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More about Pro Hunter boxing on the side of the road.....(17 posts)

More about Pro Hunter boxing on the side of the road.....african
Jan 8, 2003 1:36 PM
Robert Hunter, the South African cyclist of the year, has laid charges of assault and reckless driving against a motorist and his family who attacked him in what he described as the worst case of road rage he had ever seen.

The altercation left Europe-based Hunter needing surgery to his hand, which could disrupt his pre-season training for up to six weeks. He had a pin inserted into his hand on New Year's eve. Yesterday he was still bewildered by Monday's attack.

"I was on a training ride out to Muldersdrift and back with two mates when a guy in a car screamed past us and almost took out one of my friends," said Hunter. "When we got to the stop street, I told him to watch where he was driving and he just lost his cool. He stopped his car in the middle of the road and started swearing at us. He picked up his gear lock and threatened to hit us.

"So we held his door shut to keep him inside the car and told him to relax, to leave it, but he said he was going to get us. He was fairly old, about 50-ish, I would say."

Hunter said the motorist began following them, so they decided to ride to the Honeydew police station. Hunter telephoned his brother and asked him to meet them on the road and escort them.

The three cyclists waved the motorist over and told him they were going to the police station, which apparently sent him into a new rage.

"He waved his gear lock at us again, so we took it off him and threw it into the bush. I then reached in and took his car keys out of the ignition and told him he could retrieve them from the police station."

Soon after Hunter's brother arrived and began driving behind the cyclists, two cars pulled up behind his brother.

"They followed us for about 10km. They came screaming past my brother and drove right into us. One car hit me and I ended up on the pavement. Two big guys (who identified themselves as the son and son-in-law of the older motorist) got out of the cars and attacked us. I defended myself and broke my hand."

Hunter then went to the police station where he laid charges. The older motorist has laid a charge of attempted assault. One of the assailants was taken to hospital with a suspected ruptured eye socket.

Hunter, who is the only South African to compete in the Tour de France, was on his bike on Thursday testing the strength of his hand and wrist.

"It's still very swollen and very tender. I can rest it on the handlebar, but my training schedule is messed up now.

"I am flying back to Europe on January 13 and was supposed to race the next weekend, but now we'll have to see how I recover."
so what's wrong with sprinters??cyclopathic
Jan 8, 2003 4:24 PM
at least he didn't punch someone in bunch sprint like Robbi McEwan
Ruptured eye socketPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jan 8, 2003 10:58 PM
I'm not sure whether to say way to go hunter or not... the guy may not be able to see outta his eye again which is a shame but at the same time he did deserve it. Hmmm...

But this seems like a very confusing story. I hope Hunter comes out on top and the drivers are charged.

Nick
PodiumBound.ca
I say way to goStevieP
Jan 9, 2003 12:24 AM
Are you seriously trying to say that Hunter should not have hit a guy who ran him off his bike & then was attacking him?

I say the guy deserved what he got. He was obviously out to get Hunter so he should have been prepared to take what Hunter could dish out in return.

I would have done the same.
I don't think it was the best way to contain situationcyclopathic
Jan 9, 2003 6:52 AM
you're usually better off ignoring morons then confronting. they should have taken lic plate # and left that old dude alone to start with. There were 3 of them, enough to go to court and file charges for wreckless driving and attemped murder if they really wanted to. Talking to morons quadruples your chances to get run over.

On a side I've seen a messenger handle very similar situation. When he caught up with a car which ran him off the road on a traffic light, he bent down and screwed valves out of passenger side tires w/o loosing cool or saying a word. Driver only realized what's going on when front tire was finished.
riding in RSAJohnno
Jan 9, 2003 1:56 AM
African, thanks for your posting, makes frightening reading. Hope Rob is ok. I live in UK, parents live in Somerset West in the Cape and i am thinking of taking my road bike with me when I next go visit them - are Cape roads ok safety wise? The ride to Stellenbosch and beyond looks good

Thanks

Johnno
What's a Gear Lock?KeeponTrekkin
Jan 9, 2003 5:27 AM
This is a story of terrible intolerance and rage. I can only sympathize with Rob Hunter and, frankly, am amazed he kept the cool he did.

It's not fair to second guess, and I don't mean to, but maybe one lesson is to take cell phones as well as keys from wacko motorists. (How else did the son and son-in-law show up?)

BTW, what's a gear lock?
a gear lock is.....african
Jan 9, 2003 5:53 AM
a device that you use to lock a manual transmission (stick shift). Similar to a steering wheel lock. This prevents some thief from driving your car as it is locked in a gear and he can't change gears. Made of a very strong metal that you can't cut through to easily.

Put it this way it could be considered a weapon.
Let's be realistic shall weBill is in Denver
Jan 9, 2003 6:56 AM
He yelled at the guy at a stop light. It is highly doubtful he was gentle about it. The guy reacted. Hunter reacted and it turned into a shitstorm. This is how these things go. Two ego's bouncing off each other until someone snaps. If you want to avoid that, then avoid it....if not you end up in court and see who the judge believes. Hunter took the guys car keys and left him stranded on the side of the road. Do you really think the guy let him do that without a fight? I'd say there is much more to this story than we've read so far. As for the guy with a useless eye....well, I doubt he knew anything at all about the rest of it other than some biker stole his dad's car keys and left him stranded. Personally, I would have gone to get them back too...knowing only what the son likely knew.

