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Road rage assault leaves man feeling helpless, frustrated and scared

Posted by on February 4th, 2016 at 3:30 pm

rager-both

Image of the altercation taken by a witness.
Watch video below.

Menacing behavior from motor vehicle users is something that happens all too often. It can take many forms and has varying levels of severity — from annoying and almost comical (like yelling, revving an engine or “rolling coal“) to serious and life-threatening behaviors like aggressive passing and throwing objects at another person.

Reader Jason K. just shared his experience. And we’re sorry to report it was the latter. Jason says he was passed so closely by a man driving a car that the rear-view mirror might have made contact. After that unsettling experience, Jason caught up to the man at a train crossing, tapped on his window, and tried to talk with him. It went downhill from there. Fast.

It all happened this past Saturday afternoon at the intersection of SE 11th and Division.

Jason shared a video with us that was taken by someone in a car who saw the situation unfold.

Here’s the video, followed by excerpts from an email Jason shared with us (emphases mine):

“… The driver in the video buzzed me (intentionally, I believe) so close that his mirror (nearly?) grazed me. I was far enough from the right side of the right lane to avoid being doored, but I wouldn’t say I was taking the lane. Not that it should have mattered as there was very little traffic. When he passed me, there were no cars in the left lane. He scared the shit out of me.

15 seconds later, I rode up to him while he was stopped at the train crossing while a Max train passed. I tapped on his window and gestured to roll it down. He did. I calmly, politely (I only mention that because I was/am proud of myself for keeping my cool and not blowing my top, which I have done before, sadly) told him that he passed me very close and it scared me and asked him to please not do that anymore. He looked at me and said, “You know what bitch? Fuck you.” at which point he punched me in the face through his open car window. I staggered back (I was straddling my bike) and may have fallen into his car mirror (which you can see is broken in the video). Then I punched at him through the open car window…

So at this point he rolls his window back up and starts flooring the accelerator (there are cars and a train in front of him) to smoke his tires and he’s yelling something inside his car and he holds his phone up and I say, “good, let’s call the cops.” I walk to the side of the road and start calling 911 and then the gate goes up and he drives off… I continue on my way to work and after crossing the tracks I notice that the guy is stopped ahead in the middle of the road. He’s waiting for me. Once he sees me he points his car right at me and floors the accelerator and charges at me! Luckily there were other cars on the road that impeded him, and I was able to get to relative safety in the parking lot you see in the video.

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He drives into the parking lot, screaming incoherently (I’m calling 911 again at this point), and he spins his car around and hops up on the sidewalk to try and hit me again, then drives the wrong way back towards Milwaukee from the little Powell on-ramp and the circling begins. He keeps doing this for a while. I felt like a bleeding man in a life raft while a shark circled around me. Meanwhile I’m trying to scream my location etc to the 911 operator who can’t figure out where I am. She tells me that there are officers on the way, and finally the insane driver leaves and I tell her where he’s going only to see him come back two minutes later, now going the other direction.

rager-car

Note the broken mirror.

… I see the guy coming back again, he makes a couple more passes, then heads off in a third direction. I call 911 back and update the operator and then finally the officers show up. This is the worst part of the whole thing. I give my statement, honestly. I tell them about the earlier altercation before he flipped out, and one of the cops says, “I’m a bicyclist too and I gotta say you’re lucky; I always want to punch these jerks.” That gave me a laugh, and I thought he’d be on my side, but it turns out that maybe he wasn’t. He asks me what I want to do, as far as pressing charges. He starts telling me how there is no way they could get any charge to stick other than maybe a reckless driving misdemeanor ticket. I ask how can this be, when he was clearly menacing me and trying to use his car as a weapon, and the fact the he punched me totally without provocation. He says something like, “you’re probably thinking of like attempted murder charge, but there’s no way that would ever happen. Gangbangers who walk up and shoot other gangbangers who don’t die don’t get charged with attempted murder. You can’t press an assault charge because you’re not injured. So basically this guy is a jerk and you shouldn’t have tried to talk to him and probably nothing is going to happen.”

