When the construction zone ended, an irate Watson allegedly made an unsafe pass, forcing the rider to brake and nearly go off the road. The two ended up at the stoplight at almost the same time, which is when the alleged assault happened.
Watson told local newspaper the Charlotte Observer that the cyclist “got in the middle of the road” and refused to let anyone pass.
“I wasn’t trying to run him down; if I was going to do that, I’d have done it a mile back,” Watson told the reporter. “And when I did get by him, he was a cursing and flipped me the bird. You know what that is? I don’t like nobody cursing me and stuff. I don’t know what was wrong with him.”
Groninger disputes Watson’s claim that her client cursed at or was aggressive toward Watson.
“You saw the video,” Groninger says. “He was calm even when the driver was hitting him. (His response was to) get Watson’s license plate number.”
Watson punched the cyclist at least twice, giving him a bloody nose and a busted lip, telling him to “Get off the fucking road.” As other drivers came to the cyclist’s aid, Watson fled the scene. Luckily a commercial driver with a dashcam running caught most of the incident, and one witness actually recognized the driver.
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Watson was later arrested and charged with simple assault and reckless driving to endanger, two misdemeanors. No court date has been set yet. No decision has been made on a civil suit, Groninger says, as the cyclist is more focused on bringing awareness to road-rage issues.
The rider gave the video to local advocacy group Asheville on Bikes, who posted it to their website. Cycling groups around the country shared the footage, with many riders recounting their own experiences with road-raging drivers. Statistically, it’s hard to determine just how widespread this problem is in America, but anecdotally, nearly…