Police in Queensland, Australia have told a cyclist whose ankle was broken after a pedestrian attacked him that they will not be pressing charges against his assailant because the video he provided did not constitute proof of assault.
The incident happened last October in Brisbane’s central business district as James Stevenson cycled to work along the pavement, which cyclists in Queensland are permitted to do unless there are signs forbidding them to do so.
James Stevenson was riding to work in October 2018 when he brushed past a man walking on the footpath.
He brushed past a pedestrian, who then turned around, chased after him and punched him twice, causing Mr Stevenson to fall off his bike and break his ankle, with his foot still clipped into his pedal.
The man said to him: “F*cking get off your bike,” and "Do you want to f*cking have a go?"
In reply, Mr Stevenson said: “You're a big man walking away,” adding, “it's all on camera you w**nker.”
But ABC News, which has footage of the incident reports that no action will be taken against the assailant.
"They said the video evidence was not conclusive that he assaulted me," Mr Stevenson said.
"It's absolutely ridiculous — people can't go around acting like that — I hope they'll [police] reconsider their position."
In a statement, Queensland Police said: In order to commence a proceeding in a criminal jurisdiction it is necessary for police to consider if there is sufficient evidence for each and every element of the alleged offence.
"In this instance the evidence available did not reach that threshold. Both parties have been advised of the outcome."
Anne Savage, CEO of campaign group Bicycle Queensland, said: "We certainly would have liked to see this incident considered by a court.
"We will certainly be seeking to have the decision reviewed — I will speak to the officer in charge at the station.
"I will also write to the Police Minister conveying our extremely serious concerns at the way this has been handled,” she continued.
"We cannot remain silent on these types of incidents."
She added: "I hope never to see anything like this happen again and we certainly expected to see much stronger action," she said.
"We have one of the most aggressive road cultures in the world and it's playing out in ways that are completely unacceptable and that's not just against cyclists, it's also in the road rage that we see every single day."
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.