I wondered at this point if maybe they were just not wanting to do the paperwork, and asked if that was it and was told that there were there, and going to do the report, but just don’t expect anything to really happen. The second officer makes a “parallel” to what happened by saying how a couple days ago a driver hit a parked car and drove off and a bunch of people called and they eventually caught him and they gave him a reckless driving ticket, to which I questioned how that applied to what happened to me where this maniac was trying to run me down? Then they got kind of irritated with me and I could tell that communication with them wasn’t going anywhere so I made my statement and then they left me there. I had no idea if they had caught the guy, what would happen next, or what to do.

I have been hit before, I have been threatened and harassed before, I have crashed and had bikes fail while riding before, but I have never been afraid to get back on my bike before. After the officers left I was just standing there, in the same spot where the maniac had been trying to kill me, and I felt like a target. Every red car I saw was his car. I felt like I was swimming with the sharks and all I could think was how this guy was waiting for me right around the corner. My wife won’t have a husband anymore. My son won’t have a father anymore. Or worse, he’ll find me, he’ll run me down when my son is on my bike with me. I walked back to the Max and rode that to work. Later that night, after my shift at work (which did a lot to calm my nerves and return me to normalcy) I started to panic when I was riding home, and I couldn’t concentrate on riding because every single car I would see in the dark was his, and they were all coming right at me. I don’t know what willl happen when I need to get on my bike for work tomorrow, but I am pretty sure I’ll be terrified and taking a different route. I no longer feel safe riding a bicycle. I hope this doesn’t last long.”

This stuff really bugs me on many levels.

I forwarded Jason’s email to Portland Police Bureau Sgt. and Public Information Officer Peter Simpson to confirm the incident. I also asked if he could comment on what the community’s expectations should be when something like this happens.

“It looks more likely to be Harassment (misdemeanor) than an assault, due to the victim not having any injury.”
— Sgt. Pete Simpson, Portland Police Bureau

Simpson said the police report is similar to Jason’s account and that the responding officers looked for the vehicle at the registered owner’s address but were unable to locate it. “Based on the report,” Simpson said, “it looks more likely to be Harassment (misdemeanor) than an assault, due to the victim not having any injury.” At this point Jason hasn’t pursued any charges, so Simpson says the case will be dropped. “We can’t prosecute a case without a willing victim,” he added. If Jason ultimately decides to press charges he can follow-up with the responding officers.

As for the road rage itself, Simpson said the PPB strongly discourages people from engaging and/or arguing with other road users in situations like this. “More often than not, emotions are too high to have a rational conversation,” he said. “Seems like there is a general lack of civility when it comes to these kinds of things and nobody ever wants to admit fault.” If you find yourself in this position, Simpson recommends getting as much information and evidence as possible and file a report.

I also showed the video to Charley Gee, a lawyer with Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton. He said the driver is clearly violating laws, including careless driving. Gee thinks the police response should have been stronger. “I’d imagine that if it was a police officer that was the person being driven around like that there would be some enforcement.” He also said if Portland is serious about Vision Zero, police need to take this type of menacing behavior much more seriously.

That being said, Gee also said Jason didn’t do himself any favors once he retaliated. “If I were Jason, I would tread a little carefully given his mutual combat role,” Gee said. “I have seen situations where the cops are pressured to investigate and charge and they end charging both parties and let the courts sort it out.”

Another thing hurting Jason’s case is that he wasn’t actually hit with the car in the first place. Sgt. Simpson told us it’s difficult for police to devote resources to “I-was-almost-hit scenarios” when there are numerous other cases of actual contact and crimes in progress they also must attend to.

