Updated: Violent assault on London cyclist captured on film

Police investigation has stalled, can you identify attacker?

by Mark Appleton   July 8, 2011  

South London cyclist attacker right and companion.jpg

The Metropolitan Police’s willingness to investigate clear wrongdoing has been severely criticised in light of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

Of course it would be good to think that was a one-off aberration under a previous Met. regime and one that had something to do with an unwillingness by detectives at the time to expose a culture of receiving press backhanders amongst their colleagues.

Things are different now. But take a look at this video and read the account on our forum posted by the road.cc regular who was the victim of the assault, about both incident and the police’s attempt to bring the attacker to book.

Although the registered keeper of the car was easily traceable it seems that on the day in question the vehicle was left unlocked with the keys in the ignition, only for it to be taken without consent but somehow later returned to the owner by person or persons unknown.

Could happen I suppose, after all there are some very considerate, violently thuggish car thieves out there who sometimes repent and, racked with guilt, simply return the stolen vehicle to its rightful owner completely undamaged.

In which the case the registered keeper will no doubt be keen to help track down the person filmed in the assault in order to thank them for seeing the error of their ways, at least in terms of the return of the car, if not the attack on a cyclist who was hardly in a position to defend himself.

What we can say about the assailant is that he looks about 30, medium height and build, possibly married judging by the ring on his left hand, bit temperamental, fancies himself as a hard man (with his mates in tow of course), punches like a girl.

Over to you tweeters, bloggers and off-duty coppers.

UPDATE: The Metropolitan Police tell us that this case remains the subject of an on-going investigation by  detectives from Bexley CID. We will, of course, bring you news of any further developments as and when they occur.

81 user comments

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"OldRidgeback - "at least I don't live in Bexley" - to be honest, with that attitude I'm kind of glad you don't"

I tried to make fun of my own post, seeing as some people took objection to it. Perhaps it wasn't the most balanced thing I've ever written but then I didn't expect a call to arms from the people of Bexley. Nope I don't live in Bexley. I know people who do and have been there a few times.

I note you didn't comment on my suggestion that the police could quite easily charge the vehicle owner with an offence, which I thought was rather more important to this thread anyway.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1790 posts]
11th July 2011 - 14:37

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Bobby Lightcycles wrote:
It should also be added that the best thing a cyclist can do to prevent such attacks is not to provoke drivers in the first place. If you hate cars then you're entitled to your opinion, but that doesn't mean you have to go round trying to make driving more difficult for everyone on the assumption that all car journeys are somehow "illegitimate".

If the cyclist concerned is a road.cc regular then let's face it, it's pretty likely that he has an anti-car point of view.

What a load of BOLLOCKS!!! This takes the prize as the stupidest comment I've seen on road.cc in the two years I've been lurking here.

I'm a road.cc regular, I have cycled for most of my 56 years and own two bikes, I also own a car and have held a full driving licence for nearly 40 years. I do not hate cars and don't treat all car jouneys as 'illegitimate'.

I'll criticise poor driving as quickly as I will poor cycling. It's people who are the problem, not their choice of vehicular propulsion.

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, Next!

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posted by jova54 [460 posts]
11th July 2011 - 16:11

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Lets face it - he'll get nothing.
Hope he broke his hand on the fella's helmet.
I think the best option is to carry a pepper spray or something similar as self defence, far too many of these hooligans about.
Personally I avoid any traffic and try to stick to country lanes, there is a serious lack of respect and understanding of the basic rules of the road from a large proportion of drivers in this country.

posted by pmr [131 posts]
11th July 2011 - 16:38

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NWLondoner wrote:
Everyone who sees this should forward/tweet it on to any journalists that they have contact details for.

The entire journalism profession is too busy navel-gazing following the NotW debacle to pay any attenion to a cyclist getting a thump by a knuckle-dragger.

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
11th July 2011 - 17:05

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jova54 wrote:
Bobby Lightcycles wrote:
It should also be added that the best thing a cyclist can do to prevent such attacks is not to provoke drivers in the first place. If you hate cars then you're entitled to your opinion, but that doesn't mean you have to go round trying to make driving more difficult for everyone on the assumption that all car journeys are somehow "illegitimate".

