More details emerge of Australian road rage attack – but raise another question

Cyclist revealed to have keyed vehicle shortly beforehand - but no report of what led to himj doing that

More details have emerged of the background to an incident in Melbourne, Australia in which the driver of an SUV deliberately rammed a cyclist off the road – although it appears  the full story remains untold

The footage, shot in December last year, went viral this week when it was published online by campaign group the Australian Cycle Alliance, with the story picked up by press outlets around the world.

> Video: Melbourne driver swerves into cyclist and rams him off the road

Now, Daily Mail Australia reports that the cyclist involved, 29-year-old Jack McDonnell, had keyed Michael Giarrusso's Nissan Patrol shortly beforehand.

At Melbourne Magistrates' Court in August, McDonnell admitted criminal damage with intent to damage or destroy. He was put in a programme for first-time offender as part of which he wrote a letter apologising to the motorist.

Giarrusso, aged 27 and with previous convictions for unspecified offences, was subsequently fined A$1,000 (£533) for recklessly causing injury as a result of his retaliation.

Police meanwhile are said to be investigating a post to a Facebook group earlier this week in which McDonnell allegedly posted details of Giarrusso’s name, home address and phone number, which has since been disconnected.

While the latest revelations throw some light on why Giarrusso was so enraged that he felt compelled to use his vehicle to knock McDonnell off his bike – which he then threw over a fence – it leaves another question unanswered, namely what happened beforehand to make the cyclist take a key to the car in the first place?

Edward Hore, president of the Australian Cycle Alliance, told Daily Mail Australia: “Nothing can excuse the recklessness of the driver. Nothing justifies the attack and the brutality.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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