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hit and run on yesterday's commute

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hit and run on yesterday's commute

Old 05-02-15, 09:46 AM
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sirtirithon
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hit and run on yesterday's commute

I was enjoying a sunny 65 degree ride home yesterday afternoon when I heard a vehicle approach from behind. I gave it no thought because I was in the center of a clearly marked bike lane. Then all of a sudden it came up right next to me matching my speed and proceeded to side swipe me forcing me to the right and I felt something smack into my back with great force. I struggled to maintain control and they passed me, continuing to swerve around. I could hear them yelling. I responded with choice words and gestures of my own. I couldn't get the license plate. I saw the SUV behind them speed up in pursuate. Both vehicles disappeared around the bend, and a minute later the SUV came back and flagged me down. The gentleman had witnessed the incident and followed them to photograph the vehicle and license plate! With this information I was able to file a police report and I have a witness phone number. Just goes to show you never know when some A hole will have it out for you. From what I and the witness can tell the passenger punched me in the back as they side swiped me. Hopefully the police charge them with something. I am fine aside from a sore back.
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Old 05-02-15, 09:48 AM
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Jim from Boston
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What a nightmare situation. Do let us know any follow-up, especially what kind of creeps would do such a thing.
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Old 05-02-15, 10:19 AM
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Glad you weren't hurt any worse. When someone tried to side swipe my spouse and drove her off the road, many years ago, they didn't even make contact, but the police treated it as assault and battery -- a felony.
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Old 05-02-15, 10:55 AM
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Glad you're OK and hope these thugs get the book thrown at them.

In my experience about 95% or drivers are pretty good, 4% OK, and then there's the one in a hundred who are either not paying attention, overly impatient, or immature jerks. Sadly no country has figured out a way to make us safe from the 1% other than physically segregated bikeways.
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Old 05-02-15, 11:03 AM
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If they sideswiped you they could always claim accidental but deliberately punching you is assault and battery. If the police do not pursue I would go to the DA. This kind of behavior has to be stopped for these individuals. It is only a matter of time before they kill someone.
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Old 05-02-15, 11:25 AM
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I have a case number so I will be following up on Monday. I fully intend on making sure they are charged with at least assault. The trouble is how to prove who hit me. Obviously the passenger but I'm sure nobody will admit to being that individual.
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Old 05-02-15, 11:35 AM
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oooo... somebody's going to be having a bad day.
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Old 05-02-15, 12:59 PM
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I'm glad you're relatively unharmed. It's fantastic that you have a witness, and kudos to that SUV driver. I would urge you to carefully consider disclosing or discussing this incident any further. And if you have not done so already, also consider seeking legal counsel.

https://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-s...bers-read.html
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Old 05-02-15, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by dragoonO1 View Post
I'm glad you're relatively unharmed. It's fantastic that you have a witness, and kudos to that SUV driver. I would urge you to carefully consider disclosing or discussing this incident any further. And if you have not done so already, also consider seeking legal counsel.

https://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-s...bers-read.html
Why should the OP consider seeking (and paying for) legal counsel?
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Old 05-02-15, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sirtirithon View Post
Then all of a sudden it came up right next to me matching my speed and proceeded to side swipe me forcing me to the right and I felt something smack into my back with great force. ....
The laws and definitions vary slightly among the states, but this is assault and battery, or vehicular assault.

Many years (decades) ago, I was leading a trip and someone rode up to and tried to grab a young woman on the ride. She managed to aoid him, and rode off onto the grass, whereupon he followed. Nothing happened, and he sped off when some of us caught up, but we got the license number. As luck would have it a county cop came by while we were still there, and I flagged him down and reported the incident. The tire tracks on the grass were the clincher for him, and he got on the radio. They had a patrol car waiting in his driveway when he got home an arrested him on the spot.

He was charged with some form of assault, and though the DA eventually let him plead to a lesser offense, it wasn't until he had to spend serious dough on a criminal defense atty. As the DA explained, sometimes the legal fees are far higher than any fine a judge may levy.

Hopefully prosecutors in Spokane take a similar dim view of this kind of behavior.
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Old 05-02-15, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Why should the OP consider seeking (and paying for) legal counsel?
Why not?
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Old 05-02-15, 02:53 PM
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I'm so glad you are okay. That must have left you feeling pretty rattled. I'm grateful that the SUV driver pursued them. My instinct would have been to stay behind to be sure the cyclist was okay, but I guess it worked out okay in this instance.

