An argument between a driver and bicyclist ended with an assault charge against the bike rider for allegedly biting the finger of the motorist.
Donald Arthur Baxter, 48, of 316 Ridgeview Ave., University Heights, is charged with assault causing bodily injury. Baxter made an initial appearance on the charge Tuesday in Johnson County District Court. He posted bond and was released from jail.
According to Iowa City Police reports:
Baxter was riding his bicycle Jan. 8 on Grand Avenue when a motorist passed him and then stopped. Baxter approached the vehicle and pounded on the window about the driver's speed. The driver, who police declined to identify, exited his car, pointed at Baxter and told him to stop hitting his car. Baxter bit the man's finger, which caused a laceration and required medical treatment at University Hospitals.
Iowa City Police Sgt. Troy Kelsay said there are conflicting accounts of exactly what happened.
"(Baxter's) statement does mention that he perceived the driver of the car to have an ice scraper," Kelsay said. "None of the other parties involved or witnesses that I've recalled seeing in the report mention that."
Kelsay said he did not know the extent of the driver's injury.
"Human bites can be nasty," he said.
Kelsay said he did not anticipate additional charges to be filed and the investigation is closed.
Baxter is a vocal pedestrian and bicyclist rights advocate who wrote an opinion piece that was published in the Press-Citizen on Jan. 7 -- the day before the alleged confrontation. In the piece, Baxter mentions confronting motorists who don't yield to pedestrians.
"Why not remind drivers of their responsibility to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks on campus," Baxter wrote. "I've asked this question, and it remains unanswered."
Kelsay said the Press-Citizen piece was considered by officers during the investigation.
"He actually does talk about confronting people about their behavior, and that is apparently what happened in this particular case," Kelsay said.
Baxter declined comment Wednesday.
"As much as I would love to tell you my side of the story, my attorney recommends that I don't make a statement to the Press-Citizen at this time," Baxter said.