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FDNY Arrests Flatbush Bike Shop Owner For Repeated Unsafe Battery Storage

This is the first time the FDNY has filed criminal charges against violations related to e-bike batteries, according to The City.
The owner of the Flatbush e-bike shop had racked up many civil summons for improper e-bike battery storage.

The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) on Friday filed criminal charges against a Brooklyn e-bike shop owner who repeatedly faced civil summons for allegedly selling illegal uncertified batteries and charging the potentially explosive batteries in an unsafe manner.

Fire marshals arrived at the Electric Bicycle Shop at 1239 Flatbush Ave., arresting and handcuffing the store owner, Tian Liang Liu, The City reported. The charges included reckless endangerment, related 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, the news outlet said. 

More than 660 e-bike battery fires have erupted across the city since 2019, killing 28 New Yorkers and injuring 400 more.