About your concern that they won't be able to find the passenger: I would think that they could still charge the driver with something for enabling the whole incident. Do keep us posted about any developments.
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Old 05-02-15, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Why should the OP consider seeking (and paying for) legal counsel?
+1, as the uninjured plaintiff in what may be a criminal case, the OP has counsel in the form of the prosecutor. There's no logic in pursuing a civil case because there are no monetary damages involved.
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Old 05-02-15, 03:43 PM
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Good you were able to maintain control - that kind of incident could easily have had far more serious consequences. Hope the local police and DA realize that and prosecute accordingly. Glad the following driver was able to pursue and obtain a photo.
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Old 05-02-15, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Why should the OP consider seeking (and paying for) legal counsel?
Unpaid legal counsel is available. Specifically, I mean that advice on the disclosure of the incident on public forums may be warranted. See the link to the sticky thread in that post you quoted.

Last edited by dragoonO1; 05-02-15 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 05-02-15, 05:39 PM
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This type of incident really gets my goat, it wasn't because of ignorance, carelessness, negligence, or frustration, it was an intentional act to cause harm for amusement, which IMO should be a capital crime.

Kudos to the other driver who took action.
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Old 05-02-15, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sirtirithon View Post
...Just goes to show you never know when some A hole will have it out for you.
Also goes to show you never know when someone else has your back.
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Old 05-02-15, 07:04 PM
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Absolutely! I made sure he knew how grateful I am for his quick thinking and looking out for me. I haven't heard back from the police but I don't expect to hear anything until next week.
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Old 05-03-15, 12:50 AM
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Several decades ago a female friend of mine (who shortly after this incident stopped cycling) looked in her mirror and saw that the passenger in a car that was slowly overtaking her was preparing to smack her. She had enough time and skill to grab her frame pump before they got to her. As they came beside her, she started whacking the guy with her pump. He cried like a little girl. His driver laughed heartily and drove off, but she was pretty shaken up.

These asshats are out there. There's not many of them, but they do exist. Nearly two hundred million motorists in this nation, but we sometimes only pay attention to the couple of thousand of them who are depraved in some way. The OP will likely never meet up with such a character again, but it still leaves a mark. Fortunately, the actions of the witness leave an even bigger mark, at least for me. Bravo for someone standing up for what is right.
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Old 05-03-15, 12:04 PM
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This is exactly why we should not run stop signs, blow traffic lights, or wear tight lycra shorts.

More seriously, it's important to note that people who bike are an outgroup and that this kind of behavior is not rooted in mere dislike but in endemic bigotry (albeit in a minority of the population). This is why, IMO, the accommodationist "bike ambassador" stance is counterproductive. We need to be assertive, loud, and when appropriate be prepared to protest. Frack smiling and waving.
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Old 05-03-15, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Why not?
Recommending the waste of money and time for no credible purpose is not my idea of good advice.
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Old 05-03-15, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dragoonO1 View Post
Unpaid legal counsel is available. Specifically, I mean that advice on the disclosure of the incident on public forums may be warranted. See the link to the sticky thread in that post you quoted.
In that regard, you might as well suggest that every poster, blogger or commenter seek legal counsel before posting any personal information on ANY site on the Internet; just in case, ya know.
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Old 05-03-15, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
This is exactly why we should not run stop signs, blow traffic lights, or wear tight lycra shorts.

More seriously, it's important to note that people who bike are an outgroup and that this kind of behavior is not rooted in mere dislike but in endemic bigotry (albeit in a minority of the population). This is why, IMO, the accommodationist "bike ambassador" stance is counterproductive. We need to be assertive, loud, and when appropriate be prepared to protest. Frack smiling and waving.
Do unto others before they can do unto you.............Bend them over, and let them think of Portland.
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Old 05-03-15, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Do unto others before they can do unto you.............
Do you "smile and wave" when an impatient car-driver cuts you off at work?
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Old 05-03-15, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
Do you "smile and wave" when an impatient car-driver cuts you off at work?
I do my best to get over it, and not compound the issue by stooping to their level, maybe an underhand wave and a sarcastic thank-you in the heat of the moment.
But really, that has nothing to do with how I interact with everyone else in making a conscious effort to show everybody equal respect without prejudice.
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