Attacked by SUV

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Willie
Participant
#

I want to report a incident that happened to me yesterday day in hopes of getting some help and advice. I was riding to work yesterday morning thru downtown on smithfield street. I was at the second to last light before the left hand turn onto Liberty ave> The light was red and as soon as it turned green before I could even pedal the lady in a SUV behind me started honking her horn at me like crazy. So my gf and I Ride to the next light(its red btw)and stop. The lady in the SUV pulls up so close that her truck is less than 2 inches from my back wheel. So I turn around and ask her if she has a problem and she tells me yes that last light was green and I was just sitting there. Well after a brief exchange of words I tell her to “Fuck off” and I then ride thru the red light and go left onto Liberty ave. I get to the next red light and stop. Next thing I now this lady blows thru the red light and pulls up next to me and yells at me then suddenly turns into me purposely running me into the curb and a light pole, Running over my back wheel also. I did break her rear view mirror of because I grabbed it trying to keep my self from falling under her SUV. She then continued to try and hit me multiple time while telling me to stay put while she called the cops. Now I now the best thing to do is call the cops but the be honest I had the shit scared out of me and I just grabbed my bike and ran like hell. Me and my gf got to 9th street and headed over the bridge. She tried to follow us but there where cars on 9th street that blocked her. I didnt know if this lady was gonna try to kill me or what. So we stop on the other side of the bridge and then call the cops. First of all the operater was pretty rude. I told him i was downtown on the other side of the bridge. He got pretty annoyed and made sure to let me now thats the north side not downtown. So after dealing with this rude prick for tens minuted its decided that the officers will meet me at work which is as washingtons landing under the 31st street bridge. Well I get to work 2 hours go buy no cop. I call 911 again and wait another 2 hours with nothing. I call a 3rd time. Now the operator tells me the call had been canceled but no idea why. Well finally a hour later a officer shows up. At first she seemed like she didnt want to be bothered and was complaining that this wasent even her area. But after a few minutes of hearing what happened and seeing my messed up bike she became alot more friendly. She made the report and that was about it. She did call me back about a hour later and told me the car that hit me was registered to a man in monroeville and that they where calling the police there to send a unit to his house to question him. That was the last I heard. Anyway if anyone has had a similar incident happen to them and can help me out some id really appreciate it. Also if anyone has a nice rear 26 inch wheel that would fit on my cannondale for sale or trade please please contact me. Im a regular working stiff and cant afford the REI prices. Thanks everyone for reading and watch out for those maniacs out there.


Willie
Participant
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Sorry I forgot to mention my cannondale is a mountain bike, plus the only mode of transportation I have. Unfortunately im missing work today because my bike is not rideable and Im kinda sore and bruised up.


eMcK
Participant
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Put this woman in jail. I don’t even know what else to say. Holy shit. Glad you are OK.

I might have a wheel. How many gears you running?


rsprake
Participant
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Second road rage incident in a few days. Sorry this happened to you.

As for your wheel I am sure you can hit up free ride.


Willie
Participant
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Eric im running 7 gears in my rear wheel. The gears are ok its just the rim thats bent to shit. I am going to do any end everything I can to try and get this lady prosecuted. I have a giant resentment for ppl that put others life in danger just to get somewhere a few seconds sooner. Unfortunately I cant slam her head in car door over and over which is what i really think she deserves.


brian j
Participant
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Wow, that’s crazy. I hope the police sort this out properly.

About a month ago, I saw a bit of road rage that left my mouth agape–I was waiting for the light at Stanton and Negley, and a woman in a car was honking at the car in front of her. She got out and started JUMPING ON THE HOOD of the other car. There are just some really angry people on the road, I think, and they’re looking for any opportunity to express that anger. Be careful out there, regardless of your mode of transportation.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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Man, sorry to hear about all that. Best of luck.

Seriously, what is with 911 around here? I have had several instances of not knowing exactly what township I was in, despite knowing the road and general location. I’ve been yelled at too.


Willie
Participant
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Does anyone know how i can contact the bike czar? Or anyone else I should report this too?


eMcK
Participant
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Maybe PAT and 911 share some employee training practices?

I’ve got a wheel you can use until you get some thing else. Or I’ll sell it cheap. Pretty nice older wheel too.

You can PM me or email to set something up.

eric -AT- dirtragmag.com


Willie
Participant
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oh man you said it. I used to live in mt lebo and had to take my bike on the T daily. Some of the worst mornign of my life have been dealing with PAT workers


erok
Keymaster
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another monroeville suv road rage driver. what’s in the water out there?

can we just get them to stay in monroeville?


rsprake
Participant
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Suburbanites can’t handle the stresses of city driving. By the time they get into the city through one of the tunnels where traffic was backed up for four miles from all the other suburbanites driving into town to enjoy the city they then have to deal with narrow streets, pedestrians and cyclists oh my!


willlliamo
Participant
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What trash.


Lyle
Participant
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Do you have the license plate number? I can’t see any reason not to post it.

