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Toronto driver charged with assault with a weapon after forcing cyclist off bike with his car

Motorist drove away from scene but later turned himself in to police; female rider suffers minor injuries

A driver in Toronto, Canada, has been charged with assault with a weapon following a road rage incident that ended with a female cyclist apparently being rammed and knocked off her bike. The offence carries a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment.

The incident took place on Wednesday morning and began with a confrontation between the 35-year-old woman and the driver on Ossington Avenue, as they both sought to turn into Harbord Street, reports the Toronto Star.

A worker in an auto repair shop at that junction, Joey Porretta, told the newspaper that he heard a car horn sound and said that when he looked out, “I just saw legs and arms flying,” as the cyclist kicked out at the car.

The newspaper reports that the vehicle, a black Hyundai, had been behind the cyclist as they approached the junction but overtook her as they both executed their turns.

Having vented her anger, the cyclist rode off – but the driver, named by CBC News as 38-year-old Matthew Nettleton, reportedly went after her.

Police say that further along on Harbord Street, the motorist caught up with her, with the cyclist having to take to the sidewalk to try and avoid the car.

However, it struck her, knocking her off her bike and causing her to suffer minor injuries. The motorist drove off, but later turned himself in to police.

The Toronto incident came just two days after a similar incident in Edinburgh, Scotland. That same day, Monday, had also seen the death of a female cyclist in Toronto after she was dragged underneath a truck.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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