Video shows 74-year-old driver punch cyclist in face

Road rage incident in North Carolina goes viral on YouTube

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Road Rage in North Carolina

Claude Donald Watson was charged with assault and reckless driving.

The latest incident of a cyclist being targeted with violence by a motorist comes from Asheville, North Carolina. In the video below caught by a commercial vehicle that just happened upon the scene, an unnamed rider gets sucker punched in the face by a driver that the Asheville Citizen Times reported to be Claude Donald Watson. The 74-year-old was later charged with assault and reckless driving to endanger. The video was obtained by the organization Asheville on Bikes, which posted it to YouTube where it currently has over 135,000 views.

According to a report from The Charlotte Observer, witnesses said the motorist became angry while trying to pass the rider in a construction zone. The motorist allegedly attempted to run the cyclist off the road just before the assault was recorded. The only words spoken were said after the punches were thrown, when the driver said, “Get off the f*#king road.”

Two people stopped to help the biker, including a woman who got out and shook her fist at the suspect, prompting him to drive off. Watson told the Observer that the incident erupted when the bicyclist “got in the middle of the road” and refused to let anyone pass.

“I wasn’t trying to run him down. If I was going to do that, I’d have done it a mile back,” Watson said. “And when I did get by him, he was a cursing and flipped me the bird. You know what that is? I don’t like nobody a cursing me and stuff. I don’t know what was wrong with him.”

Back atcha, Mr. Watson. Perhaps it’s time for a little anger management counseling…

About the author: RoadBikeReview is an online community of cyclists who share a passion for the sport. Visitors of the site regularly purchase gear to upgrade their bikes, share inspiring photos of rides, and keep up to date with the latest industry and technology news. Which products perform best? Where to buy them? Where to ride? How to ride better? Cyclists come to for the answers.

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  • James Hoyle says:

    Yes, it is always best to blame the victim. In Cali, it is legal for bicyclists to use the whole lane that they are in and motorists must also give a minimum of three feet clearance when passing. And bikers still get hit and killed all the time. I do agree that there are a lot of Type ‘A’ personalities riding road bikes that create animosity in motorists. I’ll stick to the dirt, thanks.

    • John says:

      I agree 100%, unfortunately the dopes around here don’t realize that the cyclist also owns the whole lane, that’s why I stick to the woods too, the trees only now and again jump at me.

  • Len Wilkinson says:

    It is heartening to note that of the one miscreant there were at least two who came to the aid of the cyclist. One was the driver with the video recording and the other was the woman who was shaking her fist. We do have friends out there who greatly outnumber the selfish who think they alone own the road. If only the bad actors could have their IQ of 2 further reduced with a frontal lobotomy.

  • Bruce Anderson says:

    When the guy got out of the truck, I think you’d better get off your bike. Glad you’re alright dude. That lady was decent, too. Asheville, ummh, I had a different image of the population.

  • Butch says:

    Some drivers don’t like cyclists on the road legally or not. Some people are just angry from the time they get out of bed in the morning to the time they go to bed at night. One thing for sure, be nice to drivers, no matter what. They are on a much bigger and heavier vehicle than a cyclist. If you have someone that wants to get by you in a hurry (you can tell who they are) help them get by as fast as possible. Above all, smile and act friendly. That doesn’t work all the time, but it does most of the time. Ride safe.

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