Moral of the story. Smile and wave and your day continues under your own control....act like a tough guy and you never know what is going to happen.

Bill
I don't see it that way53T
Jan 9, 2003 9:18 AM
I'm not one to take the cyclists' side in matters such as these, but given what we are told here I have no sympathy for the "assailant" with the broken face. Based on the story, he is lucky to be alive. He assulted one or more able bodied, unarmed men with a deadly weapon. He could be legally killed on the spot for that in the US and likely in SA. He was of course comming to the aid of his father who also assulted unarmed men, albiet with a less deadly weapon.

Hunter, according to the account could have called the guy an SOB, but it wouldn't change the fact that the driver was the first to break the law and threaten violence. The younger generation stepped it up to a felony and should be very thankful they are still here to be tried for there crimes. I suspect the civil penalties will be substantial for actually causing damages after intentionally running someone down with a (presuambly) insured auto.
If this all happened in South Africa, then I'm not sure it wouldKristin
Jan 9, 2003 9:37 AM
even get much attention. This incident would be sort of mild for South Africa. SA is a pretty violent place. Also, we only have one perspective here. When was the last time that you were in a traffic dispute that escalated with only one side doing all the provoking?
If this all happened in South Africa, then I'm not sure it wouldafrican
Jan 9, 2003 10:56 AM
Kristin, yes this is mild for SA. The reason it gets attention there is that Hunter is a pro cyclist who rides in the Tour De France, as big as Armstrong is to the USA, Hunter is to SA, I do believe he is the only South African to ride in the Tour De France ever. He has ridden for Lampre, Mapei and now Rabobank.

Hunter is lucky, the guy could have had a gun and popped a cap in his butt. End of pro cycling....

Reason it go attention here is that I am a South African and I guess it is rare to hear of pro's getting in to road rage incidents, wonder what Lance would have done?
I hear youKristin
Jan 9, 2003 11:11 AM
Don't get me wrong, even given no information about provocation on either side, I would say that the motorists acts were the most extreme--and WAY WAY out of line. At the same time, I wonder if Hunter could have made different choices that would have led to this guy merely retreating. (But sometimes we want the satisfaction of seeing the guy nailed, right?)

I know about South Africa because I have a friend who is from there. His family still lives in Capetown and he worries about them. His best friend was shot and killed in a mugging and he's vowed to never return. Sad, its such a beautiful place.
I hear youafrican
Jan 9, 2003 12:02 PM
Kristin
Personally I think Hunter is a bit aggresive, I don't know him but I just think he is, I mean he is in bunch sprints with the Italians, ya gotta be aggresive.

I am from Cape Town, Camps Bay. Very beautiful place, I was just looking at some pictures of it and think wow that is so stunning. But you can't base anything on looks.
My Mom still lives in Cape Town. Ahhh anyway Flooorida is where I live now. Cheers.
re: More about Pro Hunter boxing on the side of the road.....Quicksilver
Jan 9, 2003 9:28 PM
I live in the same general area as Rob's parents, cycle the same routes on a regular basis and I've been fortunate enough to have cycled with him on a few training rides when he is back in the country and taking it easy. What I'm trying to say is that the roads that we cycle on (and where the indicent took place) has a broad emergency lane and yet you get these twits driving in these lanes to give way to faster approaching vehicles putting our lives at stake - I would have done exactly the same thing if an idiot tries to run me down and swings a metal object at by head.

Rob is a hell of a nice guy - friendly, curtious and helpfull - but don't get me wrong as he has a temper and I've seen it, when we had to dodge a vehicle one Sunday morning. He is human, so am I and the rest of you. I have lost my temper as well as we have to defend our lives while commuting or training. It's not on that we have to be treated like second-rate road users - I pay my taxes and are also entitled to use the roads. For once I hope the law will be on the cyclist's side.
I ride those same roads every week.cyclequip
Jan 10, 2003 6:07 AM
Nothing new here - after all the pontificating on the violence in SA, what you say is real. We are an aggressive nation - kinda like the Yanks (without their war-like bent, however) so incidents like this are commonplace all over - wherever bikes get ridden. Robbie is no different to any other cyclist - there was a front page newspaper piece a week or so ago about the 30 cyclists killed on SA roads in December alone. So let the rest put that in their pipe and smoke it.
smokinBill is in Denver
Jan 10, 2003 7:16 AM
I don't believe anyone is saying that all the drivers in this incident were not idiots. Clearly they are. However, when confronted by an idiot an intelligent person will choose to avoid the situation because it can and most likely will escalate into something undesirable. If any of those drivers had been carrying a gun for instance...what then? Never escalate a situation over which you have no control. Not even if you're a tough guy M+arine like many of us on here. Even if you win the fight that ensues...you still end up in court paying a lawyer $250/hour. It just isn't worth it...smile, wave and go on about your day.

Bill