Twice in the last 6 weeks I've gotten reports from cyclists about being harassed by a Secret Service police officer, and while I'd like to flatter myself that all people treated such way will immediately write me about it, that's certainly not true, so I wouldn't be surprised if there were more. The first cyclist posted their experience to the bike Arlington forum.
I was biking on Beach Drive (in the part that has a path next to it) in Rock Creek Park at 15 mph. A secret service agent stopped me and told me to get out of the road because I was going below the speed limit.
The SS officer in this case was wrong, but it didn't seem too egregious. I'm working on the assumption that the second incident involves the same officer.
I was riding north on Beach Dr. Behind me I heard sirens and saw an unmarked car with lights flashing. For reference traffic was very light, I was riding solo and not holding anyone up. The officer screams at me to get off the road which I tell him I will (thinking he means at a safe street crossing), he then screams profanity and pulls in front of me forcing me to jump into the dirt.
The unmarked car, followed by two uniformed division secret service cars then pulled over and the second car stopped traffic in the southbound lanes to "escort" the cyclist onto the bike path on the other side of beach drive.
He then screams at me for "riding a f-ing bike in the f-ing road" and I think tries to escalate the situation by continuing to use profanity and a raised voice. After it is clear that he has no reason to detain me, the officer in the second car stops both sides of traffic and tells me I have to use the "bike path"
He was told to never ride in the road again. I'll note, they weren't responding to some other crime. The lights and sirens were for the cyclist.
In neither case has the officer been identified, though in the second he drove a dark blue unmarked sedan, had dark hair and a beard and was about 5'9 and about 250 lbs. If you have a similar experience, do as you're told (no reason to escalate things with someone with a gun) but try to get a license plate, a name or a badge number. The particularly bold among you could politely ask the officer to write them a ticket (I personally wouldn't though).
Cyclists, of course, have every right to ride on Beach Drive and the speed limit is a maximum, not a minimum. Nor do I think it is the job of the Secret Service to keep traffic flowing in Rock Creek Park. I suspect the Secret Service - which is not having the best year ever - would be eager to bring this individual (if it is just one person) back into line.