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Old 09-03-05, 08:58 AM   #1
raleigh_fan
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New first on my commute -- vehicular assault!

9:40 a.m. Raleigh, NC, on Faircloth St about halfway from Hillsborough St headed toward Wade Ave. No on-coming cars. I was pedalling along and heard a vehicle come up behind me. It didn't immediately pass but stayed behind me. I glanced back and saw it was a bright red, late-model Jeep Cherokee or Grand Cherokee or whatever they're called these days. At first I thought perhaps the driver was just being overly cautious, but something didn't feel right about the situation. He (saw it was a youngish male) pulled up beside me then started squeezing me off the road. I braked, and he right-crossed me. He jumped the curb into someone's yard to do so. I was so shocked and amazed that it was happening that I didn't get his license number. A white(?) car slowed and passed on the left as all this was happening. I considered confronting him but rode on. When I looked back, he was gone. I presume he went back the other way.

If anyone happened to witness this, please contact me!
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Old 09-03-05, 11:31 AM   #2
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I assume you escaped without injury? What that a-hole did was nothing short of attempted murder. I've never experienced anything remotely approaching that level of willful intent to harm, but I always make sure to pack my cell phone just in case. If you see that guy on the road again, pull over, get the license plate, and call the police.
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Old 09-03-05, 11:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threephi
I assume you escaped without injury? What that a-hole did was nothing short of attempted murder. I've never experienced anything remotely approaching that level of willful intent to harm, but I always make sure to pack my cell phone just in case. If you see that guy on the road again, pull over, get the license plate, and call the police.
Thanks for your concern! I was rattled a little but unharmed. I've reported it to the police, but as expected, without a license plate, there's little they can do. Apparently if I had gotten the license plate though, they would have sent the registered owner of the vehicle a stern letter. I feel so much safer knowing that! ;-) I don't have a cell phone but have been meaning to get one. Looks like I've got even more reason now.....

Cheers!
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Old 09-03-05, 12:08 PM   #4
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If someone tries to run you off the road, it is attempted murder. It's that simple. You should have contacted police ASAP. If the police do not treat it as an attempted murder case, you should contact the DA (not an assistant DA) and go from there. Of course it's important to get the tag #, but even if you don't, you should persue it in case the same future felon tries it again which more than likely he will.
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Old 09-05-05, 02:19 AM   #5
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I've read more than a few threads here in which the police response to vehicular attacks on cyclists was less than appropriate, and am coming away with the opinion that if I ever find myself in a similar situation, the proper thing to do might be to embellish the story a bit to get the cops' attention. Maybe kick one of my wheels in and claim that I was actually hit, or claim that the attacker pulled a gun when I tried to approach him.

Yes, I know it's wrong, and no, I do not care. When dealing with an animal like the OP's jeep driver whose actions were intentional and who will, in all likelihood, do it again to someone else, perhaps killing the next guy, all bets are off AFAIC.

A stern letter. I love it.

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Old 09-05-05, 02:24 AM   #6
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I like dfw's idea and do make a report. At least it's on file and if a pattern emerges involving the same driver... he's toast, hopefully!

Be careful out there and stay alert... good thing you were.
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Old 09-05-05, 08:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raleigh_fan
I braked, and he right-crossed me. He jumped the curb into someone's yard to do so. I was so shocked and amazed that it was happening that I didn't get his license number.
Gas prices what they are...Could it be...that he just came from the gas pump
You did the right thing by braking and leting him screw up his wheel alignment.
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Old 09-05-05, 09:04 AM   #8
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Maybe you could carry a disposable camera in a readily-accessible pocket.
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Old 09-05-05, 09:19 AM   #9
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I can't tell you how many times that I have ID'd an offending driver along the same route on another day. People are creatures of habit. If that is when you do your commute, just keep your eyes open and be ready to get a plate number next time. And if you don't have one already, get a mirror. They do wonders for you on a commute. With a little practice you can learn to spot and avoid guys like that before they get the chance to come after you.

Also, a car-free buddy of mine has stopped two cars in their tracks just by pulling out his cell phone, putting it up to his eye and faking like it was a camera. When people think they are caught on camera, they behave much differently too.

Glad you lived to tell about it. I would definitely report the incident and vehicle description to the police. You never know. The guy may be doing the same thing to others.
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Old 09-05-05, 10:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rule
I can't tell you how many times that I have ID'd an offending driver along the same route on another day. People are creatures of habit.

Also, a car-free buddy of mine has stopped two cars in their tracks just by pulling out his cell phone, putting it up to his eye and faking like it was a camera. When people think they are caught on camera, they behave much differently too.
Right-o. Unlike our roadie friends we have the advantage of seeing the same cast of characters each day. Fortunately, most are trainable.
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Old 09-05-05, 11:45 AM   #11
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You can get personal data of people with New York number plates. From there you can get creative: NY'ers, get their plate #
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Old 09-05-05, 12:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by swwhite
Maybe you could carry a disposable camera in a readily-accessible pocket.

When you get your cell phone make sure it has a camera.
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Old 09-06-05, 12:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rule
I can't tell you how many times that I have ID'd an offending driver along the same route on another day. People are creatures of habit....Glad you lived to tell about it. I would definitely report the incident and vehicle description to the police. You never know. The guy may be doing the same thing to others.
It works in the other direction as well: bike riders are habitual creatures and will ride the same routes even after assaults.

