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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My family took a mini-vacation in state over the Labor Day weekend. We were coming back through town, less than 10 minutes from the house, on late Monday afternoon. Due to limited road options, it is essentially guaranteed than we will have to pass though one or more areas frequented by vagrants of one type or another. I was driving, with my son in the passenger seat, wife behind me, and daughter behind my son.

As we approached an intersection on a green light, I observed a person on a BMX style bike messing around in the crosswalk. I started to slow, but the person moved out of the roadway and onto the sidewalk. I continued to drive forward, again having the green light right-of-way, with the crosswalks showing orange hands. As we started to enter the intersection, the person- a disheveled looking 20 something black male, lurched his bike back into the roadway, forcing me to slam on brakes and apply horn simultaneously.

We came to a full stop in the middle of the intersection. The biker pulled along the passenger side of the vehicle, screaming, and striking the closed passenger windows of my son and daughter with his fists. I began to slowly pull forward, but the biker continued to move next to the vehicle, and escalating his volume, strike intensity, and even contacting the lower part of my vehicle with the bike. I was concerned about running him over with the back wheel, but the continued aggression warranted a quick departure from the scene. As I drove away, starting up the nearby hill, he tried to pursue, but quickly gave-up and pulled out a cell phone to no doubt video our license plate.

At the top of the hill, we turned onto a cross street in front of the elementary school I attended as a child, called 911, and let them know what had just occurred. We continued home without incident, and I called the police non-emergency number back about 20 minutes later requesting a supervisor call me to discuss when the adrenalin dump had worn-off. The family was scared, particularly my 10 year old daughter, with the guy right outside her window, but recovered quickly. A sergeant contacted me to chat, said no other calls had been received, and said that I handled everything perfectly.

A few thoughts on the encounter:

  • The biker did not like that I challenged his privilege by assuming to have right-of-way on a green light.
  • Breaking contact is always a good option.
  • Being first to call 911 is a good idea.
  • I did not want to become the lead story on CNN, but I wonder if biker guy realizes he was starting to check the boxes, especially if he broke a window, directly attacked one of my family members in the car, and we were unable to easily get away.
  • We don’t own a dash cam system, but that might be a good idea for Christmas.

I am sure somebody with say using the horn escalated the situation, but I will use the horn when somebody cuts in front me in traffic, no matter what. The local LEO completely agreed that honking was appropriate given the circumstances, and also appreciated not having to deal with "White SUV Driver Shoots Unarmed Black Bicyclist" aftermath.

Your input?

Thanks,

Hunter
 

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It would have been great to grab his handle bars and see how well he pedals at 90 mph.
 

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No accidents. No cyclist run over and mushed. No one injured. No one shot. No one hospitalized. No funeral.

A win / win in my book.

I have a dash cam. It is amazing. You can just say the word "record" and it will start recording. Another option is a nice dose of combination pepper / CS spray out the window.

Where we used to live, anyone, no matter how aggressive, who dared to enter in front of traffic with the right of way would have been splattered. I saw almost this exact scenario once while on patrol and we stopped for a snack and cold drink abut 10 pm one night at a corner grocery. The idiot was screaming and yelling at the driver in the middle lane who slowed down. Unfortunately the cyclist didn't look behind him. A pickup doing about 40 mph swerved, but couldn't avoid him. The coroner said his body made these crackling sounds when they picked him up because so many bones were broken. I saved my snack for another day.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Good job, WebleyHunter, glad everyone walked away safely.
 

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(y)(y)(y)
 

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I saw something like that developed in South Africa about a decade ago when tensions were especially high and random attacks on vehicles by pedestrians were frequent. I wonder if there are buttons to select "regular" or "extra crispy?"
 

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You did everything correctly, even using your horn. Legally, the horn is used to warn of impending collision, hazard etc. I have a separate diesel train horn specifically for wingnuts like that. It encourages them to move away.
 

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What I get from the story is that subconsciously you seem to feel like the horn was not needed. I am not sure if your horn blowing was intended as an expression of your displeasure or simply a means to warn the guy of danger. You seem a little defensive about it. why?

As far as the rest of it goes, some guy on a bike was behaving like a jackass and you drove away. Its really not deeper than that. I agree with your decision to simply drive away and I also agree with you calling to get your side of the story on the record. I dont think it much matters who calls first.
 

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Glad you and your family were not harmed. He may not know it but the gentleman on the bike is glad you are a sensible man and disengaged before he became hurt and hurt really bad with maybe some vent holes added to his center mass. You did good.
 

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I agree that you did well. The horn is designed and meant to be used as a safety device. As you were legitimately concerned with the proximity of and danger to the bicyclist, blowing it was appropriate. It could also serve to attract the attention of any witnesses. Ya done good!
 

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I need to replace the little wimpy horn in my truck with something that has the sound of authority. And decibels, lots and lots of decibels.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
What I get from the story is that subconsciously you seem to feel like the horn was not needed. I am not sure if your horn blowing was intended as an expression of your displeasure or simply a means to warn the guy of danger. You seem a little defensive about it. why?

As far as the rest of it goes, some guy on a bike was behaving like a jackass and you drove away. Its really not deeper than that. I agree with your decision to simply drive away and I also agree with you calling to get your side of the story on the record. I dont think it much matters who calls first.
There is a school of thought in defensive circles, which I do not subscribe, that use of the automotive horn is ONLY an escalative action. In addition to its primary safety alert function, I personally view it as an appropriate method for entry level "non-lethal" response to anti-social behavior, not unlike a personal alarm or air-horn, and significantly less than something like OC spray. For what its worth, it was nice to hear my use of a horn in this scenario, and my general thoughts on the the horn, be validated by discussion with a local LEO. Other opinions may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Glad you and your family were not harmed. He may not know it but the gentleman on the bike is glad you are a sensible man and disengaged before he became hurt and hurt really bad with maybe some vent holes added to his center mass. You did good.
Yup- We had a nice trip canoeing in the mountains (Twin Lakes near Leadville) and riding a historic train (Royal Gorge Railway in Canon City). I really didn't feel like ruining the weekend and changing our life FOREVER by making a punk thug eat a couple of Silvertips, when all I needed to do was just drive away...
 

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Isn't there a new law in TX? The All Lives Splatter law? Just to keep idiots like this from stopping traffic. Webley, I'm glad your family got to see the right way to handle this. And not you in a fight on the side of the road. Good example! DR
 
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