The Chainlink

I had something happen today that I've never seen before.

On my way home from work, I was riding in the left lane on Franklin and just before Washington, a guy in a black BMW came up from behind me and almost pinned me between him and a parked taxi. I yelled and he swerved and passed me calling me a pussy- then he stopped about 50 feet ahead at the stoplight.  Here is where things got weird. I passed him on the left just before Randolph and as I passed him, he reached out and tried to grab me. He had to stop at the light again and when he did, he slammed on his breaks and I think he took off his seatbelt and reached into the backseat  and showed me a baseball bat. The whole time continuing to calling me a pussy and hurling gay slurs.

I ride hard, but I'm safe and way more considerate than 90% of people out there. I've also been riding year round since 2003 and have had my share of yelling matches with drivers. As and "older" guy with a family, who has seen a lot,  I've been riding more cautious and safer than ever, but things keep getting weirder out there. This is the first time someone has tried to grab me and the first to threaten me with a baseball bat. 

It's really disheartening, everyone is getting more aggressive and less respectful out there. And more than anything, I kind of feel sorry for a guy who has a baseball bat at the ready in his back seat.

I am assuming that the police can't really do anything. Besides being a giant A-hole and a homophobe, I'm sure the law doesn't really care about his threats like this.  What I am more concerned about is if this guy has a habit of doing this and if he turns those threats into action sometime.  There should be some record of his pattern of threatening behavior.  I am the first to forgive people, and I know that we all make mistakes, but the more I think about this situation, the more concerned I get about this guy actually hurting someone. So is there a place to report this kind of activity?  maybe we should start a threatening driver registry if it doesn't already exist.   in the out for a black BMW SUV with Illinois plates R24 1979 

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File a police report.  It is called assault when it is a credible threat.

Even if there is not an arrest, if he ever is charged in another case, your incident will add to their weight.

It is what got the Emergency Room MD several years in prison for breaking hard in front of two cyclists and injuring them.

I had the same thought. There are certain cars that seem to go hand-in-hand with bad driver behavior. 

It's funny(I'm into the Peanuts Comic) yet sad at the same time.  You can include all SUV and pickup truck drivers also.

It's unfortunate that we've come to just take it for granted that the police/SA will do nothing about these cases of assault on cyclists.

Remember that case with the bearded guy in the Mercedes on Lincoln avenue? What ever happened to that? It seems more like a lack of willpower on the part of law enforcement than an inability to find and prosecute these drivers.

Maybe there needs to be some kind of public awareness campaign to shine a light on all the lax investigation/prosecution of people who commit assault on cyclists.

Whoah. What the hell? The day before your incident, while I was biking to work, I had an unfortunate encounter with a guy in a black BMW. It wasn't an SUV. And the license plate - the rear one at least - simply said SD. And he called me a wuss, not a pussy. But still...

Report it on the Close Call Database. Even if nothing happens, like other posters have mentioned, it adds more evidence if they ever do get caught.

I was not aware that the close call database existed. Thanks for the link!

I agree you should report, but it would not add anything to a prosecution from an evidentiary point of view.

Prosecution, no. However, it will add impetus for police to look in the first place, additional information for witness statements and reactions during sentencing, and allow other cyclists to have an idea of where dangerous drivers are. 

+1 on both the police report and Close Call database.

Thanks everybody. I didn't know the close call database existed either, thank you for sharing.  I think I will probably call the police as well. Everyone has bad days, but this guy has some issues that he needs to address before he ruins his life and whoever is "in his way".


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