Police from Brooklyn’s 78th Precinct ticketed Michael Quinn, 33, for honking his horn on Wednesday. It was the first such citation given by the NYPD in twenty-seven years.
“We spotted a vehicle driving west on Bergen Street, honking frequently for apparently no reason,” said Officer Steven Smith, who wrote the summons. “In the interest of public safety and decency, we decided to make the stop.”
Mr. Quinn offered a defense for his actions. “This is my first time driving in the city,” he said. “I rented a Zipcar for a day trip upstate. All I know about driving in the city I learned by watching the pros. And with the city taking down the ‘no honking’ signs, I was surprised when I was pulled over.”
The constant warnings from Mr. Quinn might have arisen from a different type of defensive maneuver. “I’ve been a cyclist since I moved here in 2004,” he said. “I ring my bell at anything I consider dangerous – a car that might pull out, a cyclist I’m about to pass, a pedestrian who looks primed to jaywalk. I guess I forgot I was ensconced in two tons of metal and surrounded by air bags.”
Mr. Quinn reported an “itching in [his] thumb” to ring his bell, which he quelled by blowing his horn.
At One Police Plaza, top NYPD brass welcomed the news of the arrest. “This heralds a new era of enforcement in this city,” said Commissioner Ray Kelly in a press release. “I hope other drivers will take heed. We’re aiming to create a quieter, more peaceful New York.”
The NYPD then sent a second press release redacting the boilerplate language, “No criminality suspected.“