Marcel Zierfuss, one of the top juniors in the ’90s in Canada, and later an elite cyclist in Europe was cycling in High Park when a Toyota Corolla passed him. According to David Shellnut, unprovoked, the occupant began driving erratically and shouting expletives about cyclists being entitled and not stopping at stop signs.
Shellnutt explains that the motorist then began to turn his car into Zierfuss’s path. Zierfuss then yelled at the man and moved past his vehicle. The man sped after Marcel then abruptly pulled in front of him and slammed on the brakes.
The cyclist and his bicycle smashed into the rear of the car. His bike was damaged, and blood poured from his nose. The driver sped off into the night. Shellnutt, also known as The Biking Laywer, said the rider suffered a serious concussion, nose injury and whiplash.
“I understand that it goes both ways and that cyclists need to also play their role, and be respectful. But is this how we want to deal with it, by putting another human into the back of a car intentionally?” Zierfuss posted after the assault. “Is it worth another person’s life? Time to get perspective.”
Toronto Police are investigating the matter and Shellnutt has sent a letter to Toronto Mayor John Tory to dial back t the ongoing cyclist enforcement crackdown in High Park. The police began ticketing cyclists in 2021, but the last few weeks has seen a massive increased in police presence in the park. Shelnutt believes this has led to false narratives that have emboldened motorists and others to target people on bikes, such as the recent creation of a Facebook group to report cyclists in the park.