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Police appeal for witnesses in Hertfordshire assault case

It’s a shocking incident involving a car occupant, a cyclist and a totally unjustified punch.

But this time it is a cyclist who struck a female car passenger through an open car window reports the Hertfordshire Mercury.

The incident happened on Tuesday July 12 at around 5pm in the Hertfordshire town of Stanstead Abbotts. A male cyclist wearing a white helmet, white cycling top with black stripe down the back, black shorts and riding a blue road bike is said to have struck the woman while the black Vauxhall Corsa in which she was a passenger was travelling along the town’s Roydon Road.

The cyclist, described as white, is said to have then thrown his bike to the ground before approaching the car. He then remounted and rode off in the direction of the High Street.

No other details of the incident are mentioned in the Mercury's report – we have contacted Hertfordshire police to see if they can provide further details.

The victim, a woman in her 20s from Ware, sustained minor injuries to her face as a result of the assault.

PC Kerry Read of the Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “This was a busy time of the day on the roads and I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this incident or who may be able to identify the offender, to contact me as soon as possible."

Anyone with information about the assault is urged to call Herts. Constabulary via their non-emergency number or call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, on 0800 555 111.
 

43 comments

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farrell [1950 posts] 5 years ago
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I'm not condoning whats happened but this bit: "said to have then thrown his bike to the ground before approaching the car. He then remounted and rode off in the direction of the High Street" leads me to believe there was probably a bit of previous.

Again, I'm not trying to justify what he has done or anything I just think that perhaps the "innocent party" may not be completely innocent, but then I'm just going off what I have read.

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Chuck [546 posts] 5 years ago
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Agreed that this sounds like the tail end of the incident rather than the whole thing. Inexcusable though whatever happened before.

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Mark Appleton [46 posts] 5 years ago
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We have spoken to Herts Constabulary to ask if anything happened prior to the assault but so far they have not been able to offer any further details. However, as per Chuck's post, it goes without saying that such actions are inexcusable.

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handlebarcam [646 posts] 5 years ago
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There are inherently aggressive people who ride bikes, and inherently aggressive people who drive cars. But, in my experience, only cars can cause normally mild-mannered people to act aggressively. Something to do with the sensation of power, feeling of invulnerability at least in urban environments, and extension of the private realm into public spaces. None of which excuses this individual, but it is worth remember if this gets picked up by media organisations that have previously reported on the Bexley incident and would seeking to use this incident to provide "balance."

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A male cyclist wearing a white helmet, white cycling top with black stripe down the back, black shorts

Good job Cavendish and Mark "Head-butt" Renshaw have a pretty good alibi.

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LondonCalling [149 posts] 5 years ago
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Does it matter if anthyng happened previous to the assault?????? I can't believe I'm reading these comments!!! Do you think that those thugs in Bexley got out of their car to punch a cyclists because they didn't like his clothes or his face???? Something DID happen before the incident ("I remonstrated w/the driver" but we don't know exactly what words were said, do we?), that's bleeding obvious, but nobody questioned that in the forum, b/c the victim was a cyclist. So when the perpetrator is one of our own, we look for justifications???? C'mon!!! We are better than that!

I don't give a shit why this happened. I had wanted to punch a lot of drivers, scratch their cars, throw a D-lock through their windscreens, but I stopped myself b/c I'm not a freaking thug! And this guy is, end of story. You don't punch people, full stop.

And don't get me started on the fact that it was a woman who was punched.....

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LondonCalling [149 posts] 5 years ago
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handlebarcam wrote:

....but it is worth remember if this gets picked up by media organisations that have previously reported on the Bexley incident and would seeking to use this incident to provide "balance."

Exactly. Then we'll never see the end of it. "No helmet camera, uh?" and "They should carry number plates", and blah, blah, blah!

Quote:

A male cyclist wearing a white helmet, white cycling top with black stripe down the back, black shorts"

Good job Cavendish and Mark "Head-butt" Renshaw have a pretty good alibi.

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farrell [1950 posts] 5 years ago
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Thats a lot of question marks for one post, but that aside, yes it probably does matter what happened previous to this.

If the cyclist has reacted to something and smacked the woman its wrong and cant be excused but it could be understood why he's lost his head.

If he has just decided to belt the woman with no provocation at all then it suddenly becomes much, much worse.

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stuartpeck1 [98 posts] 5 years ago
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Again.. Assault, and you can disregard what has happened prior. There is no excuse for stopping your vehicle either 2 or 4 wheels, and punching someone. Given the victim was a woman then it brings in a whole new set of ethics.

