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Red light jumping cyclist runs over pedestrian – then gets attacked by cab driver

Witness describes Boston taxi driver “pummelling” controversial alleycat film-maker Lucas Brunelle

A Boston taxi driver stands accused of punching a cyclist then driving his cab at the rider, who had sought his help after colliding with a pedestrian as he rode through a red light. The bike rider involved? Film maker Lucas Brunelle, whose videos of alleycat racing have polarised opinion among cyclists.

Some see them as providing an adrenaline-fuelled view of top-notch bike handling skills. But for others, they glamorise law-breaking riding  and undermine the efforts of cycle campaigners.

Brunelle was riding with friends last Friday evening through the intersection of Tremont Street and Avery Street near Boston Common.

The 43-year-old ran a red traffic signal and struck a woman who was crossing the road, reports the Boston Globe.

The cyclist flagged down a cab driven by Sam Chandler to ask him for help. But a witness says the driver punched him in the face, flooring him. The attack continued until onlookers pulled him off Brunelle.

James Kidd, who was jogging nearby, told CBS Boston: “The taxi driver was on the ground on top of the biker just pummelling his face into the ground. There was blood everywhere.”

Once back on his feet, Brunelle positioned himself in front of the cab to prevent Chandler from making off. But instead, said an anonymous witness cited by the Boston Globe, the cabbie drove his vehicle at him.

“It was definitely scary being on the hood of a taxi. I was going down Tremont with a guy trying to kill me,” said Brunelle.

At an arraignment hearing on Monday, Chandler, aged 45, was set bail of $1,000. He had driven away from the scene, with police tracing him later.

Sporting a black eye, after the hearing Brunelle described the amount set by the judge as “a joke” and said he was “disgusted” by it.

But Chandler’s attorney, Kim Giampetro, said the cyclist had been the instigator. She also pointed out that her client, who could face 10 years’ imprisonment, had no criminal record.

She said: “This is a cyclist who had two problems in a short span of time.”

Despite Brunelle's admission he rode through a red light, it appears police will not fine him for that because they did not see him do so.

He told CBS that the woman wasn’t badly hurt. But  the Boston Globe said she was taken to hospital with head injuries, adding that “she is expected to survive.”

Brunelle, who runs an IT business which helps pay for his film-making, described the incident as “a group ride that went bad.” Chandler is due back in court on 10 December.

In December 2012, footage of alleycat racing in London’s West End shot by Brunelle six years earlier featured in the BBC One documentary, The War on Britain’s Roads.

Cycle campaigners who saw a preview said the programme sensationalised the issues and did not explaining the background to the alleycat footage.

Its makers did acknowledge in the final version that it represented “extreme behaviour.” They didn’t make clear that it was shot commercially and featured on the Line of Sight DVD sold through Brunelle’s website.

In a blog post, former bicycle courier ‘Buffalo’ Bill Chidley said Brunelle had put up prize money for the race and influenced the route to get the shots he wanted.

Criticism from other riders or from cycling campaigners is unlikely to bother Brunelle much.

As Chidley points out, in an interview with Bicycling magazine after Line of Sight was released, Brunelle said: “I love cars. Fuck bike advocacy. It's the cars that make shit fun.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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andyp replied to clayfit | 9 years ago
clayfit wrote:

It's possibly a case of "let he who is without sin...". He was on a group ride. Who hasn't been on a group ride, and followed the rest of the group through as the lights changed?


rich22222 | 9 years ago

Quite agree with zanf, it's one thing making an error and hitting a pedestrian on a bike but deliberately attacking a person then using a car as a weapon is another.
Get off your high horses (for once).

zanf | 9 years ago

Despite what everyone says, the cabbie has absolutely no right to assault the guy then to use his car as a weapon to drive at him while trying to flee.

He should face a jail sentence for that alone. Everyone here applauding him for acting like that lose all rights to ever complain about road rage attacks against cyclists.

I have no love of Brunelle and think he should be seeking to make amends to the pedestrian.


Despite Brunelle's admission he rode through a red light, it appears police will not fine him for that because they did not see him do so.

Knowing Brunelle, he was filming it anyway.

DoctorDee | 9 years ago

Ran a red light. Hit a pedestrian. Expects sympathy. F*ck him!

jmaccelari | 9 years ago

I'm with the cabbie here...

pants | 9 years ago

I am surprised this guy lasted this long without someone beating him sooner.

sm | 9 years ago

An idiot is an idiot whether they ride or drive. Hope the ped recovers and sues the idiot on the bike for all he is worth, probably not a lot, seems pretty worthless to me.

TimC340 | 9 years ago

Oh jeez. Throw them both in jail - in the same cell. Lock the door and don't check on them for a month.


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