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Cyclist attacked with metal bar for stopping at zebra crossing

Police are seeking a man driving a Vauxhall Astra who attacked the cyclist during an argument in Croydon on Monday night

Police are looking for a man who attacked a cyclist with a metal bar in Croydon on Monday night as he stopped at a zebra crossing.

The motorist, thought to be in his mid-20s, launched the attack on Matthew Ballard, along with a tirade of verbal abuse, when the cyclist stopped to let someone cross the road.

Mr Ballard told the Croydon Guardian the driver "could have killed him" with the pole, which he swung out of the window of a Vauxhall Astra as he drove past. Ballard said the argument, which took place at about 8.15pm on Addiscombe Road, Croydon, started when he confronted the man for driving too close to him.

He said: "I was slowing down at the time because there was someone wanting to cross the zebra crossing. So I turned around and said, 'What are you doing mate?'

"The person crossed the zebra crossing, I went forward and he's come speeding in front of me trying to push me off my bike. I'm saying, 'What the hell are you doing?' and he's mouthing off, swearing."

The driver then produced a yellow bar, thought to be a steering wheel lock, and threatened Mr Ballard with it.

The cyclist said: "I tell him to do one and cycle off, he's let me go and as he's driving past flung his arm out the window with the metal pole and smashed me right in the head.

"Luckily I managed to stay on my bike but he could have knocked me unconscious. He could have killed me. He could have hit me in the wrong place, the temple or whatever, and killed me with a metal pole.

"It's left a massive lump and a little gash. It was painful. Unfortunately I wasn't wearing a helmet that night, I was just wearing a baseball cap."

The attacker then drove off at speed, while Mr Ballard, who suffered swelling and cuts to his head, went to a local gym to call for police. He was taken home by officers after paramedics failed to arrive.

Mr Ballard said he will now buy a helmet camera for his commute to work.

He said: "It's the first time I've experienced anything like this. To be hit over the head with a metal pole is just ridiculous."

Police confirmed to the Croydon Guardian they were called to a road rage attack and have appealed for witnesses to come forward. The driver was a black, bearded man, thought to be about 25 years old.

Anyone with information on the attack or the driver can call the Metropolitan Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111, quoting reference number 3824085/15.

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