What a load of BOLLOCKS!!! This takes the prize as the stupidest comment I've seen on road.cc in the two years I've been lurking here.


You obviously haven't been "lurking" hard enough. But I agree, this is a pretty stupid comment. Rather like comments in the 1950s Deep South about African Americans deserving getting beaten up if they were "uppity."

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
11th July 2011 - 17:10

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OldRidgeback

OldRidgeback

You're right enough, I didn't comment on your point about the Police charging the owner of the vehicle and - unsurprisingly given my earlier posts - I agree with you, despite the snidey implication I somehow chose to ignore it. And yes, that particular point was far more important to the thread which is why the stupid comments about Bexley were irritating and unnecessary to begin with. Hardly a call to arms, but I'm not going to apologise for liking the place I live in and defending it when someone reduces it to a stereotype

posted by jijiandnoah [53 posts]
11th July 2011 - 20:10

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Sarcasm vs snide - not worth debating maybe. Maybe one of the reasons I made that comment is that some of the people I know in Bexley have less than wholesome attitudes towards immigration and race. But if you like the place you're welcome to it! See that exclamation mark? It means something.

Back to the point though and what this thread should be about before we got sidetracked - I'd be curious what the two serving cops who posted earlier in the thread have to say regarding my point on vehicle insurance. If the vehicle owner can't prove that the driver had insurance, then the vehicle owner cannot prove that hs or she is not guilty of an offence. And the only way to reveal whether the vehicle driver had insurance is to reveal the person's name.

Video evidence of reasonable quality and a vehicle registration plate should be enough to start with for Bexley's hard-pressed CID. Maybe I'm missing something on the crime torn streets of Bexley I don't know about that means the cops are struggling with their workload?

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1790 posts]
11th July 2011 - 20:57

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Interesting debate going on here. I just cycled London to Paris in under 24 hours and the treatment of our group by French motorists was stunning. People stopped on roundabouts to let us pass. They overtook right on the other side of the road and only when completely safe to do so. In Kent we had someone overtake us and then immediately turn left directly infront of us!!

Even in Paris the motorists (all vehicles!) were patient, safe and did not blare horns or shout at us (except encouragement and support).

We have a lot to learn here!!

posted by SimpleSimon [105 posts]
11th July 2011 - 22:56

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Glad you're ok. Here's hoping you get it on Crime Watch. I wasn't surprised to see the widest BBC coverage of the TDF so far this year was Flecha getting side swiped by a car. I can imagine it being a popular clip amongst a certain small group of drivers and given the absence of damage to the car I wonder if it may increase careless driving.... Better to nudge someone who may have a helmet cam into the ditch than stop and have a fight will be the thought crawling through certain tiny minds.

And they wonder why we tend ride in groups...

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [873 posts]
12th July 2011 - 5:17

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jijiandnoah wrote:
OldRidgeback - "at least I don't live in Bexley" - to be honest, with that attitude I'm kind of glad you don't

As said before - this happens all over London, there are knuckledragging types everywhere. Don't dismiss an entire borough on the basis of the actions of a few idiots

Well said, there are idiot like this all over the place, from the well to do areas down to the highrise low rent areas - in and out of London. In the same way we have bad drivers who couldn't give a toss about cyclists and generous motorists who do. In cases like this when even the Police aren't interested, you just have to hope Karma exists

Cervelo S1, Zipp 404, SRAM Rival/Force, Rotor crankset and Vittoria.

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posted by stuartpeck1 [98 posts]
12th July 2011 - 11:01

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Just had a message back from one of the local papers here, they're going to run the story with a mug shot to see if anyone recognises the guy

posted by jijiandnoah [53 posts]
12th July 2011 - 11:59

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Wink Evening Standard have run the story http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23969106-road-rage-caught... but for the record, I am NOT "angry" with the Police. That is possibly a newspaper having a go at the Met. I am disappointed that they have not found the guys yet, but angry with them?, no.

BBC will also be running it later today!

If everyone who reads this can make a charity donation then some good may come out of it after all - a kind of Karma!

http://www.bmycharity.com/L2P24

posted by SimpleSimon [105 posts]
12th July 2011 - 12:48

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I wonder if the fella in the Peugeot had a day job driving the France TV Citroen in the Tour a couple of days ago?

