Toronto driver charged with assault with a weapon after forcing cyclist off bike with his car

Motorist drove away from scene but later turned himself in to police; female rider suffers minor injuries

by Simon_MacMichael   November 11, 2011  

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A driver in Toronto, Canada, has been charged with assault with a weapon following a road rage incident that ended with a female cyclist apparently being rammed and knocked off her bike. The offence carries a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment.

The incident took place on Wednesday morning and began with a confrontation between the 35-year-old woman and the driver on Ossington Avenue, as they both sought to turn into Harbord Street, reports the Toronto Star.

A worker in an auto repair shop at that junction, Joey Porretta, told the newspaper that he heard a car horn sound and said that when he looked out, “I just saw legs and arms flying,” as the cyclist kicked out at the car.

The newspaper reports that the vehicle, a black Hyundai, had been behind the cyclist as they approached the junction but overtook her as they both executed their turns.

Having vented her anger, the cyclist rode off – but the driver, named by CBC News as 38-year-old Matthew Nettleton, reportedly went after her.

Police say that further along on Harbord Street, the motorist caught up with her, with the cyclist having to take to the sidewalk to try and avoid the car.

However, it struck her, knocking her off her bike and causing her to suffer minor injuries. The motorist drove off, but later turned himself in to police.

The Toronto incident came just two days after a similar incident in Edinburgh, Scotland. That same day, Monday, had also seen the death of a female cyclist in Toronto after she was dragged underneath a truck.

6 user comments

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I wonder if those that drive badly or speed could be forced to attend a cycle course and experience what it's like to ride in traffic these days?

A gross generalisation this, but I suspect 70% of the population in the UK alone haven't ridden a bike since they were a kid and half of those think it's something embarrassing for losers who can't afford cars to do - hence the impatient attitude from 30% and the violent psychotic narcisism from the other 5%.

Worrying it seems these incidents don't seem to make the wider news as they often have the 'two sides to every story' proviso - even when there isn't any excuse at all for attacking someone with your car.

We are in an age where questioning the personal entitlement gifted to us by capitalism over the past 50 years is unpolitically correct. I look forward to the 20 mph limit: it may well give us all time to think and move around with each other safely.

Sorry. Went a bit Ghandi then. Peace.

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

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
11th November 2011 - 18:48

1 Like

Agree with MercuryOne. And the few that do ride, are so chicken they take to the pavement to terrorise pedestrians. Cyclists who ride on the pavement are as bad as the motorists they are hiding from.

Ticktock

posted by Michael5 [121 posts]
11th November 2011 - 20:00

1 Like

There are two sides to every story and while it in no way justifies what finally occurred, it appears "the cyclist kicked out at the car" in the first instance.
Sometimes we need to remember how vulnerable we are before lashing out and just accept there are stupid drivers out there.
It could have been worse for her, he could have got out of his car with a weapon and beaten/shot her....

posted by Sven Nijs [20 posts]
11th November 2011 - 23:25

1 Like

Sven Nijs wrote:
There are two sides to every story and while it in no way justifies what finally occurred, it appears "the cyclist kicked out at the car" in the first instance.
Sometimes we need to remember how vulnerable we are before lashing out and just accept there are stupid drivers out there.
It could have been worse for her, he could have got out of his car with a weapon and beaten/shot her....

He didn't need to get out of the car with a weapon. He was driving one.

posted by Coleman [329 posts]
12th November 2011 - 10:52

1 Like

These days a shake of the head is as much of a response as I give to rubbish car drivers. The problem is that so many people turn into psychotics behind the wheel and assume that those on a bicycle are some sort of inferior being, perhaps not realising that most adult cyclists have a car but choose to be on two wheels.

It's good that the Canadian authorities are taking this seriously. I hope the sentence meted out also reflects the severity of the attack. I suspect that the incident in Edinburgh may not turn out so well in favour of the victim though. Despite the distance over which the pursuit was carried out and the likelihood of there being CCTV evidence, the fact that Lothian and Borders police have so far been unable to catch the assailant suggests that the investigation is half-arsed. If the police are able to get off their bums and prove me wrong, then I'll happily apologise but until then I remain unimpressed.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2308 posts]
12th November 2011 - 16:05

1 Like

" I look forward to the 20 mph limit: it may well give us all time to think and move around with each other safely."

Sorry to be cynical, but does anyone really think 20 limits (if widely enacted) will ever be complied with or enforced?

I don't.

posted by don_don [149 posts]
14th November 2011 - 13:31

2 Likes