In the end, there’s no an easy path toward justice. Nor are there easy answers to the many questions this brings up. The thing I focus on is the initial behavior that sparked the altercation — a dangerous pass. Whether the man in the car was aware of how dangerous and scary his driving was, the fact remains that it happens all too often. That’s what bothers me.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Todd Hudson
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Todd Hudson

I can not say enough the importance of a mounted bike camera, especially when the police bureau is hamstrung by budget cuts.

Gerald Fittipaldi
Guest
Gerald Fittipaldi

Is it OK for someone to chase a person around with a knife, swinging and missing with every intent to kill? This incident should be treated no differently.

Adam
Subscriber

Do PPB not understand what assault means? Intent to harm with the visible ability to cause said harm. Injuries are not required: that’s battery. Perhaps a lawyer can chime in, but this is my understanding. e.g. walking around waving a gun about and saying “I’m gonna shoot you” is assault, even if no shots are fired. Come to think of it, the driver punched the bicycle rider, so in this case, it IS battery. Gross negligence on PPB’s part.

This same thing has happened to me many times, though not quite to this degree. It’s frightening and there’s literally nothing you can do. I don’t even bother calling the cops anymore because I know nothing will come of it. This driver clearly has some emotional trauma that should prevent him from driving, yet the state sees no issue allowing this maniac to roam free on our streets. There are many drivers like this that simply can’t handle driving without wanting to physically harm someone else, yet are still allowed to drive. There need to be lifetime license suspensions for cases like these. We wouldn’t tolerate this kind of behaviour in any other situation, but because a car is the weapon, it’s somehow okay?

Mike Quiglery
Guest
Mike Quiglery

Americans in general are paranoid, angry, in breakdown mode, on drugs. Cops always take the easy way out. The criminal justice system is broken, the jails overcrowded. You’re on your own. If you must confront, use a potent pepper spray. Hit him in the face and disappear. Bikes can outmaneuver cars.

Mark S
Guest
Mark S

helpfless?

ethan
Guest
ethan

In my experience, the police response was typical for this situation. It sucks. Even with video evidence of this driver going crazy, I’m sure the police will brush it off.

Just like they did when I called them because someone grabbed my bike out from under me and threw it across the street.

Spiffy
Subscriber

“You can’t press an assault charge because you’re not injured.”

that’s when I ask the cop if I punch him if I’ll be charged with assault… I’m pretty sure the answer is YES… you don’t have to have injuries to be assaulted…

avoiding being murdered does not being the assailant shouldn’t be charged with attempted murder…

Spiffy
Subscriber

Oregon plate 686 DRF… let’s hope no cyclists spot their car unguarded…

Spiffy
Subscriber

“at which point he punched me in the face through his open car window.”

this is why I don’t own a gun…

Alex Graham
Guest
Alex Graham

This is scary as hell, especially because of the PPD’s reaction to what is obviously harassment, assault, possibly battery, and maybe even attempted murder.

How can a cop say that “We can’t prosecute a case without a willing victim”?

Isn’t the whole point of the State acting as prosecutor the idea that the State itself views a criminal act to be against the whole of society, not just the victim?

Isn’t that why criminal cases are always “the state versus so-and-so”?

What if the victim were too scared of retaliation to testify? Then the perpetrator doesn’t get prosecuted?

Josh Chernoff
Guest
Josh Chernoff
Scott H
Guest
Scott H

So why doesn’t Jason press charges then?

bjcefola
Guest
bjcefola

Does the cyclist have a reasonable chance pursuing a civil claim?

J4son
Guest
J4son

This is unacceptable in a civil society (yes, obviously we are not). I will be purchasing a camera for use on my commute tomorrow.

