30 July 2008

Cyclist clings to hood in car attack



Watch out during your home leave, David.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A road rage incident between a bicyclist and a driver ended with the cyclist on the hood of the car and a witness got it on video, according to investigators.

The video, taken on a cell phone, was seized as evidence in the criminal case and Sgt. Brian Schmautz with the Portland Police Bureau confirmed that it was authentic.

“With the victim hanging on to the suspect's windshield wipers, the suspect drove northbound on 58th at a high rate of speed. When the suspect reached Southeast 60th Avenue, he slowed down enough for the victim to get off the car,” Schmautz explained.

It all started a little while earlier near the intersection of SE 58th Avenue and SE Washington Street in Portland, when cyclist Jason Rehnberg, 37, yelled profanities at driver James Millican, 21, and told him to slow down.

Schmautz said at that point, Millican stopped his car and began to chase the victim. Initially, Rehnberg got away, but then a short time later, Millican spotted the cyclist behind him.

“The victim stated that the suspect then backed up in an attempt to hit him with the car. The victim jumped off the bike just before the suspect hit the bike, damaging it,” Schmautz said.

Two witnesses told investigators that they stood in front of Millican’s car, along with Rehnberg, and tried to get his license number.

“As they did so, the suspect drove his car toward the three people. The two witnesses were able to get out of the way, but Rehnberg ended up on the hood of the suspect's car.”

That’s when Schmautz said Millican sped off with Rehnberg on his hood, clutching his windshield wipers to keep from sliding off.

“When the suspect reached Southeast 60th Avenue, he slowed down enough for the victim to get off the car,” Schmautz said.

One witness got video of the cyclist on the hood of the car and gave it to investigators.

Millican was eventually arrested on several charges including attempted assault, DUII, criminal mischief and reckless driving.

1 comment:

David L. said...

Thanks, Michael ... I just got back to Tokyo. While I was in Portland last week there was another incident of a fight between a cyclist and a car passenger (a bike shop employee) who told the cyclist to "ride responsibly, a**@ole, and be sure to wear your f*c#!ng helmet" or something along those lines. ... ended up with the cyclist "keying" a scratch in the side of the car, fist fight, run over bicycle, etc.
But then again you get 10K or 20K cyclists doing their daily commutes and errands and you are bound to end up with a few incidents. At least in Portland the driver is likely to end up being ganged up on by the cyclists, instead of the other way around.