San Francisco Cycling Protest Turns Violent But Police Don’t Seem To Care

A San Francisco bicyclist riding the wrong way against traffic attacked a Zipcar driver with a U-lock Friday night during a monthly San Francisco cycling protest, and police are so far refusing to take action.

The attack, captured on YouTube video during the Critical Mass protest, shows a group of a dozen cyclists surrounding a woman’s Zipcar and bashing her window with a U-lock.

San Francisco police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza told the San Francisco Chronicle the department can’t do anything unless the victim comes forward.

“If a victim does not file a report, there is no crime that we can charge the person with. The person needs to file a report for an investigation to be initiated.”

In the video, the cyclists can be seen riding against traffic, then one man stops his bike directly in front of the Zipcar driver daring her to continue driving. As she slowly inches closer, he refuses to move and eventually the two collide, which is when things get ugly.

“You f–ing hit my bike.”

The driver tries to back up and continue around the group of men, but they block her path. Eventually, she’s able to make her way past the men, but one of them is seen smashing her window with his U-lock.

In a similar incident, two men live-streamed on Periscope their attempt to shoot a man they thought was sleeping with their girlfriends. In that incident, however, Sacramento police hunted down and arrested the two men before anything else could happen.

City Supervisor Mark Farrell isn’t waiting either. His office issued a statement by email condemning the cyclist’s actions.

“Violence is and will never be acceptable here in San Francisco. The actions by the cyclists caught on video this past Friday evening participating in Critical Mass are disturbing and should never be tolerated in our City, especially the one cyclist seen attacking the vehicle with a bicycle lock repeated times.”

The bicycle-riding denizens of San Francisco have a long running feud with city motorists of which this is merely the latest salvo.

The most recent showdown was a debate over the “Idaho Stop” where cyclists treat stop signs like yield signs and can roll through the intersection if there are no cars coming. A police crack down on stop sign running cyclists enraged city cyclists.

Critical Mass bicyclists meet up once a month to ride en mass around the city to “reclaim the streets.” The movement’s own rules state cyclists should not ride into oncoming traffic or start fights with motorists even if they’re asking for it.

[Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images]