“They were screaming, ‘Get off your f- - -ing bike, you f- - -’”
A Manhattan face-painter and balloon-animal maker said overzealous cops tackled him off his bike, shoved two guns to his head and threw him in the slammer for more than four hours - all because his misplaced balloon pump looked like a bomb.
Next thing you know, they'll be frisking little old ladies in airports. Oh wait! They already do that!
Alexander "Sasha" Alhovsky said the takedown occurred in front of dozens of horrified children on Thursday at about 5.30 p.m. outside an Upper East Side playground.What a traumatic experience for the kids, not to mention the balloon maker.
"They thought I was a terrorist," Alhovsky, 36, said yesterday.For 15 years this guy's been twisting balloons into animals for kids in the neighborhood, and these guys thought he was a terrorist???
The previous Sunday, Alhovsky said, he left a rainbow-striped balloon pump in a Starbucks on 66th Street and First Avenue - and a worker called cops.
Four days later, he was cycling home from Central Park - where he's plied his trade outside the zoo entrance for 15 years - when about eight cops jumped on him from behind, he claimed.
"There was a gun in my face and another on the back of my neck," he said. "They were screaming, 'Get off your f- - -ing bike, you f- - -' . . . They were dragging me around."
All this in front of kids?!!
First chance I get, I'm leaving NY.
Alhovsky was taken to the 19th Precinct station house.
Eventually, a plainclothes officer came into the room with a photo of the $850 electric air pump he had purchased online.
"I told them what I did for a living and that it was just a pump," he said. Alhovsky was then released.
Alhovsky said he wants an apology from cops.
"It appears the officers took prudent steps to handle what may have been a dangerous situation," Police Chief Michael Collins said in a written statement.