Cameras, pepper spray, and a good attorney seem to be the new requirements for riding your bike anywhere in the “Greatest Country On Earth”.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Not this level of insanity, but I got hit by someone’s side mirror as they passed me. The driver kept going, but I was able to file a police report. This incident scared me so badly that I haven’t biked on Portland city streets since then (it’s been over a year) because I get too stressed out and anxious just thinking about it. I’ve been in a crash before this incident, but I knew it was because the driver couldn’t see me. But to get hit from behind feels so menacing and intentional that I just can’t get over the fact that there are people out there everywhere who have no qualms doing this. I think it’s really bad for this city, because before this incident, I was a daily bike commuter and pretty confident, and now it’s completely different. I don’t see how bike mode share will increase significantly (short of separated paths) without these “little incidents” that the police currently don’t bother with becoming a more serious offense. It’s the reason I have changed my lifestyle – it’s brought to light that there are things beyond my control that can kill me in a very real way. And there’s no consequences. Crazy!

Andrea
Guest
Andrea

That is out-of-control and precisely why I have cameras on my bike now. About two months ago, at 19 wks pregnant and prior to owning camera’s, someone tried to pass me on the left (after making an illegal right turn into the left lane) while I was traveling in the left lane preparing to make a left hand turn a block and a half down. The person driving the SUV, with his young child in the back seat watching, was yelling at me like I did something to cause it. He nearly hit me with is mirror. I’d like to think I could have pursued some kind of charges against this person had I not been so angry and upset that I didn’t think to gather his license plate info and call the police. People like this should not be allowed on the road. I don’t want to encounter them while I’m driving, biking, or walking.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Scott H
So why doesn’t Jason press charges then?Recommended 0

I am Jason. I called the police. I made my statement. I told the officers I wanted him in jail. I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do. I never heard back. I was never given any option to press charges or not; I thought that was the whole point of calling and filing a report. So I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do. Guess it doesn’t matter since they never caught him anyway. I mean, he came back to the scene multiple times, but the officers were so late in getting there. I wonder how hard they actually looked. I will call PPB tomorrow and ask what else I need to do. Maybe track him down myself and ask him to go to the cops myself? Lol. Anyway? Thanks for posting this Jonathan.

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

I so feel the anger and frustration and paranoia from this video. That guy started hateful and angry then went insane. Jason is not the only cyclist this lunatic is after. He hates all of us and Jason simply had the misfortune to be the victim.

Dang

James
Guest
James

I’m dumbfounded with rage. This is clearly attempted murder. PPB’s message couldn’t be more clear: it’s okay to threaten cyclists with your car.

The deliberate, condescending inaction of Portland police will result in an escalation of this kind of menacing behavior.

Spiffy
Subscriber

these kinds of incidents empower me… I’ll be taking the lane with my helmet mounted camera on major streets… we don’t have to play nice… bikes are mostly out of the way because we care, not because we have to…

James
Guest
James

Also, if this happened to me in Portland, with zero consequences for the driver, especially with video evidence and corroborating witnesses?

I’d be done biking in Portland. Done.

Cycling is a benefit to the city. And it’s a benefit the city has to earn.

Jason wasn’t on SE 11th for no reason. There is shit for safe north-south connections in that part of town. Which forces cyclists to mingle with raging assholes that are, apparently, welcome to mow us down with impunity.

Gerald Fittipaldi
Guest
Gerald Fittipaldi

I’m going to write a letter to someone to complain about this incident. I’m not happy with our laws and I’m not happy with the response that the police gave.

Can someone provide some advice on who the letter(s) should be written to? A contact at the state level? If so, who? Who else? The mayor? (Clearly a letter to PPB would be a waste of time).

Kate
Guest
Kate

This is why I have never confronted a driver after very near misses. And it makes me so mad, because I get chastised for it. Just this week I had my closest call in quite a while, when a driver got impatient waiting behind a left-turning vehicle and swerved right directly into me as I was riding adjacent to them. We didn’t make contact but only by centimeters. Luckily I was basically at my destination at that point and was happy to get off the bike. A terrifying adrenaline rush. When I tell my father, who I was meeting there, he tells me well- this is why you should wear those glowing, light up reflector vests (dude, i’ve got front, back and side wheel lights and my rain jacket and pants have reflective piping).

