Motorist Vs Courier
January 27, 2006 9:46 AM   Subscribe

Images of roadrage. A Toronto motorist litters out of his car window and a bike courier calls him out on it.
posted by phirleh (89 comments total)

 
More photos by the same photographer.
posted by phirleh at 9:48 AM on January 27, 2006


The courier was foolish, but IMO the drivers' license plate should be published. Asshat deserves all the keying in the world.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:59 AM on January 27, 2006


So much for my image of Canada as being a wonderland of free health care and really polite people.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:00 AM on January 27, 2006


Yep, that looks like the Toronto I know. I live downtown, and if I've got one complaint about the place, it's that too many of its citizens use the streets as their personal ashtrays and garbage dumps.
posted by you just lost the game at 10:00 AM on January 27, 2006


Two asshats don't make a right.
posted by Navek Rednam at 10:03 AM on January 27, 2006


Looks like the courier should have been better prepared for the incident to escalate. A bike lock in the mouth could have brought this unfortunate incident to a more satisfactory conclusion.
posted by 2sheets at 10:07 AM on January 27, 2006


Gotta love a tough attacking a bike and then the girl riding it.

This should be his legacy. And who's this cutie?

And, if the main photos weren't enough, this one made the thread well worthwhile.
posted by fenriq at 10:09 AM on January 27, 2006


Tough guy, tough guy. Dang!
posted by fenriq at 10:10 AM on January 27, 2006


I'm waiting so long for this page to load I'm gonna shoot someone.
posted by Peter H at 10:11 AM on January 27, 2006


Two asshats don't make a Bologna Bowler.
posted by AwkwardPause at 10:16 AM on January 27, 2006


I think that's awesome. There should be a law that allows throwing trash back at people who litter.

My old roommate was a bike courier of the most radical sort, (but are they not all, he died recently of testicular cancer). He was always getting in fights with cars who cut him off. He'd follow them home and key their cars and talk about it over dinner, daily war stories from the road. He had a pet rat.. pull up next to cars at stop lights, look down at the ground and reach over like he was picking something from underneath the car and up came the rat (through his coat sleeve) onto his shoulder.
posted by stbalbach at 10:19 AM on January 27, 2006


Looks like most barfights. A lot of pushing and shoving and grabbing and no one gets off a clean punch.

Looks like the courier should have been better prepared for the incident to escalate.

no kidding, 2sheets. got to appreciate her spunk and sense of civic responsibility, but keying someone's car is fightin' words. she should have broken a window.
posted by three blind mice at 10:19 AM on January 27, 2006


"He'd follow them home and key their cars and talk about it over dinner"

Yeah, that's a real mature way of dealing with things. Follow them home and damage their vehicle when they're not looking.
No wonder people think that bike couriers are nothing more than unwashed pot addicted hippies.

In this situation, I think that both people were asshats and the entire situation could have easily been avoided. Some of the comments on that page (which add to the load time) are disturbing.
posted by drstein at 10:25 AM on January 27, 2006


What is it about cars that make people feel like they're insulated from the rest of humanity? As someone who does a lot of driving I've noticed that for at least 50% of the drivers on the road all consideration, politeness and just general good sense disappear when they get behind the wheel. Add the cell phone factor and it's a wonder there isn't non-stop carnage everywhere.
posted by photoslob at 10:26 AM on January 27, 2006


It's clear in the next-to-last photo that guy has totally lost his shit and crossed over into psycho-land.

If the account by the photographer is true, he later chased the photographer with a baseball bat.

The guy is a fuckwad.

I don't really care about bike messengers either way. I'm still one of those "backwards" people who believe that roadways are for motorized vehicles. But, they serve a purpose so meh.

However, the guy littered, the guy threw (hot?) coffee, and the guy left his vehicle and started assaulting her.

Key or no key, the guy is wrong, wrong, wrong, at every turn.

