We've heard about driver vs. bicyclist fights before, but Streetsblog has a really unusual one. Unusual because the bicyclist was charged with criminal mischief for slapping the side of the SUV! From Streetsblog:
[Ray] Bengen, 63, was riding down the Ninth Avenue bike lane on May 21 when he came across the Ford Excursion you see in this photo (curb weight: 7,190 lbs). A long-time city cyclist, Bengen had a green light and wasn't quite sure what to make of the vehicle in front of him. The car wasn't moving and its brake lights were off.
The bike lane on this stretch of Ninth Avenue is part of the city's first on-street protected bike path. At the 20th Street intersection, where Bengen came across the car, there's a left-turn bay for vehicles and an exclusive green phase for cyclists. The Excursion, as you can see, was in the bike lane, not the left-turn bay.
Bengen rode slowly by on the left. Then he sensed the car start to move as he was passing. Alarmed, he slapped the side of the car with his palm in an effort to alert the driver as to his presence. A witness, who Bengen says has agreed to testify in court, snapped three pictures of what happened.
You can see those photos here—and Bengen said, "The driver then went berserk. Talk about road rage. He threw open his door forcing me and my bike to the ground giving me some awful bruising down my leg. As I was now on the ground yelling at him that he's in a bike lane and was just about to run me over, he started to scream at me 'Don't even think about it, don't even think about it.'" Then suddenly the driver stopped, removed the bike from the area near his truck and drove away. Police did arrive at the scene after the dispute.
Then last week, Bengen was called down to the precinct because the "Manhattan DA had filed charges of criminal mischief against him. (The DA's office is also pursuing assault charges against the SUV driver.)" He was handcuffed, fingerprinted and released; Streetsblog was told the Manhattan DA's office plans to offer more details at the hearing next month.