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Motorist avoids charges despite swinging golf club at cyclist during shocking road rage attack

The driver was ordered to attend an anger management course as part of a Community Resolution following the attack, which took place after he pulled across the road into the cyclist’s path

A motorist who chased after a cyclist and swung a golf club at him in a shocking road rage attack, after almost colliding with the rider while pulling out across the road, has avoided criminal charges, with West Midlands Police instead ordering the driver to attend an anger management course as part of a Community Resolution.

The incident, captured by the cyclist’s bike cameras and which can be viewed below, took place in the Birmingham suburb of Erdington on 30 June, after the rider reprimanded the motorist for almost driving into his path, a confrontation that eventually escalated into a chaotic chase which saw the golf club-brandishing driver aim a swing at the fleeing cyclist, narrowly missing him once again.

After being reported to the police, the motorist – a first-time offender – admitted the offence, prompting West Midlands Police to settle the matter with a Community Resolution and the promise of attending an anger management course, a conclusion described by the cyclist on the end of the attack as a “little disappointing” but ultimately “acceptable”.

“I saw the Fiesta start to do a U-turn from the opposite side of the road and I hoped the driver had seen me,” the cyclist involved in the incident, who wished to remain anonymous, told road.cc.

“Just before I reached the vehicle, I realised the driver had not seen me and was not going to stop so I shouted loudly to attract his attention. The driver stopped but I had to swerve and brake hard to avoid a collision.

“They clearly didn't see me, were very close, and I'm 6’ 5 tall and 17 stone and I had three flashing front lights, a hi-viz jacket, and hi-viz helmet on.”

In the second half of the video submitted to West Midlands Police, which includes sound, the cyclist can be heard shouting “Are you blind? What’s wrong with you?”, as the motorist continues to roll his car in his direction.

Both the driver and his passenger then emerge from the car – which at this point is left in the middle of the road – as the motorist shouts: “Come here you little t***, I was nowhere f***ing near you”.

“I was going to ride away but the driver exited the car. I guess my pride got the better of me and I stopped and got off my bike, expecting an argument,” the cyclist said.

“At this point the passenger got out to confront me and the driver reached into the back of the car – I assumed to get a weapon – so I decided to ride away to avoid any further confrontation.”

The motorist can then be seen retrieving a golf club from his car, before sprinting after the departing cyclist and aiming a wild swing from close range, which saw the club fall just short of its intended target and crash onto the road.

> Driver who assaulted cyclist told by police to “engage with anger management”

“Fortunately they missed,” the cyclist continued. “I shouted to the driver I would be reporting the incident to the police.

“Until I watched the video I assumed the driver had simply thrown the club from a distance.

“Violence on Birmingham’s roads seems so common now that I think I initially rationalised it as a simple traffic incident. But while I prepared the videos for a police report a few hours later I was shocked how close I came to being seriously injured, and realised I should have called 999 as soon as I was safe, so I reported this to the police via a call to 101.

“West Midlands Police were great and the PCs and detective I spoke to at various times all seemed concerned for my wellbeing and shocked at the incident.

“They eventually told me it would be dealt with as a Community Resolution, including an anger management course, as the offender had admitted their guilt and was previously not known to the police.”

> "Relentless enforcement of the rules of the road": Police force crackdown on dangerous driving after cyclist deaths

According to West Midlands Police’s own website, Community Resolutions “provide an opportunity for the police to deal with appropriate low-level offences and offenders without recourse to formal criminal justice sanctions”, and are usually reserved for “momentary lapses in judgement by otherwise law abiding people”.

“There is no criminal conviction but if the police have to deal with them in the future it will be taken into consideration,” the cyclist told us. “It’s a little disappointing, but if they are stopped from doing this again to someone more vulnerable, then it is positive.

“At first I felt it was not a severe enough punishment and had two weeks to think about it before meeting the police to sign my part of the Community Resolution.

“As I seriously considered it, I was surprised to find myself in a very forgiving mood and on talking to the officer who interviewed the offender about the details and their opinion of them, I decided it was acceptable and avoided me having to deal with a court case.

“I don’t believe I was targeted because I was a cyclist, but because of a typical young male with more pride than sense was called out, a problem I can understand.

“I’m aware, of course, that the offender may have no remorse at all, have no intention of reforming, and may go on to do this to someone else, but they are now known to the police and the Community Resolution will affect the way any future offences are prosecuted.”

road.cc has contacted West Midlands Police for comment, but is yet to receive a response.

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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52 comments

Avatar
HoarseMann | 9 months ago
7 likes

Looks like the only thing he managed to hit was his own knee:

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mattw | 9 months ago
4 likes

Reflecting further on this, where there is intent to harm but no injury, there is nothing to charge between Common Assault and Attempted Murder.