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posted by dullard [135 posts]
12th July 2011 - 14:33

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If you injure/kill a dog, you must report it. If however you do the same to a cat, there is no legal requirement to do so. Are the police regarding cyclists like cats, and drivers like dogs?

tommy2p

posted by tommy2p [83 posts]
13th July 2011 - 1:26

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The BBC London news clip is now on the BBC's website. The registration number of the the car has, however, been digitally obscured. One can only assume that this was removed to 'protect' the 'innocent'. It's a funny old world.

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posted by simonmb [360 posts]
13th July 2011 - 5:33

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They're probably trying to protect the unfortunate owner of the car - once people realise he's in the habit of leaving the car unlocked with the keys in the ignition, everyone's just going to keep stealing his car, assaulting people, and then returning the car.

posted by Jamie F [5 posts]
13th July 2011 - 7:01

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Great to see the story on the BBC and in the Standard, hope this leads to something positive soon. Shame about some of the (predictable) comments left after the Standard story but to be expected I guess...

posted by jijiandnoah [53 posts]
13th July 2011 - 7:16

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Re all the questions about no insurance etc.

When someone commits an offence under the Road Traffic Act and the driver is not known then the Police can serve a form on the owner to say who the driver was or face prosecution for the offence themselves. This refers to the Road Traffic Act and NOT a criminal offence, as they are 2 seperate pieces of legislation.

The owner has been spoken to and claimed that the car had been taken with the keys in and returned later without their permission (a load of bull****) but without evidence to blow their story out of the water the Police haven't got a hope in hell to get this to court and past the CPS who will refuse to run the case. Everyone knows its rubbish but you cant blame the Police for CPS decisions.

Hope that clears the No Insurance debate.

Stumpy

posted by stumps [2086 posts]
13th July 2011 - 9:58

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While 'the Met', tries dream-up yet more feeble excuses not to trace 'punches like a girl', I feel absolutely convinced that had there been a compulsory helmet law for cyclists, they'd have been out there ticketing cyclists like crazy.

I can't help wondering if a TWOCed KJ56HGF has been seen parked in the local Freemasons' Hall car park.

posted by Recumbenteer [133 posts]
13th July 2011 - 11:54

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SimpleSimon wrote:
Interesting debate going on here. I just cycled London to Paris in under 24 hours and the treatment of our group by French motorists was stunning. People stopped on roundabouts to let us pass. They overtook right on the other side of the road and only when completely safe to do so. In Kent we had someone overtake us and then immediately turn left directly infront of us!!

Even in Paris the motorists (all vehicles!) were patient, safe and did not blare horns or shout at us (except encouragement and support).

We have a lot to learn here!!

Yeah, see what you've done Wink

Having lived in and cycled in and around London for years i don't envy anyone doing so, i'm now out in deepest Gloucestershire and although the driving is better you still get the fools. I've spent a lot of time riding and training around Avignon, Bergerac and Bourg en Bresse and French drivers are 100 percent better than the English. Far more considerate, nicer and they stop for you, it's unheard of. The first time i rode there i was stunned. Even the kids urge you on as if you were riding a tour. Couple this with really nice roads, it's cycling mecca

Cervelo S1, Zipp 404, SRAM Rival/Force, Rotor crankset and Vittoria.

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posted by stuartpeck1 [98 posts]
13th July 2011 - 12:47

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No wonder the 'crime records' are low - even when presented with videos like this the police don't consider it a crime!

jijiandnoah wrote:
Anyone seeing this video is going to be horrified, but don't start blaming this on the fact it happened in Bexley! Like gazzaputt I'd like to point out that Bexley is actually one of the safest boroughs in London - the crime rates elsewhere in the capital are on the most part higher - generally and for violence - and the days of the BNP (who, as pointed out were in Welling) are long gone. The BNP HQ was shut down in 1995.

quote]

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posted by SirruslyFast [6 posts]
13th July 2011 - 13:03

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Look at some of the comments on the evening standard site.. Just frightening, the attitude of some people.

These people can vote !?

