On Thursday evening, a Toronto motorist tried to use their car to pin or hit a cyclist, Nicholas Raimondo. A video posted to twitter showed the driver twice trying to stop or injure the cyclist. The driver of the car swings to the left of the road, then turns sharply back to the right, trying to stop or pin the cyclist against the curb.
After Raimondo continues moving by, the driver repeats the maneuver, swinging out across the road, then turning right back towards the curb. When that doesn’t work, the driver exits his vehicle and appears to chase Raimondo on foot as the video ends.
Thurs in #HighPark a motorist used his vehicle to assault & intimidate a cyclist. These common incidents lay bare the fallacy of the cyclist menace. High Park should be closed to motor vehicles @gordperks. Ticket/charge dangerous drivers @TorontoPolice not cyclists going 24km/h pic.twitter.com/1D8usyhYW6
— The Biking Lawyer (Dave Shellnutt) (@TheBikingLawyer) May 14, 2022
“They were parked on the southbound lane in High Park towards Lakeshore, in a bike lane,” Raimondo explained. “I passed by and didn’t realize the car was there, and then my friend Monet passed by, and saw he was on the phone, parked in the lane. She tried to ring her bell to get his attention. Then finally she tapped his mirror, that continue down the street, ring bell, to get attention, she tapped the mirror to wake up, that ticked him off and he went after me.”
As this was happening, Raimondo was reaching back to turn on his light as it was getting darker, and as that happened the driver came into his blind spot.
“I didn’t know what was going on, but then he started cutting me off. He did it three times,” Raimondo said. “He eventually did hit me, but I was going slow as I knew what was going on. The third time he nudged me onto the sidewalk, but I was protecting myself as my bike made contact with the car.”
By this point, another driver behind them was filming the incident.
“I didn’t want an altercation, I just wanted to get out of there, not be put in a situation like that. My friend engaged with him, they were yelling at each other,” Raimondo said. “I turned to have my friend’s back, by the point he was threatening my friend in front of his own wife and kids. His wife was trying to hold him back.”
At this point, quite a crowd had amassed, with many park goers watching and filming. Monet herself had been hit by a car a few months so she was very upset by the incident. “She’s only been riding a few months so had he come after her, not me, it could have been even worse.” he said. “By that point, to diffuse the situation, I told him to look around and everyone has filmed. Then he gave up. “
Thankfully both riders and their bikes are okay. But it’s a painful reminder of the dangers of riding in Toronto. “I’m from north of Toronto, but every time I come to ride here, I expect incidents like this.” Raimondo will be filing an online report to Toronto Police Services.