Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 24th, 2015 at 11:53 am
Reader Spencer B (not that Spencer B) shared a disturbing story with us earlier this month. A man riding a bike in Waterfront Park just south of the Steel Bridge, rode his bicycle into another person and just kept on going.
Here’s what happened, via an email from Spencer:
This morning while riding to work I witnessed an accident where the cyclist hit and knocked over a pedestrian and just kept going. I stopped to check on her. She was a 70ish woman who was probably from out of town and doesn’t know the dangers of the Esplanade in the morning.
Her friend was with her so I took off after the cyclist. I followed him as blew through multiple lights, weaved through traffic, went the wrong way on one way streets. He wasn’t sprinting away, just riding a good pace.
I caught up with him and his first words were that the he had been ringing his bell. I kept asking him to go back and do the right thing but he replied that he was “late and some where to be”. I told him that she was hurt and there was a visible reaction, but then he slightly shook his head and kept riding. I implored him to be a human and go make sure she was ok and do the right thing.
Well the last I saw this guy, he was heading up 6th Ave (the wrong way). The guy was about 6′ tall, had olive skin, was riding a black single speed decked out as a well-groomed hipster complete with messenger kit, chrome bag, slicked back hair and a sleeve of ink.
This behavior is outrageous. The man riding the bike committed a serious crime and needs to be brought to justice before he strikes again. Unfortunately, a lack of identifying information will make it almost impossible to ever find him. This is exaactly the type of incident used by some people to make the case that bicycles should have license plates.
I have heard numerous stories recently about people who witness an aggressive or dangerous road user and are able to get either video footage, a good photograph and/or a license plate. Either one of those three things can often lead directly to action by the police (like in this story from the UK where a man ran his bike into a toddler on the sidewalk and was only found later thanks to a still image pulled from a security camera).
Without a lead on the suspect or any other evidence, it’s unlikely the police will be able to do much.
For his part, Spencer won’t soon forget the incident. “For my small part in the cycling community,” he wrote via email, “I apologized to the woman.”
“I’ve commuted to work for 10 years, raced cyclocross, mountain bike and road bikes and this behavior really makes me ashamed. Now when I hear the typical car on cyclist altercation, I’ll be visualizing that old woman hitting the pavement and the unconcerned demeanor of the cyclist as he rides away.”