Witness appeal for road rage cyclist who punched female passenger through moving car window

Police appeal for witnesses in Hertfordshire assault case

by Mark Appleton   July 14, 2011  

road.cc news

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 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

@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.

posted by Mark Appleton [554 posts]
14th July 2011 - 16:29

like this
Like (2)

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.

posted by Matt_S [182 posts]
14th July 2011 - 17:56

like this
Like (2)

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!!
Angry

"Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints".

LondonCalling's picture

posted by LondonCalling [146 posts]
14th July 2011 - 19:48

like this
Like (3)

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

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

stuartpeck1's picture

posted by stuartpeck1 [98 posts]
14th July 2011 - 23:05

like this
Like (1)

as bang out of order as the **** in Bexley.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [358 posts]
14th July 2011 - 23:24

like this
Like (2)

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!!
Angry

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.

posted by Chuck [357 posts]
15th July 2011 - 9:09

like this
Like (2)

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!

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
15th July 2011 - 9:22

like this
Like (2)

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

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
15th July 2011 - 9:39

like this
Like (3)

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.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [418 posts]
15th July 2011 - 9:57

like this
Like (2)

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!!
Angry

Wow, I think we have this weeks winner of the most ludicrous comment award.

What have you managed to mine that opinion out from?

posted by farrell [1319 posts]
15th July 2011 - 10:18

like this
Like (2)

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

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

stuartpeck1's picture

posted by stuartpeck1 [98 posts]
15th July 2011 - 11:10

like this
Like (2)

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.

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
15th July 2011 - 12:37

like this
Like (2)

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.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
15th July 2011 - 13:57

like this
Like (2)

I agree, he should not have punched the girl. If he gets found then tough.

downfader's picture

posted by downfader [193 posts]
15th July 2011 - 19:25

like this
Like (3)

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!

Hamster's picture

posted by Hamster [72 posts]
15th July 2011 - 20:38

like this
Like (2)

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.

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

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1031 posts]
15th July 2011 - 23:46

like this
Like (2)

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.

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

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1031 posts]
15th July 2011 - 23:50

like this
Like (2)

TO be honest, what the guy has done is wrong, end of.

But I myself have been on the end of reckless driving that has nearly killed me and other road users at the same time and only last week had a woman in a Freelander scream abuse at me and a mate as she tried to overtake...... I did my usual smile and wave, and she slammed her brakes on, in the middle of the road ffs, and then got out and started screaming, and I mean screaming, at us again. She almost caused a very nasty accident.

I shook my head, smiled, wagged my finger at her and rode on........ were the police interested when I gave them her number? No. "6 of one, half a dozen of the other"

And therein, for me, lies the problem. If the authorities followed up complaints from cyclists and took them more seriously, maybe, just maybe, this sort of incident could be avoided.

Just my take folks.

posted by PhilWalker [31 posts]
16th July 2011 - 10:44

like this
Like (3)

PhilWalker wrote:
TO be honest, what the guy has done is wrong, end of.

But I myself have been on the end of reckless driving that has nearly killed me and other road users at the same time and only last week had a woman in a Freelander scream abuse at me and a mate as she tried to overtake...... I did my usual smile and wave, and she slammed her brakes on, in the middle of the road ffs, and then got out and started screaming, and I mean screaming, at us again. She almost caused a very nasty accident.

I shook my head, smiled, wagged my finger at her and rode on........ were the police interested when I gave them her number? No. "6 of one, half a dozen of the other"

And therein, for me, lies the problem. If the authorities followed up complaints from cyclists and took them more seriously, maybe, just maybe, this sort of incident could be avoided.

Just my take folks.

I have said before that post traumatic stress disorder could play a part in many road rage attacks.

downfader's picture

posted by downfader [193 posts]
16th July 2011 - 13:13

like this
Like (1)

The bloke sounds a thug but we are only getting half the story Thinking

Howl Like a Bianchi

HLaB's picture

posted by HLaB [54 posts]
17th July 2011 - 12:33

like this
Like (3)

And who were the witnesses? Probably just the lady herself, I expect she recieved the "minor facial injuries" doing her make up while driving.....

whizz kid

posted by whizzkid [62 posts]
18th July 2011 - 8:02

like this
Like (2)

You can't decide that the cyclist was wrong because you don't have enough information. For all we know the woman could have been hanging out of the window swinging a knife at him but as we only have her side of the story there's no point jumping to conclusions.

Andy

posted by jazzdude [59 posts]
18th July 2011 - 9:50

like this
Like (2)

And I object to the headline "totally unjustified punch." How do we know that? If it was self defense then it could have been totally justified.

Andy

posted by jazzdude [59 posts]
18th July 2011 - 10:04

like this
Like (5)

Self defence from what jazzdude? She was the passenger so if he was trying to defend himself from the way the car was being driven he was going a funny way about it. Unless she had a gun he wasn't in much danger from her was he, and if she did… well, riding up and punching her in the face could be considered reckless in the extreme… her 9mm must have jammed.

I'm sure we haven't heard the whole story but even if we ever do (and that's the reason for the police witness appeal) it still won't excuse what the cyclist did.

Maybe, just maybe it's worth considering that cyclists can be in the wrong sometimes? You might be a much more virtuous rider than me, but I know that over the years I've been involved in more than one incident with motorists where afterwards I regretted the way I'd behaved, but even I haven't punched one yet… or their passenger.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
18th July 2011 - 11:43

like this
Like (4)

My whole point is that we don't know because we have very limited information. The self defense remark is to illustrate that maybe the punch was justified. If someone (man or woman) ran at you with a weapon and your reflex action was to punch them in the face then that would be justified. But as I said before, as we don't know then there is no point trying to speculate.

Andy

posted by jazzdude [59 posts]
18th July 2011 - 12:10

like this
Like (3)

And similarly how can the journalist qualify the statement that the punch was totally unjustified without hearing the cyclists version of events?

Andy

posted by jazzdude [59 posts]
18th July 2011 - 12:15

like this
Like (2)

She didn't run at him tho did she, she was in the passenger seat of a car.

Speaking from experience if someone runs at you with violent intent when you're on your bike the simplest and most effective response is to ride off sharpish it makes them look very silly when the red mist starts to fade and they are floundering along some way behind.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
18th July 2011 - 12:50

like this
Like (2)

jazzdude wrote:
And similarly how can the journalist qualify the statement that the punch was totally unjustified without hearing the cyclists version of events?

Unless she physically attacked him and the punch was self-defence, then it was unjustified. That's the law in a nutshell.

We don't know what she did in possibly aggravating the situation. If she said or did something that angered him then he has every right to be angry, but not to throw a punch in response. I think it unlikely that she was physically attacking him while sat in a car. In other words, the cyclist's punch was unjustified.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
18th July 2011 - 14:08

like this
Like (1)

@oldridgeback And the key phrase here is you "think it unlikely" without knowing for sure. You are all making assumptions about what probably happened and jumping to the conclusion that the cyclist was in the wrong when there is no way for you to know. That is my point. The main thing here is that the cyclist has the right to a fair hearing and until that happens no-one has the right to assume he was in the wrong.

Andy

posted by jazzdude [59 posts]
18th July 2011 - 14:14

like this
Like (3)

I think its fair to say he was in the wrong.

Surely its just a matter of finding out just how wrong.

posted by farrell [1319 posts]
18th July 2011 - 14:36

like this
Like (2)