The he says, “well did you at least yell at him and bang on the window?!” No, I don’t need to incite further anger. If they didn’t see me and it was a close call they will feel guilty and maybe look next time. But as soon I as I get in their face, that guilt will be erased by defensiveness. On the other hand, if they did see me and it was menacing, yelling at them will not make a difference and may only spur more violence.

Complaining aside, I think that 75% of the drivers I encounter everyday on Portland streets are trying to share the road and make an effort to be courteous. Nearly all close calls i’ve had have been from inattention, not intention to maim. I find that (slightly) comforting.

Adam
Guest
Adam

PPB KNOWS

Dwaine Dibbly
Guest
Dwaine Dibbly

Don’t confront people, especially people who are so careless or dangerous that they almost just killed you. Don’t tap on windows or body panels. Don’t interact with them in any way at all. Do take a photo of the license plate and maybe the driver if you can do it without being threatening. Do report the person to the police.

Every encounter should be treated as though both of you are armed. The driver *is* armed, with a vehicle that could easily kill you. When I’m concealed carrying a firearm, I have a higher responsibility to NOT create a confrontation since that could be seen by a jury as goading someone into reacting against me. I use the same approach even if I’m not carrying because it is simply a good way to behave.

Rob Chapman
Guest
Rob Chapman

Holy maniac Batman. I’m glad Jason wasn’t hurt.

Can’t help but think that had I been in Jason’s shoes that there’s a good chance my SIG would be in an evidence locker.

Please watch out for yourselves y’all.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

What’s the charge for shooting a gun at someone in the mall and failing to hit them?

Tom
Guest
Tom

Current law is not ideally designed to handling this situation. This is why more cities are considering special anti-harassment laws to fill the gap, like the laws in LA and Berkeley. The main benefit being a deterrent.

http://la.streetsblog.org/2011/09/27/first-of-its-kind-cyclist-anti-harassment-becomes-law-in-los-angeles/

https://www.baycitizen.org/news/transportation/berkeley-enacts-cyclist-anti-harassment/

A commitment from Portland PD to put more police on bike patrols would also help.

If you have the license number, you can also get the vehicle owners name for a small fee from an on-line detective agency (they must have a license) and as long as you believe a crime was been committed or others could be in danger. Then an on-line background search will turn up background information on the individual. You can send the video to his employer and published the video on-line along with his data. This is sometimes done by police for vice crimes, in order to embarrass the perp. Works really well. You don’t get to be anonymous if you are committing crimes.

I agree that you should not confront though. Get a video and stills for later use, but keep clear. Save getting the message across (to press, his boss, his wife, his facebook friends) for a later time when you are not vulnerable.

Reginald
Guest
Reginald

Agree with Dwayne D above. Don’t interact with them is the best plan. The close pass did not hurt you.

Avoiding interaction is particularly important if you are not armed with some kind of weapon.

As far as pressing charges – do you really want a nut-case such as this to be involved in a legal battle with you? Can they get your name/address? If so, your life might be in danger and if you have a family so might theirs.

I do think the fuzz should give the guy a warning just so it’s on his record that he’s a nut case.

Ovid Boyd
Guest
Ovid Boyd

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is the commissioner in charge of the Police Bureau. You can contact his office here:
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/mayor/60975

Adron @ Transit Sleuth
Guest

The simple fact is, today’s society encourages cowardice and passive aggressiveness as the way to gain change in behavior. It’s probably the slowest, but somehow the least violent way to do so. It’s kind of sad, but it’s the way it is. I’ve dealt with this mess more than a few times and this comes up with the police and those excuses just endlessly stream out. The irony is, when I lived in the south the police would regularly retort with the opposite “why didn’t you just beat his @$$” or “just shoot him next time” (I’m not kidding) and we can see what that kind of attitude in the south has done (higher crime, violence, etc, I could go on). So maybe the passive aggressive approach is strangely enough more effective. It appears to be…