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jijiandnoah [50 posts] 5 years ago
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Wow, there's some short term memory in this thread. This is the kind of shite being written in the Standard about the Bexley assault - comments basically stating "oh, well, the cyclist must have done something to cause the driver to punch him" etc.

farrell - It absolutely does not matter what happened before - assault is wrong, no question. And not only that, we're talking about a man punching a woman - call me old fashioned, but in my book that makes him an even bigger piece of s**t...

Props to LondonCalling for the posts above!

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ravenbait [20 posts] 5 years ago
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There is no excuse for punching anyone. Man, woman, it doesn't matter. This, if it happened, because remember we don't know what happened yet, is assault, pure and simple. It doesn't matter what came before.

It doesn't matter that the passenger was a woman.

Now, if the woman assaulted the cyclist first, by throwing something at him, or punching him as the car went past -- things that I know have happened to other cyclists -- then she should also be dealt with for assault. Perhaps a court may decide that would be a mitigating factor.

However, right now we have insufficient information to come to any conclusions. There's no video to look at here.

Sam

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a.jumper [846 posts] 5 years ago
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If the car was moving as the report says, and the cyclist could land a punch on the passenger, was it passing too close? Not that it excuses the assault, but it sounds pretty odd.

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farrell [1950 posts] 5 years ago
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jijiandnoah wrote:

farrell - It absolutely does not matter what happened before - assault is wrong, no question.

I'm not saying he was right, I'm not justifying what he has done, I thought I had stated that previously, but if he has lamped someone with absolutely no provocation doesnt that make it even worse?

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Tony [114 posts] 5 years ago
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Don't you need the word "alleged" in there somewhere? At present we have a claim by one party which may or may not be true. Until there is corroboration from a witness or the cyclist or forensics then it is no more than an allegation.

Also how easy is it to cycle alongside the inside of a moving car and land a punch on the passenger's face through the window? Not a manoeuvre I would attempt.

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Mark Appleton [46 posts] 5 years ago
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@Tony, possibly, but the Hertfordshire Constabulary haven't qualified their account of what happened so on that basis neither have we.

http://www.herts.police.uk/hertfordshire_constabulary/latest_news/130611...

In terms of witnesses, you have to assume the car driver/other occupants have corroborated the woman's story, but this appeal is, at least in part, about finding independent witnesses.

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Matt_S [254 posts] 5 years ago
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Christ!

That's only a few hundred yards from the start of the E64/10. I rode through there last night before the I headed to the start line. I'm glad there wasn't anyone out looking to take retribution on another cyclist.

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LondonCalling [149 posts] 5 years ago
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I went back to the original Bexley story here on road.cc and read the comments again.

Only one poster suggested that the cyclist might have "provoked" the attack by "antagonizing" the driver (or something like that). He was called all sorts of names by most people that post here. We are outraged by the actions of the guy in the car and we don't even question that something might have happened before. Which it obviously has. I don't think he goes around punching cyclists just for the kicks.

Yet, a very similar incident happens between a car driver and a cyclist in which the cyclist is the perpetrator of violence, and we start questioning it all.

I try, but I can't help it. I really can't. I can't help thinking that the reason behind this questioning of the motives is that the victim is female. She is a woman, the blame must lie on her, surely.

And that really, really pisses me off!!
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stuartpeck1 [98 posts] 5 years ago
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The problem is that for rational people to question the thoughts and actions of irrational people is just plain futile. Unfortunately there *are* people that go around punching people for the hell of it.

Arguments can get quite heated before actual fisty cuffs start, so you either have a situation where the perpetrator is irrational and or violent, or something has happened to push that person over the top. The rest s just conjecture

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workhard [397 posts] 5 years ago
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as bang out of order as the **** in Bexley.

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Chuck [546 posts] 5 years ago
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LondonCalling wrote:

I went back to the original Bexley story here on road.cc and read the comments again.

Only one poster suggested that the cyclist might have "provoked" the attack by "antagonizing" the driver (or something like that). He was called all sorts of names by most people that post here. We are outraged by the actions of the guy in the car and we don't even question that something might have happened before. Which it obviously has. I don't think he goes around punching cyclists just for the kicks.

Yet, a very similar incident happens between a car driver and a cyclist in which the cyclist is the perpetrator of violence, and we start questioning it all.

I try, but I can't help it. I really can't. I can't help thinking that the reason behind this questioning of the motives is that the victim is female. She is a woman, the blame must lie on her, surely.

And that really, really pisses me off!!
 14

I must say I'm astonished by your last paragraph about people questioning motives because the victim is a woman, and is therefore somehow to blame. I really don't see where you get that angle on it from.

