Friday, August 19, 2011

Bicyclists Attacked and Harassed In Tampa Bay Recently

In just the last month:

-- On Aug. 18, two St. Pete bicyclists were shot by people in a car with BB guns while biking on the 5 PM ride in St. Petersburg: "If you can offer ANY info on the car, the tag # or of the driver or passenger of the car who shot two of the bicyclists with a BB gun, please do whatever you can to help the SPPD investigate this case by contacting Officer Philip Postle at 727-893-7780. The case number is 2011-50903. The police have bumped the charge up to a felony," Mel Lucas said.

-- On Aug. 17, my Facebook friend Casey tells of the following story -- "One of my co-workers got assaulted by some charming pre-tweens in Tampa while riding her bike home after work two days ago. They pushed her off her bike and took off. Not three blocks from a police station no less. She is now armed with pepper spray, but jeez, these kids evidently have nothing better to do with their time than scaring and hurting people just for fun."

-- Two weeks ago, my bicycle friend Alan told me a motorist tried to jump the curb and run him over while he biked on his mountain bike on a sidewalk.

-- And my friends Rick and Nick and I were cycling early Saturday morning on Swann Avenue in south Tampa when a woman in a Jeep Cherokee SUV honked her horn from a quarter-mile back and came within inches of striking us when she passed, flagrantly violating the law that requires motorists to pass a bicyclist by a minimum berth of three feet.

Folks, the fact is we live in an area where a disturbingly high number of motorists and people endanger bicyclists through downright mean and dangerous criuminal acts and uneducated, inattentive or aggressive driving.

Be vigilant about your safety on the road. If you can, document any illegal behavior directed toward you and report all incidents to police.

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