Cervelo S1, Zipp 404, SRAM Rival/Force, Rotor crankset and Vittoria.

stuartpeck1's picture

posted by stuartpeck1 [98 posts]
13th July 2011 - 13:44

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stuartpeck1 wrote:
Look at some of the comments on the evening standard site.. Just frightening, the attitude of some people.

These people can vote !?


whats even more sad is they can breathe Big Grin

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posted by cidermart [417 posts]
13th July 2011 - 16:39

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..although not having been physically abused (yet!) by any driver...I did come close a few weeks ago.I'm living over in Ireland (for 11 years now)
Cycling in what can only be described as 'weather for ducks' I took exception to a driver of a Mitsubishi L200 warrior.
Having decided he was giving me 4 inches of room as he passed by me, on an empty road- where he could so easily have driven all the way over on the other side of it- he thought it great fun to have gone through a puddle at exactly the moment he passed.
What I can only describe as the feeling of having a bucket of cold dirty water thrown over my head...I wasn't best pleased...so I let go with a few hand gestures.
Bam on go his brakes right in front of me, as he stops in the middle of the road. So I cycle past him and give him the evil eye. 10 seconds later he draws alongside me with his passenger window down and pointing, shouting abuse at me..now I'm a kick in the arse above 5 ft 3" and not what you could call 'intimidating'...so I just let go (in my native Glaswegian accent)...come on then pull over- maybe not a wise choice of words or actions. Maybe it was the Saltire Buff (FREEEEEEEEDOM!) I had around my neck..but he drove off and left me alone. So I have his reg no. but I know it'd be my word against his as to what 'actually' happened..and I accept that, the Gardai here wouldn't run from ther station if it was on fire....
Now the case in point here for the cyclsit that was assaulted- he did not give any form of abuse to the driver (according to stated on here- so it was an unprovoked attack). The owner of the car states that the car was 'taken without his consent', but must have been returned by a 'good samaritan'. The video evidence, I'm presuming proves that it was not the owner of the car, or that he was in the vicinity or had been involved at the time of the assault. Therefore he cannot be charged with 'knowingly allowing an uninsured person' access to his car. It appears the police do not want to burn any calories trying to find the 3rd party. So there is really not a lot that can be done legally.
I'm not sure if insurance laws are the same in UK as they are in Ireland. The victim could try claiming against the insured driver's policy for injuries received...and costs would be met by an insurance bureau. This would then presumably find it's way onto the owner's premium at his next renewal. so perhaps some slight financial recompense.
Or ...hire a PI to find the address of the owner and have some sort of surveillance set up to see if the assailant 'makes his way back to the scene of his original crime' of TWOC'ing... to perhaps find that he is actually known to the car owner, and hence the owner and assailant could both be charged with a number of offences...

The_Kaner
FREEEEEEEEDOM!

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posted by The _Kaner [273 posts]
13th July 2011 - 17:12

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So when the person carrying out the assault is found and it turns out that the vehicle owner does know the offender then the vehicle owner will also be charged? It can't be long before the offender is caught.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1790 posts]
13th July 2011 - 17:20

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OldRidgeback - In reality yes, they could be charged with obstruction but again it comes down to the willingness of the CPS to accept the charge and follow through the prosecution.
At one time the Police had the power to charge a punter but the CPS complained as they weren't hitting their targets for convictions so they and the Govt decided to change it and they make 99% of the decisions now as to who goes to court.
However this case is becoming high profile so the CPS might decide to run it just so that they can say they tried and if it falls at court they can always backpedal and blame the Police.

Stumpy

posted by stumps [2086 posts]
13th July 2011 - 18:51

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the assailant has handed himself in to the Police and is in custody now - thanks for all the support Road.cc !!!!

posted by SimpleSimon [105 posts]
14th July 2011 - 11:59

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posted by johnboyuk [1 posts]
14th July 2011 - 12:32

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Great news. I look forward to hearing how the story continues to unfold.

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posted by simonmb [360 posts]
14th July 2011 - 12:33

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-If the vehicle was taken then that's something their insurance company should know about and reflect in the premiums.

-There's also the detail that mobile phone records can often show the path of a phone round the city, and perhaps correlate it with vehicle movements.

posted by bristoltraffic [14 posts]
15th July 2011 - 19:40

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