Angry motorist assaults cyclist

From today’s blotter:

A bicyclist told police a motorist struck him with his vehicle Saturday afternoon, knocking him off his bicycle, and dragging the bike for a short time as the motorist sped off.

The alleged hit-and-run incident, which occurred in the 600 block of Alice Street, started when the motorist yelled at the bicyclist, according to a police report. When the bicyclist made an obscene hand gesture in response, the motorist put his vehicle in reverse, backed down the street and hit the bicyclist, according to the report.

The bicyclist told police he couldn’t pedal fast enough to avoid getting struck by the vehicle, the report stated.

After the motorist struck the victim, the bicyclist tried to open the car door and stop the suspect, but he couldn’t get the door open, according to the report. The driver then sped off toward Egan Street, the report stated.

The bicyclist had a minor scrape on his leg and his bicycle’s back wheel was warped, according to the report.

Police are investigating the incident as a suspected aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Does anyone know the make/model of the car, so we can look out for it?  I’m pleased that the police take this seriously enough to consider it assault with a deadly weapon, because that cyclist could’ve easily been killed.

If you know more detail, please email info@bikedenton.org and we’ll update this story.

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5 thoughts on “Angry motorist assaults cyclist

  1. James says:

    The police didn’t offer a vehicle description ?

  2. Opus the Poet says:

    This is similar to the assault made on my life 9 years ago this week, except instead of going in reverse the perp went to a break in the median and made a U-turn, and I never made an obscene gesture at the driver when he swore at me to get off the road.

    And I agree with James, a color and some kind of vehicle description would have been very helpful in finding the miscreant.

  3. Adrian says:

    I hope this motorist is found and brought to justice – I also hope that the bicyclist will use his head and take a license plate # and call the cops next time, instead of making “obscene gestures”. As the old saying goes, don’t bring a knife to a gunfight…

  4. Daniel says:

    Obviously the motorist is in the wrong, but as noted by Adrian above, the cyclist is not blameless. He could have let go of his pride and likely defused the situation had he ignored the verbal aggression of the driver.

    On the other hand, while the road should be shared for cyclists, there is a large problem that I’ve observed with cyclists completely ignoring traffic control devices, both stop signs and red lights. I think some community supported PSAs are in order to inform the biking public that when you’re on a bike using the roads, you are subject to the same traffic rules that the cars are, except you’re probably not going to get a speeding ticket. Every time I see a cyclist ignore the red light that all the cars stopped for (half the time he/she doesn’t even slow down to look), I wonder if that’ll be the last time they do it after getting t-boned by someone when they run the red without looking or slowing down.

  5. bikedenton says:

    Daniel, we agree, escalating the situation via anger is always a terrible idea. We encourage people to redirect that anger into memorizing license plates or vehicle descriptions, whenever possible.

    However, is the scofflaw problem you’ve observed a safety threat to others, the cyclists, or a perception of unfair enforcement against drivers and not cyclists? Most of us ride, drive, and walk, and we witness scofflaw behavior across all transit modes. Most drivers speed, few stop completely for stop signs. Most pedestrians jaywalk. Unfortunately, cars pose the greatest threat to life, as the number one cause of death for ages 1-34. This cyclist may have acted like a fool, but the driver’s attempt to end his life with the car as a weapon is grossly out of proportion to the gestured offense. Scofflaw or no, we should not try to kill somebody for flipping the bird, especially when piloting a 3,000 pound vehicle. The last time a person died while riding a bike in Denton and was found at fault was 2005. Since then, 44 people have died from auto and motorcycle accidents. I ask “are we trying to save lives, or are we seeking a sense of fair enforcement?”

    Also, there’s also a large problem that many, many, many red lights (using inductive loops) do not detect bicycles and won’t change. By ignoring people on bikes on the engineering side, we reinforce negative behavior that includes running all traffic lights and di. Engineering, education, enforcement, and encouragement are the primary means to improve things, and right now we have very little of any of those in Denton.

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