Rage and revenge, then dialogue and understanding

Kiel Johnson (L) and Mark Holzmann.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Last Thursday, local advocate Kiel Johnson and I met with Mark Holzmann. Yes, the same Mark Holzmann who made headlines a week prior for his role in a sordid tale about road rage and revenge.

In an opinion piece published by The Oregonian, on his Facebook page, and on local TV news, Mark said he was victimized by a man on a bike who yelled at him and pounded on his car after the two were involved in a close-call near the Moda Center on October 22nd. Then a few days later Mark said he woke up and realized all four tires of his car had been slashed and someone had left a spooky and threatening note on his windshield.

Unfortunately that’s the full extent of the story most people heard. As such, it probably only served to perpetuate existing biases people have about each other.

But it’s what happened after the initial news cycle that I think is worth remembering about this story.

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After he cut someone off, man claims he was victim of harassment and tire slashing

Clip from KOIN TV segment that aired last night.

Alameda resident Mark Holzmann says he was the victim of harassment, vandalism and an expletive-laced tirade following a traffic incident on Tuesday night.

Holzmann emailed me yesterday to share his version of events. Today I noticed Holzmann’s story was published as an opinion piece in The Oregonian and the subject of a local TV news story last night. We’ve also heard he’s posted the story on Nextdoor.

Here’s what Holzmann emailed to me yesterday:

A few nights back, Oct 22, I was on my way to a Blazer game at the Moda Center. My tickets included parking in Moda Center garage, Bonus!!

It’s about 6:00 pm with light traffic. I took the route where I picked up N. Vancouver Ave at N Russell Street and headed South to the front entrance of the parking garage. The approach to the front of the Parking Garage is very confusing with many intersections, Bus only lanes, Bicycle lanes and all sorts of merging lanes. While merging and turning to my right I did not see a Bicyclist, and from what I can tell I turned in front of him and he didn’t like that, I may have cut him off.

I wouldn’t have liked it either, my fault. I’ll own it!! Mind you we did not touch no one was hurt, but someone had to stop short, at low speed. However, what took place after this was disturbing. The bicycle rider was angry and went ballistic. Yelling, screaming, swearing, pounding on my car, I mean screeching at the top of his lungs. Normally I would have rolled down the window apologized, I find it goes a long way. We are all human. This time would have been a bad idea this guy was unhinged. I didn’t react or give eye contact,

I proceeded slowly to the front of the Parking garage. The Bicyclist follows me in to the entrance of the Moda Center still in a tirade, the parking attendants are looking at him and can’t believe it. This man is still acting like he may explode, the expletives still spewing forward, screaming “didn’t you see me at the top of his lungs.” Still laced with expletives! I give my ticket get a receipt and pull into the garage. The bicyclist rides off screaming, I find a place to park, go to watch the game. I tell my story to my friends I am meeting about the crazy bicycle guy, watch the game, (we lost in overtime) and then go home.

End of story?…NOPE!

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