By now you all have seen this story of an off-the-rails cyclist in Mill Valley, California who beat an innocent motorist and sent him to the hospital in what the San Francisco Chronicle calls a road rage attack.
This “man bites dog” story of a cyclist who sends a motorist to the hospital is compelling to Chronicle readers, but there is another side of the story.
Note: the below is secondhand information.
The information reported in the Chron and other local news resources mostly repeat the narrative given by Mill Valley Police, which makes no mention of the stupid, belligerent drunks allegedly occupying the vehicle.
A Kentfield bicyclist has been arrested for allegedly violently assaulting and injuring a man over an apparent road rage incident in Mill Valley earlier this month, police said Friday. The assault happened around 5 p.m. on April 16 near the intersection of East Blithedale Avenue and Camino Alto Avenue, according to police. Mill Valley police Officer Rob Dehner was in the area of Camino Alto Avenue when he heard the sounds of car horns and people shouting.
As he drove toward the noise to investigate, police dispatch began getting multiple 911 calls reporting an assault happening at the intersection of Camino Alto and East Blithedale avenues, according to police. Police said Dehner arrived on the scene to find many people standing around a man lying in the street with blood on his face and on the ground. The victim was taken to a hospital with serious injuries and later released. Investigators learned that a man on a bicycle had gotten into a traffic dispute with the victim, who had been driving his small pickup truck.
The dispute turned violent and the suspect, later identified as 40-year-old Jeffery Smock, started assaulting the driver, police said. Police located and arrested Smock on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and booked him into Marin County Jail. Anyone with additional information on this case is asked to call Mill Valley police Detective Sgt. Steven Heisinger at (415) 389-4100. Anonymous tips may be given by calling (415) 721-4547.
According to some who were there, Smock was indeed hit by the mirror on the pickup truck. The two drunk occupants of the truck then stopped, got out of the truck, and began swinging at Smock.
In other words, the unnamed drunk belligerents allegedly started it, and Smock finished it in this cowardly two-against-one attack. The drunk driver was tested during his brief 45 minute hospital visit and found to be over the limit for DUI.
Smock is what we’d call an “avid cyclist” who generally rides with road cleats, which makes throwing a punch really really hard even when you’re amped up on adrenaline. I suppose there’s a reasonable chance the driver was found unconscious by Mill Valley at least in part because the driver was passed out from his drinking.
H/T to Chris and another Chris, who each have a single degree of separation from the alleged attacker.