DC Pedicab Drivers Claim Harassment

10:01 PM, Jun 24, 2011   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- A group of pedicab drivers in Washington, D.C. are upset. They claim they are constantly being harassed by U.S. Park Police along the National Mall.

A pedicab driver who didn't want to be identified offered 9NEWS NOW a recording he says he took of a phone call with a U.S. Park Police Sergeant. He says he called to file a complaint and to ask why pedicab drivers were constantly being scrutinized to laws being enforced by U.S. Park Police. The entire call lasted just over 18 minutes, but it's what was said at the end that caught our attention.

Here's a transcript:

Pedicab driver: "I think just having a better idea of what to expect and what to do to avoid any sort of prosecution will go a long way to alleviating a lot of the stress that's being felt amongst drivers, and I really appreciate you taking the time to help with that stuff."

Park Police Sergeant. : "(inaudible)...If they call my officers ***holes it's going to come down on every single one of them out there. Ok? Just to be given the heads up... say look you know...They may think ***hole all they want, but as soon as they call the first one ***hole every pedicab driver out there is ultimately going to pay for that...you know what I'm saying?"

The phone call illustrated clear tensions between the drivers and U.S. Park Police officers. 9NEWS NOW tried to contact U.S. Park Police several times over a two-day period, and none of our calls were ever returned.

The drivers claim they aren't aware of what is right and wrong when it comes to operating a pedicab because officers have never told them. They also claim the only agency that is giving them the problems is U.S. Park Police.

Ozkar Mosco, a pedicab driver said, "I'm not looking to pick a fight or cause any problems. I'm just looking to pedal and make a living."

These summers months are the peak times of the pedicab business according to drivers, and they hope they can reach a compromise with U.S. Park Police to operate on the National Mall without further prosecution.

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