The pitched street battle between cyclists and drivers (and pedestrians) just won't let up! Cyclist Anna Letitia Mumford says that she was punched in the face by a driver yesterday during her evening commute in Brooklyn. Here's her story:

I had just crossed the Manhattan Bridge and was biking south on the bike path on Jay Street. The traffic was backed up, but the bike lane was open. Right in front of me, a car peeled out of the traffic and began to cruise up the bike lane. At Willoughby, the light was red so the car stopped. I tapped on the trunk to let the driver know that I was trying to pass.

As I squeezed past her driver’s side door, I told her she shouldn’t be trying to bypass traffic by driving in the bike lane. On hearing this, she got out of her car, screaming at me for trying to tell her where she could drive and for touching her car. She started to come towards me and I got off my bike. Before I knew what was going on, she swung at me, punching me in the side of my face.

I lifted up my bike to protect myself as she continued to scream at me. At this point, pedestrians pulled her away and a building security guard called the NYPD. I was a little woozy from the punch but I told her she couldn’t leave the scene because I wanted to press charges.

That part didn't go so well, either! After getting checked out in an ambulance ("The impact was to my lip and jaw, I declined to be driven to the hospital for a cat scan."), Mumford says police interviewed her and ultimately discouraged her from pressing charges. No witnesses stayed at the scene, so it was her word against the driver and the other occupants of her vehicle. Mumford says the officer warned her that if she wanted to press charges, the driver could also press charges against her. Responding to an e-mail, Mumford tells us, "I went to the doctor this morning and they ordered an X-ray for my cheek bone."

The kicker comes when Mumford asked the cop if it mattered that the driver had been illegally using the bike lane to avoid traffic at the time, and the officer said it did not, because "people violate traffic laws in the city all the time."So true! And what is up with drivers' feral response whenever anyone dares lay a finger on their motor vehicles? There's something about operating a big, expensive piece of metal that sparks a primal, territorial rage in some drivers. Meanwhile, up in Ontario, a high-profile Attorney General was arrested after killing a cyclist by dragging him in a prolonged, high-speed road rage incident. [Via Streetsblog]