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April 13, 2005

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Publication Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Cyclist dragged in road-rage incident Cyclist dragged in road-rage incident (April 13, 2005)

By David Boyce

Almanac Staff Writer

An extended road-rage incident that began on Old La Honda Road in Woodside between a bicyclist and a motorist came to a dramatic end when the cyclist -- having dismounted to confront the motorist -- got snagged on the car's passenger-side rearview mirror.

The car drove on, but the cyclist apparently freed himself while running alongside and being dragged for about 75 feet along Portola Road.

Bryan Arp, 36, a bicycle racer from San Francisco, sustained minor injuries to his arm and knee but refused medical treatment, said Lt. Ken Jones of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

The driver's identity was not disclosed pending an investigation by the district attorney's office. The driver, who was not injured, is a 51-year-old woman who lives on Skyline Boulevard, said Lt. Jones.

There were no witnesses to the March 30 incident, said Lt. Jones. Citing differences in the cyclist's and driver's accounts, sheriff's deputies made no arrests. The district attorney's office is weighing charges against the driver of felony assault with a deadly weapon and felony hit-and-run, said Lt. Jones.
The cyclist's story

Lt. Jones said that this was Mr. Arp's account:

The confrontation began at about 7:40 a.m. at the top of Old La Honda Road and progressed as the two descended the steep, narrow, twisting mountain road.

Mr. Arp was proceeding slowly due to muddy road conditions, while the driver, reluctant or unable to pass, came up behind him and began honking her horn and yelling obscenities.

When she did pass him, she reportedly sideswiped Mr. Arp's bicycle, causing him to lose control but not fall.

With the driver now ahead of him, Mr. Arp pursued her so as to read her license plate. She reportedly slammed on her brakes twice when he got close, causing contact with the bike each time, but not sufficient to cause Mr. Arp to lose control.

At the stop sign at Portola Road, he dismounted and walked over to confront the driver, yelling all the while. She veered toward him and he found himself snagged -- by his jacket or fanny pack -- on the vehicle's passenger-side rearview mirror.

The driver turned left on to Portola Road. Mr. Arp ran and was dragged alongside while pounding loudly on the side window, but to no apparent effect. Mr. Arp freed himself after about 75 feet and called for help from his mobile phone, said Lt. Jones.

Mr. Arp's cycling shoes seemed to tell a tale: the tops and steel-capped bottoms were worn away, said Lt. Jones.

The driver left the scene, went on to work and did not call police, said Lt. Jones.

The Almanac tried to reach Mr. Arp, but he did not return the call by press time.
The driver's story

Lt. Jones said the driver denied having sideswiped Mr. Arp while he was descending Old La Honda Road, but he noted that her account did not substantially differ with Mr. Arp's account of what happened the rest of the way down the hill.

Lt. Jones said the driver gave a different version of events at the stop sign. By her account, Mr. Arp leapt on to the hood of her car before she turned left on to Portola Road, then fell off after she traveled about 75 feet.

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