Cyclist who allegedly assaulted pregnant woman shares his story
Published Sunday, October 11, 2015 5:22PM PDT
Last Updated Sunday, October 11, 2015 6:53PM PDT
The cyclist accused of assaulting a pregnant woman in a case of bike rage is sharing his story.
The man, who asked to remain anonymous because he’s frightened for his safety, told CTV News that he “deeply regrets the accident” but was not intentionally trying to hit Mandy Pappas with his bike Friday night.
Pappas, who is five-month-pregnant, was heading to a Kitsilano school to cast her advance ballot when she says a cyclist blew past a stop sign at the intersection of Cypress Street and York Avenue. When she yelled at the biker, he allegedly began charging towards her.
"He basically comes right at me, and I'm screaming, 'What are you doing?'”, Pappas says. “I had time to grab the handlebars and the bike came right through me basically and I had push back and then I just fell back down and the bike partly fell on top of me."
The bicyclist fell down as well, and Pappas said she grabbed his backpack to keep the cyclist from getting away.
Now the cyclist is sharing an entirely different point of view in an email statement shared with CTV News on Sunday.
"I decelerated. I cannot recall if I came to a full stop. I quickly re-accelerated. I saw a woman crossing the street on foot in front of me,” he wrote.
"I was not aware of any wrongdoing so I turned around to talk to her... I was accelerating quickly and my intention was to come to a sudden stop right next to her...I realize now that it could have seem to her that I was trying to intentionally hit her…This was not my intention. I deeply regret the accident."
Vancouver police confirm the cyclist came to speak with officers on his own, and provided a statement. The incident remains under investigation.
Cyclist advocate and executive director of Hub Cycling Erin O’Melinn says altercations between cyclists and pedestrians are happening more often because of the increase of bikers on the road.
"We're starting to add some of that important infrastructure but we're not adding all of that education,” she says. “Cycling overall is really safe, it's quite healthy, it connects people more socially to their communities, so I think there are a lot of benefits there - and these are kind of touch points we are seeing."
As for Pappas’ recovery, doctors confirmed the baby will be okay. Shaken and bruised, she told CTV News on Saturday that she planned to press charges against the cyclist.
"I really want to see some change done,” Pappas says. “I mean, I was assaulted. It's one thing for him to be blowing a stop sign but to be assaulted is to be taking it to another level."
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Julie Nolin