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CyclingMikey takes down fleeing suspect with bike (includes video)

“It felt a lot like playing hockey and taking a forward out of the play,” said the road safety activist

Bike-riding activist Mike van Erp, better known by his online alias CyclingMikey, has earned a reputation for catching law-breaking motorists in the act. But last month the camera cyclist played a key role in stopping a completely different kind of suspected criminal activity – by spectacularly using his bike to take out an alleged drug dealer who was fleeing from the police.

A video of the incident – which was posted on Twitter yesterday by an anonymous policing account (after Mike had uploaded the full footage to his YouTube channel) – has at the time of writing been viewed over 900,000 times.

It shows the cyclist riding past a group of police officers talking to a man on London’s Inverness Terrace, near Hyde Park.

While Van Erp tells road.cc that he was initially tempted to film the incident, believing that the man may have been unfairly targeted by the officers, he quickly changed his mind as the alleged suspect began to flee, and used his bike as a barrier to send him clattering to the ground.

The man, who can be seen in the video throwing away a small bag as he is about to be apprehended, was arrested by police on suspicion of possession with intent to supply.

> "Tired of road crime": CyclingMikey on episode 16 of the road.cc Podcast

“It’s very hard to make such an instinctive snap judgement correctly, but his massive change in demeanour in a split second, when he went from affable and smiling to a powerful sprinter on the run, was enough to convince me, as was the instant loud shouting from the police,” Mike told road.cc.

“Briefly before this, I thought for a moment about filming the interaction in case it became one where the police were not treating him right, but I dismissed that thought and seconds later had entirely the opposite idea.

“These cops seemed very professional, and when they restrained the guy they used appropriate force and were clearly not angry with him, just calm and professional.”

Describing the spectacular takedown, Van Erp said: “Basically I put my bike in the way of his sprint, and he caught my front rack with a glancing blow at mid-thigh height, which sent him tumbling.

“I’ve played a fair bit of roller hockey in defence, including with body checks. I did the bare minimum necessary to impede his sprint enough for the police to be able to catch him.

“It felt a lot like playing hockey and taking a forward out of the play.”

> CyclingMikey ends up on car bonnet during confrontation with angry motorist

Since being posted on Twitter, the viral video has divided those on social media. While many have praised Van Erp’s actions, others have accused him of “vigilantism” for his intervention.

Meanwhile, some users, such as broadcaster and cycling campaigner Jeremy Vine, pointed out the cognitive dissonance of those on both sides of the debate, whose reaction may have been different if Van Erp hadn't been on a bike or if the apparent lawbreaker had been behind the wheel of a car:

You can watch the full clip of the incident below (starting at 7.45):

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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40 comments

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Rendel Harris replied to kil0ran | 1 year ago
9 likes
kil0ran wrote:

Sadly Mikey is being targeted for this, he's had a crap 24h including threatening phone calls and TikToks set up to fool people he's racist.

And our own Nigel implying the same thing below with unpleasant comments about his looks thrown in. 

Avatar
BalladOfStruth replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
7 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

And our own Nigel implying the same thing below with unpleasant comments about his looks thrown in. 

I think him outright calling Mikey a racist simply because he's South African might have been the final straw. His comments below are gone, as are his comments on the other two threads I was following. It's also been at least a week since I've heard from Martin.

On another note, the fact that the mods can ban a user in a way that deletes all of their comments, including replies and quotes from other users means that a user post history and an ignore list would both be pretty trivial to impliment (because those three methods would share 90% of their functionality). Mods, please...

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago
4 likes
BalladOfStruth wrote:
Rendel Harris wrote:

And our own Nigel implying the same thing below with unpleasant comments about his looks thrown in. 

I think him outright calling Mikey a racist simply because he's South African might have been the final straw. His comments below are gone, as are his comments on the other two threads I was following. It's also been at least a week since I've heard from Martin.

On another note, the fact that the mods can ban a user in a way that deletes all of their comments, including replies and quotes from other users means that a user post history and an ignore list would both be pretty trivial to impliment (because those three methods would share 90% of their functionality). Mods, please...

I couldn't decide if his post was meant to be racist, meant to imply Mickey was racist or Social commentary on an older white guy stopping a young black guy running from the police. I guess the mods decided it was one of the first two.

A user post history would be great as I sometimes want to revisit an old conversation I added to but cannot remember what article it was on.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
6 likes
NOtotheEU wrote:

I couldn't decide if his post was meant to be racist, meant to imply Mickey was racist or Social commentary on an older white guy stopping a young black guy running from the police. I guess the mods decided it was one of the first two.

The second, I think; the now-banned poster's hatred for Mikey's main activity of catching phone drivers was well documented, both in his most recent incarnation and his nine or ten previous ones, so he tried to imply that as a person brought up in Zimbabwe Mikey would have enjoyed taking out a black man.

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eburtthebike replied to kil0ran | 1 year ago
2 likes
kil0ran wrote:

........TikToks set up to fool people he's racist.

Is he the new Corbyn?

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grOg replied to kil0ran | 1 year ago
0 likes

Mike did well with helping the police apprehend the alleged offender; however, I'm not a fan of his vigilante actions, confronting and fifilming motorists to shame them on his utube channel.

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Deeferdonk | 1 year ago
4 likes

"A white gentleman of Zimbabwe origin physically assaults a black gentleman fleeing from the police." Or "Plucky cyclist helps take down alleged drug dealer"

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Rendel Harris replied to Deeferdonk | 1 year ago
10 likes

Actually Mikey, although Dutch by birth, grew up in Zimbabwe, not South Africa.

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Secret_squirrel replied to Deeferdonk | 1 year ago
0 likes

Your point being?  Why are you making this about race?

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Hirsute replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
3 likes

Since some comments have been removed, it is quite possible that the context of the post has been lost as it was a contrast to another post.

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