Bicyclist hit by car,assaulted by motorist

Jessica Steeno

Last week’s full moon coincided with a rash of odd crimes.
A motorist hit a bicyclist Aug. 1 in Dinkytown. The driver then got out of his car and physically assaulted the bicyclist, according to a Minneapolis Police Report.
The bicyclist was heading south on 15th Avenue Southeast past Fourth Street in the bike lane when the motorist struck the bicycle’s rear tire with his Nissan Pathfinder.
The motorist then got out of his car and hit the bicyclist in the back of the head with his fist, said University Police Officer Perry Dunfee.
The victim, a senior in the Institute of Technology, said this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened to him.
“Sometimes motorists don’t want you on the road,” he said. “That’s the second time I’ve been hit on 15th Avenue.”
He also said motorists don’t pay attention to the rights of bicyclists.
“If we’re on the road just going from A to B and we’re in your way, it’s your problem, not ours,” he said.
Witnesses said they thought the car intentionally hit the bicyclist.
“A lot of us were kind of in disbelief,” said Joshua Vincent, a senior in Mechanical Engineering who saw the incident. “He just started hollering like he’d had a bad day at the office. People just gotta chill out behind the wheel, I guess.”
Vincent and others recorded the motorist’s license plate number as he drove away from the scene of the crime.
Police arrested the motorist later at his home for aggravated assault and hit and run, Dunfee said.
For the hit and run violation, the motorist could have his driver’s license suspended for a period of 90 days to one year. For aggravated assault, he could receive probation, or a prison term of up to five years, depending on his criminal record, according to the city attorney’s office.
In other police news occurring between July 30 and Aug. 6:
A police chase near the University’s Minneapolis steam plant Saturday ended when the driver of a car drove off a viaduct and into the Mississippi River.
Minneapolis Police Officer Charles Miner said the car’s driver was 17 years old and had been drinking. When Miner tried to pull over the vehicle, the driver sped away and began the three-quarter mile chase that ended in the Mississippi River.
The driver did not want to get out of the car, even after he drove it into the river, Miner said. Eventually, he talked the driver into swimming to shore and arrested him.
“Thankfully he wasn’t hurt,” Miner said. “I guess it was his lucky day.”
The driver is being charged with driving while intoxicated and fleeing police in a motor vehicle, the police report stated.
The driver could lose his license until he turns 21 for driving while intoxicated. For fleeing a police officer, he could get up to a year in jail and/or receive as much as $3000 in fines.
ù A man exposed his genitals July 31 to a woman while she was sitting outside the University’s bindery on the 2800 block of Como Avenue in St. Paul.
The woman, a University student employed at the bindery, said she was sitting outside the building smoking a cigarette when the man approached her and started a conversation. She said she got up and walked away when the conversation became sexual. As she was leaving, the man unzipped his pants and exposed himself to her.
“He pulled it out, that was it,” she said. “I just said ‘No thanks. Bye.'”
Police have no suspects in the incident.
ù Minneapolis Park Police arrested several men in three separate incidents last week for sunbathing nude along the Mississippi River south of Franklin Avenue Southeast.
The area has been known for several years as a place where men meet and engage in sexual acts, said Minneapolis Park Police Officer Brian Rodgers.