…on that note I’ve dedicated a whole bunch of energy at not lashing out when threatened by motorists. Often they don’t know what they’re doing anyway, so I just try to be all zen and keep rolling. It’d be nice if we had decent bike infra & separated lanes and this wouldn’t have to happen. As long as we keep getting funneled into vulnerable bike lanes and directly into the lane we’re going to end up with endless confrontations like this…

…in the end, sad. :-/

Chasing Backon
Guest
Chasing Backon

My take aways from this:

Don’t interact with any drivers who might buzz to close to me, no matter intentional or not.

Don’t expect PPP to enforce any laws protecting my safety after the incident.

Somebody needs to explain to this driver his behavior is not appropriate.

Jason
Guest
Jason

I appreciate all the support from everyone here. I was worried, when I originally emailed Jonathan, that this would come across as my fault. Yes, I should have just let him go on his way without trying to talk to him, no matter how peaceful and reasonable I was being. Yes, I shouldn’t have struck him back. But am I at fault here? I don’t know. I really feel guilty about the whole thing. Once the adrenaline and fear and whatnot has worn off a little, and I’m able to air this out publicly and talk about it, I’m left with some very conflicting feelings. This guy, whether a road-raging maniac or just the wrong guy at the wrong moment, is a person too. A human being with supposedly the same feelings and desires as me, right? If the PPB could find the guy have him apologize, and I would apologize, too, and we could sit down and talk about what happened and leave with a better understanding of each other…I would consider the matter successfully resolved. They PPb does their job, I do mine, he does his and we all get along. That’s all I want. Anyway, thanks BP for having my back. I’m pleased to report that I actually got on the family bike yesterday (REO DadWagon) and took my son to the doctor on it without too much anxiety.

Tim
Guest
Tim

Non-confrontation appears to be the recommended action, by the police and in this forum.

What would have been the result if the cyclist was a police officer. I suspect it would be considered a justifiable police shooting. The driver was obviously threatening someone’s life and they have a duty to defend. Interestingly, all citizens have the same rights, just not the training.

Question – when does non-confrontation means passively abandoning your rights?

Follow up question – what would be constructive confrontation?

Pat Lowell
Guest
Pat Lowell

I once tried to have a calm discussion with a driver who’d just pulled a dick move, and it didn’t go well — and that’s when I realized that knowing an actual human personally didn’t give a s*** about me was far more disturbing than having a close call with a faceless machine.

Eric
Guest
Eric

Since there is now a control, who wants to try an experiment?
Punch a cop through a car window, see how they define the incident. Betting it suddenly becomes an assault charge.

Bobcycle
Guest
Bobcycle

After finding myself saying “wow, that was close” a few to many times I have basically given up on road rides. I love gravel rides, I Mt bike, and when in town I ride neighborhood green ways or mups only. This after 40 years of biking with confidence in PDX, some years up to 7000 miles. Something has changed and I dont care to be caught up in it. Also fat tire bikes allow you to take gravel shoulders and to cut through parks.

JJJJ
Guest

If the victim had been a cop he could have easily killed the driver 5 times over because he “feared for his life”

But for everyone else its not even worth a ticket?

Carl
Guest
Carl

Genuine request: can we get a guest article from someone at PPB with some *real*, credible steps to take when you get harassed or threatened by a driver? Steps that will result in at least a warning to the driver? Or something? ANYTHING?

Incidents like this happen often enough that “don’t engage” by itself is insufficient. Not just for Vision Zero, but for basic public safety.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Just a thought in hindsight, but if Jason had left the bike lying on the sidewalk and the maniac had driven over it, would police then have taken action?

Jason
Guest
Jason

Nick Skaggs
I vote Jason to test this. Controls and variables, right? 🙂Recommended 0

Only if you’re going to be the variable!

