Sarah Jane Comrie: Bellevue Hospital PA’s Lawyer Responds to Viral Citi Bike Video

sarah jane comrie citibike karen video

Ben Crump/Instagram Sarah Jane Comrie has been identified as the New York City hospital worker in this viral video.

Sarah Jane Comrie is a physician assistant at New York City Health + Hospitals/Bellevue who was identified on social media as the woman accused of racism in a viral video involving a dispute over a Citi Bike. The video went viral on social media on Sunday, May 14, 2023, but details of its origin and when the incident occurred were not immediately available.

Comrie’s attorney, Justin Marino, posted a statement on his firm’s website responding to the viral video and disputing that his client had tried to steal the bike and pushing back against accusations that her behavior in the video was racist. He said receipts show that she paid to rent the bike seen in the video and then paid for a second bike to get home.

Marino wrote in the May 17 statement, “Here are the facts: On May 12th my client finished her roughly 12-hour shift and approached the Citi Bike station so she could head home. She went to an available bike, which no individuals were on or touching, mounted it and paid for it via the Citi Bike app on her phone. She then backed it up after it was released from the docking station.”

He added, “During this time, a group of about five individuals approached her, saying that the bike was theirs. One or more individuals in that group physically pushed her bike (with her on it) back into the docking station, causing it to re-lock. … In short, my client arrived to a vacant bike, mounted the bike, paid for the bike and was prevented from leaving.”

Marino added, “She was then heckled and pressured to find a new bike. The fact that anyone would treat another person like this is tragic, especially a visibly pregnant woman.”

Comrie was identified on TikTok by @thatdaneshguy in a video that has millions of views. Comrie’s identity was confirmed in a GoFundMe set up by a family member to support her.

Her employer issued a statement on social media on May 14 saying, “We have recently become aware of an incident that occurred off campus over the weekend and appears to involve one of our employees. We are sorry this happened and we are reviewing the incident. NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue is committed to providing the highest quality of care to all New Yorkers with dignity, cultural sensitivity and compassion.”

On May 16, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue tweeted an additional statement saying, “We are aware of the video involving a health care provider off duty and away from the hospital campus. The incident in the video is disturbing. The provider is currently out on leave and will remain on leave pending review. As a health system, we are committed to providing an environment for our patients and staff that is free from discrimination of any kind.”

Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump shared the video on Instagram and wrote, “This is unacceptable! A white woman was caught on camera attempting to STEAL a Citi Bike from a young Black man in NYC. She grossly tried to weaponize her tears to paint this man as a threat. This is EXACTLY the type of behavior that has endangered so many Black men in the past!”

Comrie could not be reached for comment by Heavy and appears to have disabled her social media. The young Black man in the video has not been identified and has not spoken out about the incident. An NYPD spokesperson told the New York Post that police are aware of the video.

“There are currently no 911 calls or reports on file for this incident. The NYPD encourages anyone who believes they were a victim of a crime to come forward and report it at any police facility so that an investigation can commence,” the NYPD spokesperson told the Post.

The Woman Can Be Seen in the Video Yelling, ‘Help, Please Help Me’ as She Is Told, ‘This Is Not Your Bike’

In the viral video, the woman identified as Sarah Comrie can be heard yelling, “Help! Help me! Please help me!” as the young man tells her, “This is not your bike.” The woman yells again, “Please help me!” and “Help!” again multiple times. She then tells him, “Please get off me,” and takes her Bellevue Hospital ID badge off.

She then yells, “Help!” again, before saying, “Get off me. Dude … Get off me,” as she looks toward the camera. She then tells him, “You’re hurting my fetus, you’re hurting my unborn child,” as he responds, “You’re putting your stomach on my hand.”

At that point, a man who is also dressed in NYC Health + Hospitals scrubs while on the phone approaches and she begins to cry. She turns to him and asks for help as the person recording says, “You’re not crying, I got you on video.” The woman then begins pushing the bike while sobbing and saying, “Help me.” The young man can be heard saying about the bike, “This is on my account.”

The 90-second video ends with the woman identified as Comrie looking down at her phone. It’s unclear what happened after the video ended. In the video, someone can be heard telling her, “Not a tear came down, miss.”

Marino wrote in his statement that after the bike was pushed back into the docking station, “One of the individuals then covered the QR code on the bike (which is visible in the video), preventing her from paying for it again so she could leave. In blocking the QR code, this individual’s arm was touching my client’s pregnant stomach, a condition of which she made them aware. Throughout this time and for the remainder of the video, roughly five individuals ere telling her to get off the bike and heckling her.”

A GoFundMe Has Been Set Up to Help Comrie ‘Fight Being Branded a Karen’

Woman in viral video paid for Citi Bike rental, attorney saysThe attorney of a New York woman seen in video of a scuffle over a Citi Bike says she has proof she paid for the rental. WNBC's Erica Byfield reports. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that…2023-05-19T20:30:01Z

A GoFundMe was set up on May 18 by Comrie’s uncle. He wrote, “my niece, Sarah Comrie, a Physicians Assistant at Bellevue, became embroiled in a much-publicized incident with a Citibike that unfairly painted her as a racist ‘Karen.'”

He added, “The facts have since proven this is a lie, but the damage has been done. In fact, Sarah is a dedicated healthcare worker who is six months pregnant. She holds racial justice and equity dear, and has dedicated her life to serving NYC’s most challenged individuals. She does not wish to become a cause celebre, but the legal bills to save her livelihood and her reputation obviously are mounting. Please help!”

According to the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue website, Sarah Jane Comrie is a PA who works in internal medicine at the hospital’s 462 First Avenue location in New York.

Comrie, 34, graduated from Brigham Young University in 2011, according to her bio on the hospital’s website. She then studied at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, completing her graduate studies in 2015, according to the bio.

According to public records, Comrie was born Sarah Jane Gill in California. She is married and lives in Brooklyn, according to public records viewed by Heavy. Her husband has also deleted his social media after the video went viral and Comrie was identified.

Marino wrote in his statement, “Our client is six months pregnant. She worked through the pandemic, helping the city’s most challenged and diverse populations in critical condition after recovering from COVID herself. She immediately volunteered as a medical provider in the network organized by her neighbors to triage health concerns (particularly amongst the elderly), accepting 24/7 phone calls and delivering medications from pharmacies when they felt unsafe or too unwell to go out themselves.”

He added, “At the hospital she has quite literally treated thousands of New York City residents of all backgrounds/ethnicities — a population including the un-domiciled, those admitted to psychiatric care and those admitted while incarcerated. Simply, her entire life has been focused on helping others, irrespective of their background.”

The statement from Marino is addressed to the New York Post, claiming the paper’s articles about the video “outrageously portray” her as a “racist.”

Marino wrote, “It was she and her colleagues who the NY Post once hailed as heroes during the pandemic, but with one incomplete video, unaccompanied by facts that were readily available, the NY Post has hastily cast her as a racist villain.”

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