Monday, March 24, 2008
Prankster:'Yes, I locked only a wheel to the bike rack so people would think the bike was stolen.'
Donald Kriener, of Philadelphia's Fishtown section, admitted to locking only a front tire from an old bike to a 30th Street Station bike rack giving the impression to a passerby that the bike was stolen. Kriener said the tire came from a late 1980's Panasonic 10-speed and that the frame and back tire are resting safely at his home on Corpral St. "I thought it would be funny to make people think that someone made off with the bike. Sometimes I would sit next to the tire and sob and cry out, 'why me, why me.'"
Most travelers entering the station did not find the prank funny and actually felt a heightened sense of concern. "I passed the tire last week and couldn't help but feel so bad for the owner. I was thinking about it all day. I actually left work early later that day," said Amy Korrigan, a resident of Bryn Mawr, Pa. She admitted later that she had to leave work early because of a doctors appointment.
"I haven't ridden a bike in over 20 years so I have to say that I didn't even notice the tire," said commuter, Dale Glamtin.
Another Septa commuter had a different take on the tire. "I really thought that it was a uni-cycle and that the rider had taken the seat with them. I was even a bit excited that there may be a small circus going on inside the station as I was walking to catch my train," said Gilbert Vincent, of Coil Springs, PA.
Security at 30th St. Station reported that over 100 passengers had inquired about the lone tire on the Schuylkill River side of the region's largest the rail hub. "Believe it or not one guy actually suggested that someone may have locked only the tire to get a reaction from people. I told the guy he was nuts. Boy, am I really embarrassed right now," said Higgins McGee, head of Septa security.
Kriener hinted that he may be responsible for other lone tires around the city and that he was currently cooperating with police to correct the pranks and put the public at ease.