I think people were just observing there is very likely more to this than somebody just riding up to a car and giving the occupant a punch, just as in the Bexley story there was more to it than a driver stopping and punching a cyclist. That's not to suggest that the assailant's actions in either case were somehow justified.

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OldRidgeback [2620 posts] 5 years ago
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Assault is assault. It's one thing to get annoyed at the unreasonable behaviour of another road user (what cyclist, motorcyclist or car driver hasn't?), and quite another to use force in response. Punching someone is wrong, plain and simple. It is not an acceptable way of dealing with any altercation in civilised society, even in Bexley!

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 5 years ago
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OldRidgeback wrote:

Assault is assault. It's one thing to get annoyed at the unreasonable behaviour of another road user (what cyclist, motorcyclist or car driver hasn't?), and quite another to use force in response. Punching someone is wrong, plain and simple. It is not an acceptable way of dealing with any altercation in civilised society, even in Bexley!

Or indeed Stanstead Abbotts. Totally agree OldRidgeback

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John_the_Monkey [437 posts] 5 years ago
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LondonCalling wrote:

Do you think that those thugs in Bexley got out of their car to punch a cyclists because they didn't like his clothes or his face????

Entirely possible. People yell at me, throw things, pass too close (while doing all the above) when I'm just riding along.

Quote:

I don't give a shit why this happened. I had wanted to punch a lot of drivers, scratch their cars, throw a D-lock through their windscreens, but I stopped myself b/c I'm not a freaking thug! And this guy is, end of story. You don't punch people, full stop.

Agreed.

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farrell [1950 posts] 5 years ago
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LondonCalling wrote:

I try, but I can't help it. I really can't. I can't help thinking that the reason behind this questioning of the motives is that the victim is female. She is a woman, the blame must lie on her, surely.

And that really, really pisses me off!!
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Wow, I think we have this weeks winner of the most ludicrous comment award.

What have you managed to mine that opinion out from?

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stuartpeck1 [98 posts] 5 years ago
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Quote:

I try, but I can't help it. I really can't. I can't help thinking that the reason behind this questioning of the motives is that the victim is female. She is a woman, the blame must lie on her, surely.

And that really, really pisses me off!!

I think if you actually read the above comments, i'd say in fact we have a clear majority against the perpetrator of the assault, and yes he's a cyclists and we're on a cycling forum..

I think you may have got mixed up with some of us suggesting it's wrong to hit Women, not that it's right to hit Men you understand. Most Men are raised to respect Women and certainly not to hit them, in any circumstance. This of course has nothing to do with the incident

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londonplayer [620 posts] 5 years ago
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wow. for once, the cyclist gets their own back on the driver.

The fact that this guy was wearing a helmet suggests that he is a regular cyclist (cue the critics). I must admit I've never thought of punching a driver in an incident. They always seem to be so concerned about their cars that scratching their paintwork seems much more of a good option.

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OldRidgeback [2620 posts] 5 years ago
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tony_farrelly wrote:
OldRidgeback wrote:

Assault is assault. It's one thing to get annoyed at the unreasonable behaviour of another road user (what cyclist, motorcyclist or car driver hasn't?), and quite another to use force in response. Punching someone is wrong, plain and simple. It is not an acceptable way of dealing with any altercation in civilised society, even in Bexley!

Or indeed Stanstead Abbotts. Totally agree OldRidgeback

Or in Dartford come to think of it.

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downfader [203 posts] 5 years ago
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I agree, he should not have punched the girl. If he gets found then tough.

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Hamster [95 posts] 5 years ago
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If the woman started something, then she has learned that actions have consequences and not all of them pleasant. (Sometimes equal opportunities are just that).
The chap on the bike should have stopped and phoned Herts police and reported any wrongdoing not meted out his own justice. The fact that the "victim" was a woman should not matter, it would be equally bad if it had been a man, child or donkey!

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WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 5 years ago
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Referring to the BCF Road Riding Guide (Section 6.01.A4) The correct procedure is to make eye contact with the offender, whip the nearside hand smartly from the bars into an upright fist and extend the middle finger. If you wish to avoid escalation - and the offending driver is a man - use the same procedure but waggle the little finger instead of extending the middle finger. It confuses the ape and by the time he realises you are referring to the size of his manhood a mile has past and it's too late.

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WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 5 years ago
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And in reference to Bexley Man - when approached by assailant: raise bike into horizontal position wheels towards attacker. Advance greasy and sharp chain rings towards face of assailant at pace. Remember: Lightweight bikes aren't just for climbing - they're a trusty shield and sword in one! Even the most cocky of drivers doesn't fancy a mouthful of 53/39 or their Bench polo shirt smeared in oil.

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