees white supremacists?
Awaiting your response 🙄 pic.twitter.com/jFlZ22tnVM
— Neco EJ Essue 🇯🇲🇨🇺🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@EjNeco) May 15, 2023
Worker placed on leave amid outcry
Some social media users called the interaction racist while others compared the situation to when Amy Cooper aka Central Park Karen called cops on a black birdwatcher in 2020 and lost her job over it amid allegations of racial profiling.
Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump responding to the episode wrote, ‘This is unacceptable! A white woman was caught on camera attempting to STEAL a Citi Bike from a young Black man in NYC. She grossly tried to weaponize her tears to paint this man as a threat. This is EXACTLY the type of behavior that has endangered so many Black men in the past!’
Under Citi Bike’s policies, anyone who keeps a bike out for longer 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.
Meanwhile, Bellevue Hospital in a statement released on May 14, said it is investigating the incident.
‘We have recently become aware of an incident that occurred off campus over the weekend and appears to involve one of our employees,’ the medical facility stated.
‘We are sorry this happened, and we are reviewing the incident.’
The hospital added that it is ‘committed to providing the highest quality of care to all New Yorkers with dignity, cultural sensitivity and compassion.’
On May 16, Bellevue Hospital tweeted an additional statement saying, ‘We are aware of the video involving a health care provider off duty and away from the hospital campus. The incident in the video is disturbing. The provider is currently out on leave and will remain on leave pending review. As a health system, we are committed to providing an environment for our patients and staff that is free from discrimination of any kind.’
Contemplated one commentator on social media in the immediate aftermath of new developments: ‘The lawyer provided receipts. I hope every site that accused her of being a thief is sued.’