An episode of vandalism in Deep Ellum in the early morning hours on April 23 showed that scooters are not safe on the streets of Dallas. The incident, which took place in front of the bar Armoury D.E., was caught on video by the club and reveals a gang of young men who kick over a parked scooter, then stomp it once it's down.
The video shows the scooter parked on the sidewalk in front of the club (which just won a CultureMap Tastemaker award for Best Bar in Dallas), when a group of six young men and two women come walking along the sidewalk at 2:30 am.
First, one of the males jumps and aggressively kicks it over with his left foot, knocking it on its side; he keeps walking. A second male goes back to stomp on it. A third male raises his arms. Another, who is holding hands with one of the women, laughs.
The entire episode takes less than 10 seconds. Perhaps what's most chilling is the cavalier attitude, as if this is a completely normal thing to do.
The scooter is a Honda Metropolitan belonging to Armoury bartender and general manager Rosey Sullivan, who uses it as transportation to drive to and from her job.
It being 2:30 am, clubs in Deep Ellum were already closed, and the Armoury D.E. staff were in cleanup mode when the act of vandalism happened.
"One of the people I worked with came in and said, 'Hey, your scooter got knocked over,'" Sullivan says. "It was damaged enough that it's not drive-able right now. I called the police at 3:05 am but they didn't show up until 8:10 am, and I had fallen asleep waiting. I called back at 11 am, and I'm still waiting for them to respond." (Update: The police contacted Sullivan at 5 pm on Sunday.)
Sullivan has had the scooter since 2007, and has had a number of incidents in the past two years.
"I owned it when I lived in Miami, Tampa, and Gainesville, and that included South Beach which has a similar vibe to Deep Ellum, but I never had any problem until I moved to Dallas," she says. "A drunk person fell into it and knocked it over, that did some damage. A homeless person rolled it down the street, and it took me four days to get it back, and several hundred dollars to get it out of the pound. In the future, I'll probably park it in a different place. People here seem to want to mess with it for no reason."
Armoury D.E. owner Peter Novotny found the video of the incident and posted it on Facebook, and the local community has already risen to help, with vows to help track down the identity of the thugs, concern over the lack of police presence, donations, and offers to help Sullivan repair her scooter.
"One guy Nick Orange drove up and got some spare parts from another scooter owner, and Gary Queen, a guy who owns Other Side Customs, a paint shop, is going to paint it for me," she says. "So it might actually come out of this looking better than it started."