A cyclist was severely injured after they were struck by a motorcyclist in a downtown Toronto bike lane in an alleged road rage incident caught on video last month.
“There was intent there. For me, it’s just a shocking overreaction to a road rage situation. It’s a shame that people resort to violence in these situations,” the biker, who CTV News Toronto is protecting their identity, said in an interview on Wednesday.
“I’m now suffering some pretty serious injuries as a result of someone being angry,” he added.
The biker was riding home from a dinner with a friend on Aug. 25 at approximately 11:45 p.m., heading northbound on River Street when he said the suspect came out of a driveway or street just south of Dundas Street without stopping and almost hit him.
“There had been an interaction – not on video — just before where the motorcyclist cut off our client and he gestured with displeasure,” the victim’s lawyer David Shellnut said on Wednesday.
When the biker turned right onto Dundas Street, the motorcyclist followed.
In dash camera footage obtained by CTV News Toronto, the motorist reaches the cyclist in the bike lane and knocks them off before fleeing eastbound.
“I was just riding along the bike lane and at some point became aware he was coming after me very fast. I just remember getting hit and knocked to the ground. I was kind of lying there on the ground for a long time before I sort of started to piece together what happened,” the victim said.
Toronto Police Constable Sean Shapiro confirmed the victim's story to CP24 Wednesday, saying this was "absolutely" a road rage incident. "This isn't an oopsie-doo, this is intentional contact," Shapiro said. He added that at the very least a fail to remain collision charge should be in order.
For five days after the incident, the cyclist was in hospital with five ribs and two vertebrae broken, along with his clavicle broken in two places.
“I feel like the physical pain will go away long before the psychological,” he said.
Shellnutt alleges the suspect was on a gas-powered vehicle, either a motor bike or scooter, without a plate.
“This is someone who is out there driving illegally, recklessly, dangerously,” Shellnutt said, noting that driving without a plate is illegal.
Toronto police are now searching for the suspect, who was on a black and silver motorcycle, wearing a yellow flip shield helmet.
“This video is a regular occurrence, we see road violence on the streets of Toronto with terrifying regularity, we really need enforcement entirely focused on roadway violence,” Shellnut said. “People drive as if it’s a right and not a privilege.”
With files from CP24's Beatrice Vaisman