Cyclist Joel Custer is recovering at Cornell Hospital after he was attacked by a half-naked elderly man while biking over the Queensboro bridge yesterday morning. He lost a few teeth and suffered a split lip and possibly a broken jaw that he underwent emergency surgery for yesterday. One reader painted a portrait of the scene which made it sound even worse than that:
The cyclist was hurt extremely severely and almost killed. His face was shattered, and he bled so much that he had to have a hole cut into his neck so he wouldn't asphyxiate on his own blood. This is not funny--just a guy on his way to work. Horrific.
Custer was attacked, seemingly randomly, by 65-year-old Everett Gayle, who police described as an "emotionally disturbed person," and who was taken to Elmhurst Hospital for psychiatric evaluation, and will likely be charged with assault. Many cyclists have previously pointed to the vulnerability of the bike/pedestrian path of the bridge, but expressed shock that the attack happened during the day. Another reader wrote of their experience on the bridge:
Somebody almost caught me by waiting in the shadows at the end of the twisty portion of the Manhattan Bridge on the Manhattan side last July - he was waiting in that spot which always gets that warm draft of subway air & made a grab for my handlebar.
It seems like an incredible lapse in security not to have (effective) surveillance on the bridge's bike paths, given that they'll close them for hours if they find so much as a discarded flashlight.