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January 26, 2016

D.A.'s Office explains lack of charges in bicyclist, driver fight

Prosecutors didn't see enough evidence to sustain formal charges in South Broad Street dustup

Bicycling Road Rage
Road Rage on South Broad Street Screengrab via YouTube/Courtesy of 'cheekflapperer'

A South Philadelphia bicyclist recorded a confrontation he had with a driver on S. Broad St. several months ago. It's emblematic of ongoing tensions between bicyclists and drivers.

On Monday, PhillyVoice brought you the story of a South Broad Street dustup involving a bicyclist and driver.

You can read all about it here, or here: After the bicyclist kicked over an orange cone blocking off a loading zone in front of a funeral parlor, a man affiliated with said business chased him down in a car and threatened bodily harm.

We heard back from District Attorney’s Office spokesman Cameron Kline on Tuesday afternoon after he’d had a chance to speak to the involved parties on the prosecutorial side of things.

He explained why charges weren’t brought against the driver, who seemingly tried to force the bicyclist into traffic a block away from the toppled cone.

Kline said that the bicyclist reached out to police, who then called the DA’s Office to discuss the case. After reviewing evidence – including the video – we “agreed it wasn’t chargeable” as aggravated assault.

“Sometime later, he filed a private criminal complaint [seeking charges of] simple assault and harassment. We reviewed that complaint and didn’t bring charges,” he said, noting that Municipal Court President Judge Marsha H. Neifield reviewed their decision and “agreed with it.”

Aware of the process he'd gone through, the bicyclist – who requested the same anonymity we're affording the driver since he wasn't charged – said it was the frustration with the lack of charges that prompted him to post video of the altercation on YouTube this Sunday.