A cyclist described as a “nutjob” has received a suspended prison sentence after threatening another rider and attacking him with D-locks as well as stamping on his bike on London’s CS3, the capital’s flagship cycle route that runs along the north side of the Thames.
Michael Reyes, the victim, took footage of the shocking incident on a helmet-mounted camera, and has posted a video to YouTube now the court case has been concluded, with the footage flagged to road.cc by Mike van Erp, whose videos posted under the name Cycling Mikey have secured the conviction of hundreds of motorists for a range of driving offences.
In the description to the video, Mr Reyes says that the unnamed perpetrator was convicted at City of London Magistrates’ Court with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour causing fear of or provoking violence, an offence under section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986, and with criminal damage to property valued under £5,000, contrary to the Criminal Damage Act 1971.
The incident on 17 July 2020 started shortly before the Blackfriars underpass on CS3 as both cyclists headed westward, with the perpetrator apparently dropping back before catching up with the victim again at a red light just before the ramp up to the junction at the northern end of Blackfriars Bridge.
Mr Reyes said: “Last July I had started playing around with different places to mount a camera to record my bike rides. On one fateful day I chose to test it mounted to my helmet. Little did I know how much that would save me just a few hours later.
“On this day the weather was fantastic so I left work about an hour early so I could get a nice long ride in before I commuted home. Unfortunately I only made it about a half mile from my office when I was verbally abused and attacked by another cyclist.
“At first I thought the rant was amusing because I had the camera on my head pointing right at him so I assumed he was just trying to be entertaining but when he pointed out my accent and how it's a problem I realised it maybe wasn't very funny so I tried to just get away.
“He catches back up with me at the next red light and attempts to attack me with two different D-locks. I manage to defend myself and he runs off. I step away from the scene to apologise to those around me when he comes back to my bike and stomps on it, bending the fork, frame, wheel, and disc brake. Luckily as he flees he is stopped by a member of the City of London Police.”
In his text commentary to the video, Mr Reyes said that the police officer “took our statements, witness statements, and called for additional officers.
“No arrests were made on the day,” he continued. “I specifically said I didn’t think it was necessary.
“Only after reviewing the footage when I got home did I realise he could have really hurt me.
“By October 2020 the investigating officer asked him to come in for an interview. He didn’t.
“A warrant was put out for his arrest and by mid-January 2021 he was finally arrested.”
He was charged with the offences in February, and pleaded not guilty to them at an initial hearing in late March, which the trial taking place in August.
Mr Reyes said that once the case went to trial, the defence “rested completely on the belief that his locks supposedly fell out of his pockets as he pulled alongside me and I allegedly grabbed them to hit him. The damage to my bike was supposedly caused by it falling to the ground.
“I know defence lawyers need to represent their client as best as possible but their claims were asinine when viewing the video evidence put forward,” he said.
The offences of which the defendant was convicted carry maximum penalties, on summary conviction (ie at magistrates’ court), of six months’ imprisonment or a fine in the case of threatening behaviour and three months’ imprisonment for property damage.
Mr Reyes added: “Luckily the City of London Magistrates’ Court agreed with me and he was found guilty and eventually sentenced to 26 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, 20 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, and ordered to compensate me for my bike.”
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.