At the beginning of the clip, the cyclist can be heard asking the man (still off-screen) to not knock her off her bike, suggesting that he was already behaving in a threatening manner, or else that she’d perceived it as such. The cyclist later reported that the man had been impatient to cross in front of her, and she’d asked that he wait and let her pass. Was this small request what incited the pedestrian’s rage?
The video shows the woman cycling on for a few seconds without incident. Then, suddenly, the man cries out and charges at her, shoving the shocked cyclist off her bike and into the middle of the road.
The woman, we are told, was able to move herself and her bike to safety. She was understandably shaken by the assault—as it could easily have caused a fatality—but did not require medical treatment. She contacted the Metropolitan police and handed over the footage of the incident. The police are still searching for the man’s identity, and have made the video public in hopes of finding him sooner.
Lawyer Paul Kitson from the CTC, a cycling charity, notes that this is, sadly, not an isolated incident.
“In my experience as a cycle injury lawyer I have come across examples of cyclists being deliberately pushed off their bikes by passengers from passing cars, motorists attempting to push a cyclist into oncoming traffic and even using their vehicle as a weapon.”
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Public opinion on the incident, if the Internet is any indication, has been unnervingly divided. Most seem to agree that the pedestrian’s actions were reprehensible, but some have taken to comments sections to chide bicyclists:
@metpoliceuk why did she provoke by giving the 'finger" ??????— paul kirby (@paulkirby40) August 25, 2015
@metpoliceuk the guy was just crossing the road and wasn't going to bump into her, she was looking for a reaction— Abdul (@AbdulFulham) August 25, 2015
and, well, women.
A reminder: the issue here is assault. Not commuter etiquette, nor public politeness.