Reminds me of the "Causing Injury by Careless Driving" (injury standard for ABH - more than minor, but offence does not exist) hole between Careless Driving and "Causing Serious Injury by Careless Driving" (which used the approx. GBH standard - starting point is roughly broken bones).

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Benthic | 9 months ago
7 likes

If he had lobbed a golf club at a police constable in the street do you think a Community Resolution would have been the outcome?

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Rome73 | 9 months ago
1 like

Lovely. Wish I lived there. 

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OldRidgeback | 9 months ago
3 likes

I don't understand why the cyclist let this guy off. It was an attempted assault.

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Benthic replied to OldRidgeback | 9 months ago
8 likes

It was assault. 

From the CPS:

"Assault, as distinct from battery, can be committed by an act indicating an intention to use unlawful violence against the person of another – for example, an aimed punch that fails to connect"

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wtjs | 9 months ago
7 likes

“There is no criminal conviction but if the police have to deal with them in the future it will be taken into consideration,” the cyclist told us

People are generally reluctant to believe the extent of routine police lying. I have no experience of WMP, but if this was Lancashire Constabulary I would know that the whole CR routine was just the simplest way of binning the case with least effort, and the simplest route if they turn up with another offence is to not know about the previous ones. That's the deal the police make with the offenders- you accept the joke penalty, and we won't remember the offence. It's the same as 'words of advice'

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bikeman01 | 9 months ago
8 likes

I think we all know that its not the first time these two have been involved in an altercation.

And who carries a single golf club in their car for legitimate reasons?

Top job by the police again. Wankers.

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chrisonabike replied to bikeman01 | 9 months ago
1 like

On rewatching a couple of times it does look like he is reaching into the back seat and it takes a couple of seconds for him to get the club, so it could be he has a bag there. Of course "dual use" or a convenient fiction is not ruled out...

As for golfing garb that's more for people older than this pair - in my experience this isn't unusual dress on the local council / public course.

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hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
8 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

On rewatching a couple of times it does look like he is reaching into the back seat and it takes a couple of seconds for him to get the club, so it could be he has a bag there. Of course "dual use" or a convenient fiction is not ruled out... As for golfing garb that's more for people older than this pair - in my experience this isn't unusual dress on the local council / public course.

Surely the ultimate test of whether a golf club is a weapon or not is how the owner is using it.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
4 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

Surely the ultimate test of whether a golf club is a weapon or not is how the owner is using it.

Quite, but that's not how most people (and the police) think! Just look at the potential weapon they were driving...

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hutchdaddy replied to bikeman01 | 9 months ago
6 likes

Golf wankers.

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Clem Fandango replied to hutchdaddy | 9 months ago
2 likes

Isn't cycling the new golf?

"Caddy! My 7 D-lock please!!"

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mctrials23 replied to bikeman01 | 9 months ago
9 likes

This is just another one of the plethora of ridiculous "get out of jail free" cards that people have for cunts behind the wheels of cars. If your pleas of "the sun was in my eyes", "I don't remember swinging a 9 iron at a cyclist m'lud" and "I didn't see him" don't work then the law will step in and suggest that someone who swings a deadly weapon at someone fully intending to seriously hurt them isn't a bad character and clearly this was just a momentary lapse, of which they have never suffered previously. 

I'm just fearful of the time I go from saying "fucking hell" to myself when someone close passes me when I pull out my pitching wedge and go on a rampage. I too am a reasonable human like these two upstanding members of society so it could clearly happen to any of us.  

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chrisonabike | 9 months ago
5 likes

This is why all golfers should run cameras. Front and rear, every round. And wear golfing helmets.

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wtjs replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
2 likes

This is why all golfers should run cameras. Front and rear, every round. And wear golfing helmets

I love helmets, and I would wear one in the unlikely event of me playing golf. I certainly wore one on this work party, where I was forever bashing my head- usually, of course, the bash was because I was wearing a helmet but at least the bash was inconsequential

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Muddy Ford | 9 months ago
8 likes

of course, it's not an assault with a weapon if the victim is a cyclist. Fucking ridiculous inaction and complacency from the police. Useless C'ts.   

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wtjs | 9 months ago
8 likes

I thought it was impossible that I could despise the police even more, but WMP have proved me wrong. Community Resolution is worthless rubbish, and I can't understand why the victim approved it- I understand that he had no real say in it anyway, but he could have registered disapproval. The police would then have accidentally failed to record said disapproval, but you have to fight back against institutionalised anti-cyclist attitudes

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wtjs | 9 months ago
5 likes

I thought it was impossible that I could despise the police even more, but WMP have proved me wrong. Community Resolution is worthless rubbish, and I can't understand why the victim approved it- I understand that he had no real say in it anyway, but he could have registered disapproval. The police would then have accidentally failed to record said disapproval, but you have to fight back against institutionalised anti-cyclist attitudes

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Fignon's ghost | 9 months ago
8 likes

If you needed another reason why golf should be banned in all forms. Including, per this example. Street golf.

