Weird Bike-Related Violence

Maybe it’s a product of there being more bikes on the streets, perhaps it’s just that I’m tuned into these sorts of things more than I used to be, but I seem to be seeing more stories about bicycle-related violence, incidents that are not only odd and disturbing, but are rather out of character with the basic nature of the bicycle.

Here are a few recent incidents from hither and yon:

  • In Topeka, Kansas, 28-year-old man riding a bike was beaten and robbed by five or six men, who stole his wallet and his yellow Mongoose bike, and left him with serious injuries, including a possible broken jaw.

  • In Omaha, Nebraska, 18-year-old Dwayne Ryan was riding his bike when someone in a passing vehicle shot him.

  • In Boulder, Colorado, 23-year-old Danika Bueno was riding her bike, carrying her 10-month-old son in a carrier on her back, when a man riding another bicycle rode up next to her, groped her breast, and then raced off. Danika chased him down, while calling the police on her cell phone, keeping him in sight until police arrived and arrested the man. 34-year-old Nathan Wood was charged with unlawful sexual contact and child abuse.

  • In Des Moines, Iowa, 46-year-old Dean Davis was stabbed and killed while riding his bike in what police suspect was a random act of violence.

  • In Greene County, Missouri, a motorcyclist was shot in the back while riding on a rural road. Police seized guns from a nearby home where the cyclist reported having seen someone holding a rifle just before he was shot.

  • In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a man was shot in a bikejacking attempt. The victim refused to give up his bicycle, was shot in the leg as he rode off, and still managed to escape to safety.

  • In Denver, Colorado, Brendan says We must stop the senseless violence against defenseless bicycles.

  • In Conway, Arkansas, Dustin Faber reports that Bike riding attracts flying cups.

(OK, the last two items are a bit less serious than the first six, but you get the point…)

Of course, random acts of violence against cyclists are not unprecedented — the senseless murder of Robert Osborn in Kansas City in November 2005 is the one that comes first to my mind — but the incidents detailed above seem like an awful lot in a short period of time, just in our immediate region.

What do you think? Are we seeing more of this type of thing lately? If so, why?

About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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