A cyclist from Kent has told of how a driver whom he described as being dressed like a character from the cult 1980s film The Blues Brothers tried to strangle him with his own helmet strap during a road rage incident, causing him to sustain whiplash as he struggled to free himself.
Keith Patrick also told Kent Online that he believes the driver had been drinking prior to the incident, which happened in between Birchington-on-Sea and Westgate-on-Sea in the Thanet district of the county.
He has been left unimpressed by the response from police when he reported the incident, and hopes that the description of the man and his car can help track him down through social media.
He said that the motorist, whose age he estimates as in his mid-60s, made a dangerous overtake on him, the driver forcing him onto the kerb as he tried to avoid an oncoming vehicle, and the pair then exchanged words.
The driver then opened the door of his light blue Mazda MX5 convertible, causing Mr Patrick to crash.
Mr Patrick said of the driver: “He became very aggressive. The smell of alcohol was overpowering, so I tried to restrain him as best as I could.
“My feet were still clipped into the pedals. I could barely move so I tried to just keep him in the car.
“He grabbed hold of the back of my helmet and started pulling it down, strangling me with the strap.”
The incident happened as the cyclist was feeling tired as he rode home from a trip on the Viking Bay Coastal Trail, and he said that “after being out for three hours I was fearing the worst.
“I had to yank my head free to save myself from passing out. I did it with such force that I’ve even been prescribed painkillers for whiplash.
“As I’m trying to recover, he says ‘I know I’m not going to win this’ before going completely quiet and fleeing the scene.”
Reflecting on the incident, Mr Patrick said, “I keep thinking to myself ‘why didn’t I do this or that?’.
“I’ve been waking up in the early hours of the morning wishing I’d taken his keys or done something differently.”
He phoned Kent Police when he returned home, but said he was left with the impression that “the police don’t care” about what happened.
“I rang 999, they took a brief statement, and said I’d be allocated with a crime number," he explained.
“24 hours later, I’d heard nothing back, so I rang 101. I waited for two hours to speak to someone with no luck.
“The police don’t seem to care. I’ve visited the station twice, and all I get back are excuses about why they can’t do more.”
As for the clothes his assailant was wearing, Mr Patrick said: “He looked like a Blues Brother. He was about 65 years old, wearing a black tie and jacket, black glasses and a black hat. It wasn't the type of outfit you'd forget quickly.
“I’m hoping through the power of social media, we can track down my attacker,” he added. “He can’t get away with it.”
A spokesman for Kent Police told Kent Online that the force “is investigating a report that a cyclist was assaulted following a collision with a car in Sea Road, Westgate, between 3.30pm and 4pm on Thursday, October 6.
“Anyone who witnessed the incident or has dashcam or private CCTV footage taken in the area should call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting 46/194786/22.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.