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

It’s not just car-head behavior anymore. There are plenty of aggressive cyclists in this town who don’t like being called out for their bad behavior by even other cyclists. Don’t even pretend it doesn’t exist either.

Paul Atkinson
Guest
Paul Atkinson

I have all kinds of lights. I have cameras, front and rear. High-viz. Mirror. I thought that’s all I’d need to be safe.

Apparently pepper spray is going to be necessary too, because I am not ready to concede that talking to someone is asking for violence. Talking is absolutely okay, if you’re calm and rational, and a violent response to talking indicates a person who needs to not be driving.

If so many of you think piling assault on assault is likely, I’ll just have to be ready to meet that. Without the police, apparently.

Goddammit.

Goddammit so f**king much.

I really want to get a better answer from the police. This is unacceptable.

rain panther
Guest
rain panther

This story is nagging at me relentlessly today. It just seems so plain-as-day that at the very pitifully least, this driver needed to be tracked down and issued a handful of tickets. Like I said, at least. But nothing.

I sent a letter to the mayor. Didn’t make me feel a whole lot better.

Dear Mr. Hales,

I’m writing because I’m having trouble pushing this out of my mind. A few days ago there was an incident involving a motorist and a bike rider, the upshot of which is this:
comment image

The driver has cornered the cyclist at 11th and Powell and is circling. Over and over, he whips around the corner, then shoots through the small parking lot, back into the street and around the corner again, and so on, ad nauseum. The guy with the bike is forced to hop up onto the embankment when the car enters the parking lot, then jump back down when the car loops back around on the street.

The police have more or less shrugged this off. And what’s driving me batty is the unshakeable sense that, at the very least, this video must qualify as evidence of a number of traffic infractions, including something along the lines of reckless driving. I’d assume that if a police officer had witnessed someone tearing around in circles like this, they’d have pulled them over and cited them for it, even without taking into account the element of harassment and intimidation – you know, the fact that there’s a flesh and bone human being in the middle of this madness trying not to get run over. I have a hard time explaining the lack of interest on the part of the police without arriving at an assumption of bias against bike riders. I simply don’t have another explanation.

I frequently commute by bike, and this video shakes me up. But, in all honesty, what’s worse is the lack of security that if I wind up on the wrong end of the stark, raving, crazy stick then the city of Portland will be there to protect my interests and well-being. The police will not make a good faith attempt to resolve the situation or to help me get home safely to my wife and daughter. That, in a nutshell, is how it feels.

Am I wrong?

Respectfully,

The eBike Store
Guest

If someone intimidates me and charges at me with their car, I am legally allowed to shoot them dead. Cops do this all the time.

I hate guns, but have to ask the question, if every cyclist in Portland was known to be armed, would this broken record of a dialog change?

Gerald Fittipaldi
Guest
Gerald Fittipaldi

In case anyone is still reading these comments, I got some advice from lawyer Charley Gee about who to write to to express dissatisfaction with the current laws and the response from PPB.

He recommends writing to your District Attorney (Rod Underhill if you live in Multnomah County), as well as our state legislators. Here’s a link for looking them up: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/findyourlegislator/leg-districts.html

Suburban
Guest
Suburban

Every time I’ve been chased (yes even by a bad cop), passed too close, knocked into a ditch, had trash or bottles or liquid thrown at me, yelled at, right hooked, left hooked, rear ended, hit head on.. for just riding legally on the road-I also had some feelings- then I replaced my bike parts, healed my bones and skin, and did it all over again. Seems we are the lucky ones.

scott
Guest
scott

This scares the crap out of me… I am done riding my bike to work and get behind the wheel of my 2000 lbs car to feel safe.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Lower gas prices, more sense of entitlement. Don’t get any on you.

Mark smith
Guest
Mark smith

Threaten someone with a gun….go to jail. Threaten someone with a car…cops laugh.