The driver most likely realizes that the intended victim survived and possibly saw enough to report what happened (or can identify the vehicle if it is seen on the road again), and assuming no change in malicious attitude may be motivated to seek out and remove the rider.
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Old 09-06-05, 07:47 AM   #14
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It works in the other direction as well: bike riders are habitual creatures and will ride the same routes even after assaults.

The driver most likely realizes that the intended victim survived and possibly saw enough to report what happened (or can identify the vehicle if it is seen on the road again), and assuming no change in malicious attitude may be motivated to seek out and remove the rider.
This is a real possibility. These sort of animals tend to get more brazen with every attack.... and the cops want to send him a 'stern letter'? WTF is that supposed to do?

If it were me on the receiving end of that sort of attack, knowing that the most the cops will threaten him with is the possibility of a paper cut then I would have no hesitation in buying a gun and getting tuition on its proper use. I wouldn't hesitate using it to defend myself from an attempted murder, either.... but thats just me.
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Old 09-06-05, 08:11 AM   #15
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raleigh_fan, I ride by that spot almost every day on my commute (I pass Faircloth from from Hillsboro st when I turn onto Clark). It's disturbing to know that there is such a major ******* driving around near us, probably every day. It might be just a matter of time before he buzzes me or tries to run me off the road too. Today I saw a red Cherokee at the stop light and felt suspicious. It probably wasn't him, but now I will be prejudiced against red Jeeps!

Maybe I'll see you on the road sometime... although I almost never see other bicycle commuters on my route... Raleigh isn't a very bike friendly city to commuters although there a ton of roadies on expensive bikes out in the "countryside" on the weekends...
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Old 09-06-05, 08:18 AM   #16
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Similar situation happened to me, but when I was driving in my van with the wife and kids. Situation: Night, with almost no traffic on the highway. I am driving about 3 - 5 miles above the speed limit (which is slower than most people). Another car approaches from behind at high speed. Passes me. Then SLAMS ON THE BRAKES. Then he speeds away. My quick reaction allowed me to avoid plowing into him, which is what he wanted. Got the license number and called 911. State police said they would run his plate and try to catch up to him. Never heard if anything happened. Probably nothing. Anyway, it amazes me that some stranger who I have never harmed in my life would try to kill me and my family for no reason. I was very shaken and hardly slept that night, as you can imagine.
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Old 09-06-05, 11:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totoro
Similar situation happened to me, but when I was driving in my van...Situation: Night, with almost no traffic on the highway. I am driving about 3 - 5 miles above the speed limit (which is slower than most people). Another car approaches from behind at high speed. Passes me. Then SLAMS ON THE BRAKES. Then he speeds away.
I don't know as it hasn't happened to me, but it might trigger a mandatory statutory reporting and/or testing provision if behavior such as this were reported as erratic/dangerous driving with suspicion of driving under the influence. Perhaps the report could be anonymous for your protection.
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Old 09-07-05, 05:14 AM   #18
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Maybe I'll see you on the road sometime... although I almost never see other bicycle commuters on my route... Raleigh isn't a very bike friendly city to commuters although there a ton of roadies on expensive bikes out in the "countryside" on the weekends...
Perhaps -- I'm riding to work 2-3 times a week now. I also very rarely see other cyclists on my ride. You're right about the roadies in the countryside -- I live on near Lake Wheeler and see bunches of them. Heck, I are one sometimes (albeit on a less-than-expensive bike!). ;-)

I had planned to call the Attorney General's office yesterday but work interfered all day. Today's not looking better.....

BTW, for those who were wondering, the letter will help because "it puts the driver on notice that their driving is being observed by the community." Yeah, that'll help a lot, I'm sure....
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Old 09-07-05, 07:48 AM   #19
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Although the incident occurred in Raleigh you could also try reporting it to the Cary road-rage hotline: http://www.ncbikeclub.org/newsletter/complaint_line.htm. I have yet to use that number although I guess I could have a couple times. Once I was riding in Cary and a car load of guys returning from the state game were honking and yelling at me as they rode by (actually twice because I got ahead of them when stopped at a two lane light). I actually memorized their license plate but since they were annoying but harmless I decided it would probably be better to let it drop.

It would be nice to have a similair hotline for Raleigh...
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Old 09-07-05, 08:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totoro
Similar situation happened to me, but when I was driving in my van with the wife and kids. Situation: Night, with almost no traffic on the highway. I am driving about 3 - 5 miles above the speed limit (which is slower than most people). Another car approaches from behind at high speed. Passes me. Then SLAMS ON THE BRAKES. Then he speeds away. [. . .] Anyway, it amazes me that some stranger who I have never harmed in my life would try to kill me and my family for no reason. I was very shaken and hardly slept that night, as you can imagine.

Classic insurance fraud! Force someone to hit you in the rear, the rear car ends up liable and front guy collects. Probably figured a guy a family in a van is well insured.


I was run off the road a couple weeks ago, but I don't know whether it was deliberate or negligent. Got passed by an 18 wheeler going around a curve. When he first started passing me it was a little too close for comfort, but by the time the rear wheels were passing me there was not enough room left for me to fit between the wheels and the curb and I had to bail out. The truck was in what would have been proper lane position if there was not a biker riding there too, not that that's an excuse for almost hurting or killing me.

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Old 09-07-05, 02:24 PM   #21
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Oh what drama! It's an idiot being, well, idiotic. It happens. You're unharmed. You've no way to positively I.D. the party. Move on with your life. That's the callous reality.
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