Police investigate multiple assaults on Melbourne cyclists

Two men interviewed after series of riders hit by vehicle passenger with rolled-up newspaper

by Simon_MacMichael   December 28, 2013  

Cyclist on Beach Road, Melbourne (CC licensed on Flickr by sufw)

Police in Melbourne, Australia, have interviewed two men after a series of incidents earlier today in which cyclists were allegedly assaulted by a vehicle occupant with a rolled-up newspaper.

Sergeant Wayne Carter of Bayside Police, quoted in The Age, said that the two men, both aged in their twenties, had confessed to the attack in the face of reports from a number of witnesses.

‘‘From about 7.50am onwards, there were several calls in relation to people causing trouble on Beach Road and assaults,” said Sergeant Carter.

‘‘They [officers] intercepted a vehicle. The offenders have hit people in the head and bottom with a newspaper.’’

A number of riders took to social media channels including Twitter and Facebook to report the attacks, with some posting pictures of the vehicle involved.

One, Peter Bulleen, was said by The Age to have had to duck his head to avoid being struck by the vehicle’s passenger, who was reported to have been leaning out of the window and striking riders as he passed them.

‘‘A large rolled-up newspaper, when you are cycling along at that speed, to my mind, is assault with a deadly weapon,” said Mr Bulleen.

‘‘A lot of people lost their balance and hit the deck at speed. They were lucky they weren’t hit by the wheels of their bike or the wheels of following cars."

Another, Jessica Lane, said that she was one of 15 people giving statements to police, and posted a picture to Twitter of the pick-up truck said to be involved.

She tweeted: “Be safe out there... There is an idiot in a white 4wd driving down beach rd with a peice of tubing... Hanging out the window hitting cyclist,” adding, “He hit me... And he at least 3 people in front of me... In 15 yrs of cycling I have never seen anything like it!”

Bayside Touring Club secretary Joe Astbury told The Age that it was the first time he had heard of bike riders being deliberately targeted in such a fashion.

‘‘We’ve never seen anything like it," he said.

“I don’t know whether it’s widespread or whether it’s a copycat of somebody else who’s done it. We just don’t know.

‘‘Riders come in all sorts of different flavours. You’ve got the type of ‘Hellfire’ riders who ride up and down Beach Road, then you’ve got mum, dad and the kids, and people who want to dawdle, go along the trails.

‘‘I think there needs to be consideration and respect from both sides, both from cyclists and from drivers,’’ he added.

According to The Age, “Beach Road is a notorious hotspot for conflicts between riders and motorists,” although several Twitter users took the newspaper to task for the original headline to its report, which read, “Feud between cyclists and drivers on Beach Road heats up.”

That has since been changed to “Cyclists allegedly assaulted on Beach Road.”

The Age has reported that no charges have yet been laid against the two suspects.

11 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

And again with the latent victim blaming. They just can't help themselves, can they?

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [130 posts]
28th December 2013 - 19:25

like this
Like (17)

It's Aus. Probably a cop doing it.

posted by nuclear coffee [93 posts]
28th December 2013 - 20:12

like this
Like (10)

where's the victim blaming?

posted by dbb [33 posts]
28th December 2013 - 20:15

like this
Like (14)

cops are all watching the cricket Devil

posted by dbb [33 posts]
28th December 2013 - 20:16

like this
Like (16)

I know the road.cc editorial team are trying to drive up hits but is the raison d'être of this site to provide well written reviews, articles and other interesting items or is it simply to report on any incident involving a cyclist, no matter how big or small?

When I log on to my favourite motoring website I'm not bombarded with anti-motorist sentiment, come on road.cc, stick to what you are good at, which is very good indeed, don't descent into the cycling equivalent of the Daily Mail.

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
28th December 2013 - 21:19

like this
Like (11)

dbb wrote:
where's the victim blaming?

These guys are going round attacking cyclists and the comment is ‘‘I think there needs to be consideration and respect from both sides, both from cyclists and from drivers,’’

There is no suggestion that the assaulted cyclists were doing anything that might have provoked the larrikins. Just what consideration or respect need these cyclists show? Should they hold their heads still so that they are easier to hit? I suspect that the only respect and consideration they could show would be to not be out on their bikes at all.

posted by felixcat [167 posts]
28th December 2013 - 22:14

like this
Like (26)

nuclear coffee wrote:
It's Aus. Probably a cop doing it.

[[[[[[ Or might it be Shame Warne? I remember a case in which he (alledgedly after a post-match booze-up) alledgedly drove at a cyclist and then over his bike, in a fit of road-rage.....and alledgedly no charges were brought against him either. One speaks as one finds---is one now a Daily Mailer?
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [226 posts]
28th December 2013 - 22:29

like this
Like (14)

thebungle wrote:
I know the road.cc editorial team are trying to drive up hits

Worked with you, didn't it?

Myself, attacks on cyclists do interest me. A passenger hit me on the head. As it happens, I had built a pair of wheels for the bobby taking my complaint. My memory of the number plate was fuzzy, but we tried several combinations but the computer did not give us the right model.

posted by felixcat [167 posts]
28th December 2013 - 22:50

like this
Like (11)

felixcat wrote:
dbb wrote:
where's the victim blaming?

These guys are going round attacking cyclists and the comment is ‘‘I think there needs to be consideration and respect from both sides, both from cyclists and from drivers,’’

Is that comment not from a cycle-club representative?

So its less victim-blaming and more pre-emptive placating. Does make one roll one's eyes a bit. Analogies with other historical out-groups and their, perhaps overly-conciliatory, representatives come to mind.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [497 posts]
28th December 2013 - 23:27

like this
Like (11)

Hardly big news but potentially dangerous for the cyclists. Naturally they we're wearing helmets just in case they fell, as indeed they are compulsory in Oz.....he said waiting for the keyboard warriors.

posted by Guyz2010 [277 posts]
29th December 2013 - 10:54

like this
Like (7)

What would poses someone to do something like this???

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
29th December 2013 - 17:49

like this
Like (7)