Founder of Hakim Optical apologizes after being caught stopping in a bike lane
WATCH: Did Karim Hakim violate bike lane etiquette? Or did he have a good excuse?
“Dear Citizens of Toronto (specifically, but not limited, to those on Queens Quay yesterday): I apologize for the error in judgement and my subsequent behaviour when I entered a bike lane on Queens Quay,” wrote Karim Hakim, founder of Hakim Optical.
In a statement to Global News the 82-year-old revealed that he lives with diabetes and had to run into a coffee shop to use their washroom.
It happened last Friday around 6:00 p.m. near the intersection of York Street and Queens Quay according to Judy, a witness who with her friend Greg confronted Hakim about parking in the designated lane. Both did not want their last names used.
“It infuriates me. It reminds me of Rob Ford driving in the HOV lane. People don’t give a crap because they can get away with it,” said Greg.
But in this case justice found Hakim from the comments and threads of social media after Judy posted the photo on Twitter, whose users outed the driver as the founder of “Canada’s leader in prescription eyeglasses,” according to their website.
“Then I decided to post on Facebook and let my friends know what was going on and what I encountered and encouraged them to share and stand up to people that do this,” she said. “He was unapologetic about it, just started to walk towards his car and ignored us.”
Greg, Judy and several others continued to call Hakim out for brazenly flouting the rules with his large blue Rolls-Royce.
“He proceeded to use language that wasn’t appropriate and hand gestures,” said Judy.
“He was more like: ‘get out of my face’ I don’t have time for you,” added Greg. “In the time he was there, there were probably 20 bikes going each way a minute. And he was there for ten to 15 minutes.” Hakim says he was there for seven.
In his statement to Global News he writes, “upon returning to my car there were two gentlemen and a lady bombarding me with abusive language and words. First I asked for forgiveness and apologized but when he rebutted with ‘I don’t give a shit,’ I realized he was an unreasonable person.”
Hakim added that he fully respects bicycle lanes and “like[s] to bike ride.”