NYC Health + Hospitals provider placed on leave after viral Citi Bike confrontation

A physician assistant at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue has been placed on leave following a confrontation being widely circulated on Twitter. 

In the viral video posted May 13, a woman in NYC Health + Hospitals scrubs — identified as Bellevue PA Sarah Jane Comrie — can be seen trying to take a Citi Bike already paid for by another person. 

The clip shows Ms. Comrie, who is white, yelling for help and gripping the handlebars of a Citi Bike already held by a young man, who is Black. The young man — who remains unidentified — and his friends repeatedly tell Ms. Comrie the bike does not belong to her, as it has already been paid for on the young man's account. 

"Help! Help me! Please help me!" she shouts. 

"This is my bike on my account," replies the young man. 

The young man does not touch Ms. Comrie as she yells, "Get off me!" She removes her clearly visible hospital badge before grabbing his cellphone. When the young man reaches for it back, she yells that he is harming her unborn child. 

"I'm not touching you," the young man says. 

Eventually, another worker — a white man in NYC Health + Hospitals scrubs — approaches and asks Ms. Comrie to leave the bike. She does. 

The "Citi Bike Karen" video has been viewed tens of millions of times in a matter of days. It has raised alarms online, as many Twitter users believe Ms. Comrie displays racist behavior and entitlement. 

"I keep thinking about Citibike Karen," tweeted writer Roxane Gay. "How does she treat her Black patients?"

Many users tagged NYC Health + Hospitals in the video, requesting the health system take action. On May 14, the Bellevue location tweeted they were "sorry this happened" and were reviewing the incident. 

The health system issued its own tweet on May 16, confirming action had been taken. 

"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 health system said. "The provider is currently out on leave and will remain on leave pending a 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," the tweet continued. 

The health system told Insider it has spoken to staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue about the incident and offered support resources. 

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