Two years ago, the driver of a red BMW pulled up behind me, intentionally bumped my bike and ran. Santa Cruz police responded to my 911 call with admirable swiftness, but the plate number I rattled off in the heat of the moment was incorrect, so Mr. Wonderful got away.
Something similar happened to Kate in Washington DC last February. She stopped at a red light while biking home from work. The driver behind her stopped. Maybe this driver is a fan of Tony Kornheiser — the ESPN announcer who told his listeners to “run them [cyclists] over” — because the driver pulled up and nudged Kate, pushing her forward into the intersection. The car occupants started laughing and bumped Kate again. Then things got interesting for the driver.
Kate pulled over, whipped out her police badge and ordered the driver to stop where he was. The driver tried to run, but this is DC traffic, and Kate catches him a couple of blocks away. That’s when the driver tries to run Kate down. Kate by this time has radioed for help, and half of the DC Metro police force show up to apprehend the idiot driver.
I bring this up now because Kate has an update: she talks having to overcome Grand Jury bias against cyclists and police officers to even bring this assault to trial, and then her assailant eventually pled to other charges. In exchange for the plea, the vehicular assault charges were dropped, but Kate asks cyclists to show up en masse at the sentencing hearing to let the judge know that harassment of cyclists is important to us.
Read Kate’s full story at her Girl And Her Bike blog: Victory (Sort Of).