Instagram video shows men throwing a rental bike off the West 7th bridge
A man could soon find himself in hot water thanks to a video that was posted on Instagram of him tossing a bicycle from the Fort Worth bike share program into the Trinity River from the West Seventh Street bridge.
The video was later removed but not before Kristen Camareno, executive director of Fort Worth Bike Sharing, recorded her own copy of the Instagram video and shared it on Facebook and with the Fort Worth Police Department.
Now police are investigating.
“My guess is this was a drunk night gone wrong and he’s probably regretting it right about now,” Camareno said Friday.
The video was shared on the Instragram account, @oldrowtcu, with the message, “F--- the rental bikes.. give us the Birds”.
The post is apparently referencing Bird electric scooters, which are available for rent in other Texas and U.S. cities, including Dallas but not Fort Worth.
Someone forwarded the video to the Fort Worth Bike Sharing Instagram account on Sunday evening.
Camareno said her first thought upon seeing it was, “We’re not Dallas. We don’t do that.”
“You hear with dockless bicycle systems of this happening more and more. We take a lot of pride in the fact we haven’t had these kind of problems in the five years we’ve been operating,” Camareno said. “To see someone so blatantly and brazenly destroying our property for entertainment is pretty maddening and disappointing.
“On top of just destruction of property, the fact they choose to throw it in our river is a whole other punch in the gut. It feels like two crimes in one. You’re destroying property but you’re also polluting our river that a lot of people are working really hard to improve.”
So first thing Monday morning, Camareno shared the video on Facebook in hopes of identifying the men responsible for “theft, destruction of property, and littering our river.”
In her post, she explained that the person who had last checked out the bike didn’t dock it correctly “so these idiots came along and decided to make a movie with it.”
“It’s had more than 4,000 views now and we’ve had several people share it,” Camareno said Friday morning.
In the video, taken at night, a man wearing a cap is seen hoisting one of the red bikes over his head and, with the encouragement of a another man, tossing it over the bridge. Another man can be heard repeating “Oh my God” while another laughs as the bike splashes into the water.
The video then spans to the face of another man, who remarks, “I’m bleeding.”
Because the video was shared on an Instragram account described as the “Official Old Row account for Texas Christian University,” the video was also shared with TCU police. The Instagram account, which clarifies it is not affiliated with TCU, apparently aims to connect fraternity and sorority alumni.
“It’s like an extended frat party beyond college is what it looks like,” Camareno said.
Cameron said after she shared the video on her Facebook page Monday, @oldrowtcu soon took the video down.
“They realized people were paying attention and maybe it wasn’t the best idea to put their faces on social media committing a crime,” she said.
Camareno also shared the video with TCU police. They sent it to representatives of Fraternity and Sorority Life, who told police they did not recognize the men featured in the video.
The Star-Telegram sent an email Friday to the @oldrowtcu Instagram account for comment but it was not immediately returned.
Camareno said that the bike share program has since received an anonymous tip about the possible identity of the man who threw the bike. That information has been shared with Fort Worth police, she said.
“I want this to be an example because this is not something I want people to think they can get away with,” she said.
The bike is valued at $1,100.
Camareno said she’s alerted the Tarrant Regional Water District but has little hopes of seeing it again.
“They said they were going to make an effort to retrieve it but the chance of them being able to do so is pretty slim,” Camareno said. “Even if they did, it has a computer in it so that part of it would be destroyed.”