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Bike on Bike ‘Path Rage’ Puts Woman in the Hospital, Suspect Still at Large

Where exactly on the South Bank Path the incident occured we do not know.

This isn’t the article that I had planned to write tonight, but it looks like the Delta Bridge opening party is going to have to wait another few days.  It’s interesting that this post so quickly follows the one below it.

A KEZI Crimestoppers article/video was posted today about an event that happened “a few weeks ago.”  I’m not sure why it took so long for the article to show up, considering that the perpetrator is still “at large.”  The short version is that a man got mad when Ava Grenzsund passed him on the South Bank Path and  body-checked her off her bike.  She broke her left arm and severely bruised her right arm.  The suspect was stopped by a crowd and returned briefly for a few minutes, but gave a false name and rode away.  Police are still looking for him.

Take the jump for excerpts from the KEZI story and a link to their unfortunately sound-tracked video.

From KEZI.com: Crimestoppers: Bike Path Assault (excerpts)

By Holly Menino

[...]

“We’re very cognoscente of the way we ride.  We always have bells.  We ring them.  We say, ‘On your left,’” Josh [Ava's husband] said.

A few weeks ago, they hit the bike path next to the Willamette River.  They were pedaling along here when Ava ran into trouble.

She was passing him and he drifted into her and they kind of wobbled, but nothing really happened and she kept going,” Josh said.

Josh stayed behind and saw the man speed up heading toward his wife.

“He caught up to her right here.  I was still probably 40 to 50 feet back, and he just kind of got up and body checked her very intentionally,” he said.

Josh watched as Ava hit the pavement and the suspect rode off.

“I stopped my bike next to her and started yelling like a maniac,” he said.

A lot of people were on the trails and in the park that day, and before long a crowd of two to three dozen people huddled around the couple.

The crowd was so outraged they forced the suspect to briefly come back.

“At this point the suspect ended up hanging around for maybe a minute or two, also ended up giving a bogus name, so we’re trying to identify who this subject is,” said Tony Veach, Eugene Police Detective.

Josh says Ava’s helmet prevented her injuries from being much worse.  She did break her left arm and her right arm is severely bruised, but she is healing both physically and emotionally.

[...]

Police say the suspect will likely face assault charges.  As for Ava, she is recovering.  She had her first day back at work on Monday.

The suspect is described as a white man between 16 and 18-years-old with short dark hair and a slender to medium build.

If you know anything about the suspect or if you witnessed the assault, call the Crimestoppers line at 1-877-876-TIPS.

You could earn up to a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

You can read the full article and watch their video here. The video is worth watching, if only for the ridiculously ominous and scary soundtrack and crazy black and white spooky camera angles.  It’s over-the-top sensationalism.  Maybe they had to spend “a few weeks” on the effects, and that’s why it took so long to post the story.

I believe the music sounds like something from Clint Mansell, the composer for the movie soundtrack Requiem for a Dream, who often partners with the Chronos Quartet.  I’ll give a free bag of nothing to the first commenter who can name the song.  If you think that my writing about the song detracts from this event, imagine how much hearing the song detracts from the news report.

I sort of wanted to rant and rave about how this should have been covered by more news media, but then I realized that this really had nothing to do with biking at all – and people being douchebags to other people is hardly news.  Maybe it’s best not to give people any more anti-biker fodder.

Stay safe out there.

3 comments to Bike on Bike ‘Path Rage’ Puts Woman in the Hospital, Suspect Still at Large

  • Kevin

    I can’t bring myself to watch the video – but I’m sure that my in-laws will have seen it, and will be telling me very soon about how dangerous the bike path is.

    I hope that once she’s healed, she’ll eventually feel comfortable on the bike again – that’s got to be pretty traumatic.

    Incidentally, I guess this is related to the discussion over at eugenecyclist – I’ve seen a bike cop on the bike trail once in an entire year of commuting.

    Why do they patrol downtown, where there are also police cars, rather than on the bike path?

    (the answer is probably that not enough crime actually happens there…)

  • Can’t I.D. the music, but, yeah, the video is a like a mix of “Cops,” “America’s Most Wanted” and a really bad episode of “20/20.” And yet, at the end of it she offers no clue as to what the suspect might look like? I don’t recall any description at all in the video. And just this in the text: “The suspect is described as a white man between 16 and 18-years-old with short dark hair and a slender to medium build.” Maybe that’s all that the cops had to offer, but geez …

  • matt

    Requiem for a Dream is one of my favorite movies.The soundtrack was a critical element of creating the suffocating air of depression and shame throughout the flick.

    I doubt KEZI was going for that effect, but if they were, Kudos!

    Regarding the story, why do we always hear about these things so long after the incident. There’s no way someone will identify the perpetrator based on the description of a “16 and 18-years-old with short dark hair and a slender to medium build.”