I had a little shouting incident of my own this morning, incidentally. I stopped at a red light, go figure. Grant & Liberty, and it was “orange” when I stopped. yellow on the cusp of red. I think the guy behind me had been planning to run it, and was freaked out that I had stopped. At any rate, he starts screaming “get outta the goddamn road!!”

I actually stayed calm, didn’t scream back — though perhaps I might have raised my voice to be heard? Not sure. I pointed at the red light, said “the light’s red”. He screams some more “yeah, but I can go!” and he’s slamming his hands on the wheel and I see he’s signalling a right turn. (I’ve had this sort of thing happen before — motorists don’t expect other straight-through motorists to move out of the lane so they can turn right on red, but when it’s a cyclist…)

I pointed at the “No Turn On Red” sign and said “there’s no right on red here”. He looks up, still slamming his hands on the wheel and then says “yeah, okay, I’m wrong, I’m wrong.”

He calms down a bit, takes a breath, and then starts screaming again! “Still! Get outta the damn road!!”

I said, as calmly as I could “Don’t worry, I’ll be out of your way as soon as the light turns green.” He said “Okay”, and, a few seconds later, I was.

He seemed like a reflective sort of guy, probably will be fine once he’s had a chance to think about what an idiot he was. Sorry, no plate number.


Willie
Participant
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I will post the plate number and description once I get the police report. I didnt even think to do that but it makes sense so others can stay clear of this wacko


Dave
Participant
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@lyle: I think that’s the most encouraging “bad traffic encounter” experience I’ve ever heard. Kudos.


Willie
Participant
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ok small update, I just called the police to see if they was a update about my case. The officer that answered the phone told me if it happened yesterday theres not gonna be any new info yet but he didnt even want to know what happened or to get the case number from me. So pretty much im guessing I’m fucked here and the cops are useless fat slobs


willlliamo
Participant
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definitely don’t give up, your tax dollars pay for these people’s jobs. it’s your right to demand it


bstephens
Participant
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Unacceptable… the way you described it she was intent on hurting you or worse… unacceptable. Car or bike, fist or knife… unacceptable.


Swalfoort
Participant
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In response to Lyle’s comments. Drivers on Liberty Avenue don’t seem to care about “no right on red” signs. I was in a CAR at the light at Liberty and Ninth, and opted to obey the no right on red sign. The car behind me honked several times. Then he AND THE CAR BEHIND him, pulled out around me, into the left lane, and turned right in front of me. The funniest part, for me, was that I was only two cars behind them at the light at Ninth and Fort Duquesne. All that illegality gained them about 30 feet over two blocks.


Lyle
Participant
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I’d really like to have a description of this vehicle. I ride or walk through downtown every day and it would be nice to know who to look out for. BTW, I did see a black Nissan SUV this morning on Smallman St.

Willie, weren’t there witnesses? That’s a pretty busy part of town in the morning. And nobody intervened or called 911? Holy Kitty Genovese.


Nick D
Participant
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Have you ever been to Monroeville/Plum? I grew up there, and work there now. I am not the least bit surprised with these drivers. I also was a mobile electronics tech for years and have dealt with many suburban SUV drivers–they are a breed of their own.

I think Willie and “djrbikes” need to contact the local news media. I think these stories could make a great head story.


Willie
Participant
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There where ppl all around but she kept tryign to hit me with her car so I got as far away as I could as fast as I could. And to be honest noone tried to help me or even ask me if i was alright.


Lyle
Participant
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Use caution when dealing with the news media. If you don’t know exactly what the story is that you want to tell, then they will tell their own story, and it may very well not be the story you want.


conneeps
Participant
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Don’t get me wrong…I agree with all the posts here that the driver is in the wrong for using the car as a deadly weapon and intending to injure.

However, at the same time, as cyclists and people we have the responsibility to not escalate the situation any more than we need to.

Reading the description of the events, if the unfolded exactly as described, prior to the cyclist asking the driver (in what I’m sure was not a pleasant tone) if they ‘had a problem’, all the driver had done was honk and pull up behind them close. While annoying, they were not touching or even engaging the cyclist verbally. How many times have you had another car honk at you when you were driving a car? Do you lean out the driver window every time and ask the honker if they ‘have a problem’?

Obviously the cyclist was dealing with an unstable personality, so even though a subsequent exchange of words occured, the cyclist admits they told the driver to ‘fuck off’. Nothing illegal, but you’re also dealing with an unstable person. You have no way of knowing that until you flip that switch with a few well-placed curse words and then they snap.

