British Columbia

Cyclist and driver square off in Vancouver streets

A Vancouver cyclist is furious police have not laid charges against the driver who allegedly drove him off the road and assaulted him last week in what appears to be a case of road rage.

Cyclist Edward Hoey claims a driver assaulted him for not using a designated bike lane

Cyclist vs driver

10 years ago
Duration 2:20
A cyclist and driver square off in Vancouver streets

A Vancouver cyclist is furious police have not laid charges against the driver who allegedly drove him off the road and assaulted him last week in what appears to be a case of road rage. 

Edward Hoey says he was riding his bicycle down Georgia Street around 4 p.m. PT on Jan. 24 when he stopped in the left-hand turning lane for a red light.

When the light turned green and Hoey started making the turn, he claims the motorist behind him started honking his horn and revving his engine.

Vancouver cyclist Edward Hoey says he was assaulted by a motorist as he was making a left-hand turn off of Georgia Street. (CBC)

"He just started yelling at me about not being in the bike lane — I presume on Hornby Street — and was driving erratically, swerving into me," says Hoey.

Hoey says this caused him to crash his bicycle into the sidewalk. He got off his bicycle and approached the vehicle to confront the driver about what happened.

"He was making threats at me at this point in time, indicating that he had martial arts experience and could take me down," says Hoey.

"He did pull my hand into the car. I managed to free it, and in freeing it pulled some papers out from his passenger side seat and threw them on the sidewalk."

Hoey said the motorist then tried to drive his vehicle into him, before getting out of his car and twisting Hoey's arm behind his back.

That's when Hoey says a handful of witnesses pulled the motorist off of him, and police were called to investigate. 

Police determined that both men were at fault, and that Hoey had allegedly tried to damage the driver's vehicle.

"This is an example of a cyclist and a driver of a car not seeing eye-to-eye on the rules of the road or what's happening on the roadway," said Sgt. Randy Fincham with the Vancouver Police Department.

"At this point, there are no charges being laid. We are still waiting for a couple witnesses to come forward to provide statements, but we think we have a pretty good idea of what happened in this event."

Photos and video posted online

A series of photos of the altercation popped up on Facebook in an album entitled "Please share- Violent assault on cyclist in Vancouver". The album has 25 photos and has been shared more than 400 times.

The photos are of the final moments of the incident, according to a police statement.

"This is unfortunate, as the photos appear to paint an incomplete picture of the event," reads the statement, adding investigators will look at the photographs as part of their investigation.

Personal injury lawyer David Hay says he has dealt with confrontations between cyclists and drivers "at almost every intersection in Vancouver" and, based on what he knows about this case, police should be laying charges.

"Someone's clearly been assaulted and I don't think provocation is a reason not to lay charges," says Hay.

"Charges ought to have been rendered. An assault is an assault, quite apart from whether it involves a cyclist."

Cyclists are not required to use bike lanes in Vancouver. 

Hoey says he was using Georgia Street because it is "essentially impossible to make a left-hand turn without using the two pedestrian sidewalks from Hornby Street onto Dunsmuir."

He says he did, however, move into a bike lane once he was on Dunsmuir Street

CBC News could not reach the motorist for comment because his identity has not been released.

The blog Vancity Buzz published a cellphone video of the incident on YouTube on Tuesday morning. 

With files from CBC's Dan Burritt and Natalie Clancy