Fourteen cyclists have reported being targeted in the last week by what they believe is a group of drivers that are intentionally trying to injure them by opening their doors. Fox 11 reports that these attacks took place between Thursday and Sunday in Oakland, Emeryville, and Berkeley. So far, eight people have been hit, and two have been sent to the hospital.
The attackers aren’t sitting parked and opening their doors in what could possibly be construed as an accident. Instead, as seen in the video below, they drive alongside the cyclists and intentionally try to hit them with the passenger door. They’ve also reportedly swerved to hit the cyclists twice without opening the door. The good news is, at least in this one instance, it was caught on video, and the car’s license plate is clearly visible, which should make it easier to catch these assholes. Unless, of course, it’s stolen.
The Oakland Police Department says it’s investigating one of the attacks, but another cyclist who was sent to the hospital with a head injury was reportedly ignored by police and told to call back at a different time. “I have eight stitches and this big gash in my forehead,” Mead told Fox 11. “There was this gray sedan. A passenger on the passenger side opened the door and slowed down the car. My bike rammed right into it. I fell to the ground. They drove away. As they drove away they were laughing.”
While a number of the reports mention the gray Hyundai in the above video, a blue hatchback has also been reported to have been involved in a similar attack, and a light blue SUV hit cyclist Watson Ladd. “This is very scary. It’s criminal. I mean the people doing it should really think about the consequences here,” said Ladd. “They pulled ahead after the roundabout. As they passed they opened their door smacking me in the shoulder and just drove off. They opened the door knowing I was there. They deliberately tried to kill me.”
Hopefully, the people behind these attacks are caught quickly. Because, seriously, fuck these people. If you don’t like cyclists, that’s fine. You’re allowed to have your opinion. Advocate for protected bike lanes so cars and bikes don’t have to interact as frequently. But intentionally hitting someone with your car is still a crime.