Again…the driver bears the large large majority of the responsibility. However, I think we’d be remiss if at the same time we don’t acknowledge that it is in all of our power as a cyclist to avoid or diffuse these situations by not escalating them with aggressive or vulgar talk toward the driver. You may very well be in the right, but someday you’re going to run into someone unstable like Willie did.


willlliamo
Participant
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1 psychotically angry monkey has a several tons of automobile, 1 mildly angry monkey does not. stay away!


erok
Keymaster
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<emHow many times have you had another car honk at you when you were driving a car?

while i agree that escalating the situation rarely, if ever, comes out good, i don’t follow your analogy. this driver was honking at them for being there, ie their right to exist. i’ve rarely been honked at in a car for doing what i’m supposed to do, and if i am, i get upset


Nick D
Participant
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I somewhat agree with conneeps, but I think it is also important to take a stand *sometimes*. I think someone people don’t know/don’t realize what they are doing, or that cyclists do have rights (and some that drivers do not have, like passing on the right side).

Now, I do think in some cases it is important, to recognize when a situation isn’t just a verbal argument.

I think above all you need to look out for yourself–your rights and your safety.


Willie
Participant
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Some ppl saying that I shouldent of said anything to her might be right but I also feel I have rights just like ppl in cars do. I am not sure but I also think it might be illegal for her to get her car as close to me as she did. When your at a red light how much distance are you supposed to keep between you and a bike/car in front of you. I’m guessing its more than 2 inches. God I hope it is


Nick D
Participant
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My guess is it would fall under wreckless driving.


Lyle
Participant
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conneeps, pulling up close to a pedestrian or cyclist and honking is not “just honking”. It is illegal, and it is menacing.


conneeps
Participant
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I’m an avid cyclist and commute via bike to town at times. I live in a city neighborhood and am well-aware of the pitfalls and personalities we encounter. So, I understand the points and I;m not disagreeing as much as maybe giving us, as the cycling community something to think about.

I’m just saying than in situations like this, sometimes we can all do ourselves a favor and not respond at all, if all that is going to come out of it is a slew of cursing, something argumentative and not constructive. We’re not going to educate someone on cyclist rights or the law by berating them or initiating a belligerent public scene.

Sometimes I feel like we almost ‘look’ to be wronged by motorists so we can lash out for the frustration we all experience because our many similar past experiences. Would Willie’s situation have not escalated had he just bit his toungue? Maybe no…but when we do lash out, it’s a fair assumption that the other is going to respond in kind. Hopefully, not violently.


Willie
Participant
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Well it seems like everyone would have a different way of handing this. I chose to confront the person that was endangering me and it came to me telling her to “fuck off” but not till after she called me every name in the book. To be honest if it happened again id make a stand for myself again. Now I’m not gonna get mad at every person in a car behind me beeping. But if they are gonna get so close to me that it unsafe then I feel i have every right


willlliamo
Participant
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I agree in theory with conneeps, but having been cut off illegally and honked at the other day and yelling a very loud ‘fuck off, asshole’ at the guy, i can’t pretend to practice what he preaches.

it all happens very very fast and it’s hard to keep your cool, especially if you’re going 15+mph on your bike with your heart and adrenaline pumping.

Now the other day downtown, a woman opened her cardoor in my path and i was able to just barely swerve around it. I turned around and yelled “watch what you’re doing, you’re going to kill some one!”…I think it had a good effect because she looked scared to death and guilty that somebody had got in her face. She really did almost kill me though.


reddan
Keymaster
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I feel i have every right

So do they. That’s the problem in a nutshell.


Willie
Participant
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I dont feel I have the right to endanger people. So I dont


scott
Keymaster
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Glad you’re ok. You need to press charges. Call us anytime and we’ll help you out 412.325.4334. Also I have a 7pd rear cassette (NIB) if you need one.


Dave
Participant
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I feel i have every right

So do they. That’s the problem in a nutshell.

@reddan: but that’s relativism taken to an extreme. The right to threaten someone with a car is different than the right to respond to someone who is threatening you.

There’s also the power discrepancy of physics: car kills bike, bike does not kill car. Cars have a a great deal more responsibility morally and in some ways legally (at the very least the need for a license is a recognition of their danger). Of course that also means that smart cyclists should try to de-escalate.


ftPeter
Participant
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Glad to hear you’re ok. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having such trouble getting a response from the police. Contact a lawyer for a consultation. It shouldn’t cost more than $50 bucks (some are cheaper) and take more than 30 minutes. They can definitely help you determine your options and assist you in getting your report filed properly.


Lyle
Participant
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I agree with conneeps, actually. I just wanted to be clear on who bore the ultimate responsibility.

But to digress a bit, williamo:

i was able to just barely swerve around it.

Whoa, dude. Dana Laird, Cambridge, 2002. Swerved around a car door and was killed by a bus. Happens far too often. I’ve got a macabre little list of these things somewhere.

Thought experiment: You’re riding along near some parked cars. A door opens in front of you suddenly. Do you (a) eat the door, or (b) swerve out in front of the car next to you?

Either way doesn’t matter — you lose. So change the rules. Don’t be there. Ride at least three feet left of the parked cars, more if one of them is a full-sized pickup truck or a 70s Cadillac coupe.

And if you simply must ride in the door zone, at least do it at speeds under 10 mph. That way hitting the door won’t hurt so bad.

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