FDNY Makes First Ever Criminal Arrest of E-Bike Shop Owner for Unsafe Storage of Batteries

The City

Fire marshals arrived at the Electric Bicycle Shop in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and arrested and handcuffed the store owner who had faced repeated civil summons.

By Greg B. Smith | April 12, 2024

For the first time in their campaign to stamp out e-bike battery fires, the Fire Department Friday filed criminal charges against an e-bike shop owner who has repeatedly faced civil summons for allegedly selling illegal uncertified batteries and charging the potentially explosive batteries in an unsafe manner.

Just after noon Friday, fire marshals arrived at the Electric Bicycle Shop at 1239 Flatbush Ave. in Flatbush, Brooklyn, arresting and handcuffing the store owner, Tian Liang Liu. The charges, including reckless endangerment, relate to fire code violations due to the unsafe storage and charging of batteries.

This is the first time the department has used criminal charges against those violating laws related to e-bike batteries. Until now the FDNY and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection have strictly relied on hitting store owners with civil penalties. In most cases, those only carry minimal financial penalties.

Read the full article