A Portland man faces the serious charge of second-degree assault after an alleged attack on a Portland bike rider that resulted in an Oregon bicycle accident, according to The Oregonian.
The incident took place early Tuesday morning as Joe Santos, a Portland police sergeant, was riding his bike to work along Northwest Cornell Road. Santos told investigating officers after the incident that an SUV nearly hit him, then, inexplicably, “about a block later, the driver stopped so suddenly that Santos had to veer into oncoming traffic.” Santos “slapped” the SUV to try to alert it to his presence, and was rewarded with the car abruptly stopping, going into reverse and trying to hit him. When Santos tried go grab his bike and flee to the safety of the sidewalk the SUV allegedly went after him yet again – hitting the bike, but missing the rider.
Fortunately Santos, though shaken, was able to get the license plate of the SUV. Later that day police took a suspect into custody, the newspaper reports, citing police sources.
In Portland, of all places, we should not need to remind drivers that bicycles are vehicles and have as much right as a car to be on most roadways (there are few exceptions – interstate highways, for example). The fact that, in this case, the alleged victim, was a policeman on his way to work ought to make no difference: assaulting a cyclist with a car is dangerous, wrong and against the law, no matter who the bike rider is. Oregon fatal bike accidents can result from this sort of behavior. Even non-fatal accidents can result in serious, sometimes permanent, Portland bike accident injuries.
A Portland bike accident lawyer can be an injured rider’s most important ally in the wake of an incident such as the one that allegedly came close to killing Officer Santos. Our reputation as one of America’s most bike-friendly cities will mean little if we are not willing to make it clear to drivers that certain types of behavior are simply unacceptable.