A rider with US Professional Continental outfit United Healthcare has been summonsed for firing shots from a handgun while on a training ride – and is said to have claimed afterwards that he “needed to vent.”
28-year-old Daniel Summerhill, who last week won the prologue at the Tour of Japan, was summonsed for disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment in connection with the incident in February, reports 9News.com, and has reportedly entered a plea of not guilty.
He is alleged to have illegally fired shots from the weapon in a residential area in Jefferson County, Colorado, according to his arrest report.
A woman who had just arrived home from work is said to have heard three “loud pops” and went into the street, South Deer Park Road, to investigate. She said she saw the cyclist fire two more shots into a hillside.
The arrest report said that “The area that she indicated that he had shot at was a hillside between two driveways, with a freestanding garage and a vehicle parked in front of it.”
The report continued: “There were residences on both sides of the road there as well as one above the hillside where the male had shot.”
Spent rounds were found around 50 yards apart, said to suggest that Summerhill had been firing as he rode along.
The woman’s husband followed the rider and confronted him, with the arrest report saying that he “had been able to see a handgun in one of the pouches on the back of the male’s jersey.”
According to the report, “The male initially denied shooting, but then admitted that he had a bad day and need to vent, so he decided to shoot.”
The driver took video footage as he followed the cyclist and having identified the kit he was wearing as that of the United Healthcare team, looked on its website where he saw a picture of Summerhill and believed he had been the rider in question.
A sheriff’s deputy subsequently met with the cyclist, and wrote in the report: “He confirmed that he had been riding his bicycle in Deer Creek Canyon on a five-hour training ride and had needed to vent before he got back to his vehicle.
“He told me that he had no idea that the area was residential and that it was not OK for him to shoot at the hillside there.”
Summerhill, who is now in his fifth full season with United Healthcare after joining as a stagiaire in August 2012, is due to attend a pre-trial hearing on 12 July.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.