A man has been arrested and charged after police say he intentionally used his motorcycle to strike a cyclist in a Toronto bike lane during a moment of road rage last month.
In a news release issued Wednesday, the Toronto Police Service (TPS) said officers had arrested Haider Ali Algarawi, 39, the day prior, on Sept. 19, and charged him with one count of aggravated assault, one count of dangerous operation causing bodily harm, and one count of failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing bodily harm.
The crash, which police have said they believe to have been intentionally caused, took place on Aug. 25, at approximately 11:45 p.m.
The victim was cycling home from a dinner with a friend, heading northbound on River Street when he said the suspect came out of a driveway or street just south of Dundas Street on his motorcycle without stopping and almost hit them, sparking a moment of road rage, according to the victim’s lawyer David Shellnut in an interview last month.
“There had been an interaction – not on video — just before where the motorcyclist cut off our client and he gestured with displeasure,” Shellnut said.
When the biker turned right onto Dundas Street, the motorcyclist followed, he said.
In dash camera footage obtained by CTV News Toronto, the motorcyclist reaches the cyclist in the bike lane and knocks them off before fleeing eastbound.
“I was just riding along the bike lane and at some point became aware he was coming after me very fast. I just remember getting hit and knocked to the ground. I was kind of lying there on the ground for a long time before I sort of started to piece together what happened,” the victim, whose identity CTV News Toronto agreed to protect, said.
“There was intent there. For me, it’s just a shocking overreaction to a road rage situation. It’s a shame that people resort to violence in these situations,” they said.
Dash camera footage shows a motorcyclist hitting a biker in downtown Toronto.
Toronto Police Const. Sean Shapiro confirmed the victim’s story to CP24 shortly after the incident, saying this was “absolutely” a road rage incident.
“This isn’t an oopsie-doo, this is intentional contact,” Shapiro said at the time. He added that at the very least a fail-to-remain collision charge should be in order.
For five days after the incident, the cyclist was in hospital with five ribs and two vertebrae broken, along with his clavicle broken in two places.
“I feel like the physical pain will go away long before the psychological,” he said.
The accused was scheduled to appear in court at Toronto Regional Bail Court, 2201 Finch Avenue West, on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in room 301.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact investigators at 416-808-1900, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or at www.222tips.com.
With files from CTV News Toronto’s Hannah Alberga.
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