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…