Scum. Sub human scum.

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hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
10 likes

I don't see how that's just a motoring offense when surely it's more of a public order or assault type of offense as well.

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Rendel Harris replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
6 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

I don't see how that's just a motoring offense when surely it's more of a public order or assault type of offense as well.

It would help if the police/report explained to what offence the driver had admitted, the careless driving or the attempted assault. As it says he "avoided criminal charges" one assumes this means the community resolution was for the attempted assault and the driving hasn't been punished at all. If I were the cyclist I wouldn't be too bothered if the driving just got a warning letter, but the attempted assault getting a sanction intended for "appropriate low-level offences" is ridiculous; if he had made contact with the back of the cyclist's neck as clearly intended he could easily have killed him (that's not being melodramatic, see for example poor Philip Hughes, Australian cricketer, killed by a cricket ball to the back of the neck which would have considerably less pressure than a metal golf club swung with such force), how is that a low-level offence? Also a sanction reserved for “momentary lapses in judgement by otherwise law abiding people”, it's abundantly clear from the way that scrote and his mate immediately react with violence to a few words being exchanged that this is how they approach life, if they're not known to the police it's just because they hadn't been caught before, not because they're model citizens only guilty of a one-off momentary lapse of judgement.

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Sriracha replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
9 likes

They don't look dressed for golf. Did the police check whether this pair has ever played a game at all, or are they just like all those baseball players who've never struck a ball - armed, malice aforethought?

Also, absent the car and bike, would the police have treated the outcome differently? Bloke comes out swing a golf club after some perceived slight? Something about it being motoring related seems to mean it's not taken so seriously, because we're all motorist, right?

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bikes | 9 months ago
10 likes

He threw the golf club with maximum effort, listen to the sound it makes when it hits the road. It could so easily have been into the back of the rider's head and killed them. What would the police suggest then, a longer course?

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HoarseMann | 9 months ago
12 likes

Let nobody say golf is a sport for the well off. If all you can afford is a single club and no ball, it's good to see you can still be part of the golfing community.

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cmedred | 9 months ago
9 likes

An anger management course is fine, but he should have had his license suspended for some time to make it clear this sort of behavior is unacceptable. There's every reason to believe that if he'd go after a cyclist this way, he'd do the same for another motorist whose driving he didn't like. Thus everyone should want the dude off the road until he actually learns how to manage his anger, which would hopefully come AFTER he has completed those classes. 

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NOtotheEU | 9 months ago
12 likes

Thanks Ryan, great article. I wasn't bothered about my username being in the article just not my actual name but that's fine. I'm a bit miffed I still haven't made it into NMOTD though, think of the puns using 'Near Miss'.

Regarding a couple of the comments, .originally I assumed the outcome would be either NFA or a court case, neither of which I was looking forward to. I also had other information about the offender which I didn't feel it was appropriate to share making me believe they would not offend again with the right support, hence why I accepted the Community Resolution. I accept that I might be wrong and also if I was commenting on someone else's video I would probably be saying the same things as you.

I also felt that a ped or driver challenging them would have had the same result, the issue was me challenging the driver rather than me being a cyclist. Again I could be wrong and I am fully aware how many drivers do not view cyclists as human beings deserving of respect and dignity.

 

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chrisonabike replied to NOtotheEU | 9 months ago
2 likes

This is much, much worse in action than the pictures you shared.

It was "have a confrontation, go towards the complainant, then straight back to grab the club and chase after someone who's going away from the scene".

Although... perhaps most normal young(ish) folks drive around with a golf club ready to hand by the driver's seat?  It's been decades since I passed my test...

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NOtotheEU replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
3 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

This is much, much worse in action than the pictures you shared.

I'll have to take your word for that as I was there so they all seem the same to me.

chrisonatrike wrote:

Although... perhaps most normal young(ish) folks drive around with a golf club ready to hand by the driver's seat?  It's been decades since I passed my test...

Watching multiple episodes of Police Interceptors and the like it seems a lot of young drivers carry all sorts in their vehicles to use as weapons, I'm guessing not the Liquorice kind though!.

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chrisonabike replied to NOtotheEU | 9 months ago
2 likes

I read that without the last line and thought of Beryl Burton, indeed.!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beryl_Burton#Record-breaker

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