Fenriq, the blonde appears to be his wife/fiancee (note the ring).
posted by Ynoxas at 10:27 AM on January 27, 2006



But Being Canada,
I think the penalities should be

Driver
2 minutes for Littering
5 minutes for food fighting
5 minutes for asault

Damages paid (Bike damage) $150
Litering fine $1000
Courier

5 minutes for food fighting
5 minutes for vanadlism

Damages paid (New Paint) $1500

I know Torontoians think of their city as pristine, but a McDonalds wrapper on the ground isn't the end of the world. I must say though, that road rage incidents like this down here usually end up with someone shot.
posted by jboy55 at 10:28 AM on January 27, 2006


A bike lock in the mouth

Why not gouge out the eyes, eat them then defecate in the empty eye sockets, while you're at it?

Snark said, I'm guilty as well. I was riding though downtown T.O. and had a cab driver open his door right in front of me. I flew off the bike and landed right on front of a Lexus that screeched to a stop with the bumper directly over my face. I stormed over to the cab and stove in the side of the door with my boot.
The cab driver ended up blameless because my vigilantism destroyed my credibility in the eyes of the police - it was the price paid for my not being charged with vandalism.

Anger prevailed, but it was the poorest course of action.
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:29 AM on January 27, 2006


Ynoxas, I hope she dumped him after seeing what kind of an utter asshat he is. Either that or I hope she takes some self defense lessons, guys like him do not have control over their rage if they are attacking women on bikes.

And he's lucky the courier didn't belt him in the mouth with her U-Lock.
posted by fenriq at 10:31 AM on January 27, 2006


Navek Rednam writes "Two asshats don't make a right."

Based on the photographers description of events, it looks like the motorist is the true asshat in this situation:

i did not see the beginning of this, but the report goes as follows:
motorist throws food out of window. courier, disliking littering, picks up food and throws food back in car. motorist dumps coffee on courier. courier scratches car with key. road rage ensues.

the courier is female. i 'got away' with taking pics by just doing it openly. nobody noticed me because the focus is obviously on the altercation at hand.

i followed the motorist back to his car to photograph his license plate number. he proceeded to open his trunk, take out a baseball bat, and charge me. i walked away, and was one of only two witnesses to stay at the scene and give a statement to police.


It sounds like a reasonable response to littering and one that I've taken more than once if the offence was bad enough. Now, dumping coffee on someone and then physically attacking a woman takes a whole different sort. What an asshole.

I also know the photographer and trust his depiction of events. He's not one to exaggerate.
posted by purephase at 10:34 AM on January 27, 2006


"Why not gouge out the eyes, eat them then defecate in the empty eye sockets, while you're at it?"

Now you're talkin!
posted by 2sheets at 10:35 AM on January 27, 2006


she should have broken a window.

Right, because escalating a minor shoving match is the right thing to do.

As the photog says in the comments:
to those who suggested attacking with the u-lock would have been an appropriate response: i disagree. that could lead to an assault with a deadly weapon charge, which carries a prison term.

posted by bonehead at 10:38 AM on January 27, 2006


It sounds like a reasonable response to littering

No, not really. It's vigilantism, and it's totally inappropriate in a democratic society. If someone litters on your property, and the cops won't do anything about it, then it might be appropriate to go dump the trash back on the guy's property. But seeing someone littering, then taking the trash and throwing it in their car? It's not your job. It's taking the law into your own hands.

It's an amusing fight to see and read about, but if I had to blame someone for having provoked it, I'd say it's the biker's fault. By a little. She initiated the fight by taking a crime against the public space and responding to it with a crime against a specific person.
posted by rxrfrx at 10:40 AM on January 27, 2006


What kind of an asshat throws trash out his window anyway? I hate people like him.
posted by fenriq at 10:47 AM on January 27, 2006


tossing trash in someone's car is a crime?
posted by sammich at 10:48 AM on January 27, 2006


THIS LOOKS STAGED!!! but for the life of me I can't figure out why someone would want to stage such a thing...
posted by punkbitch at 10:52 AM on January 27, 2006


What kind of an asshat throws trash out his window anyway? I hate people like him.

Throwing that empty can out the window as you speed down the highway and it bounces a little and rolls to the foot of the Indian you made cry is an American pastime, like cow-tipping or voting Libertarian.
posted by rxrfrx at 10:55 AM on January 27, 2006


jboy55, I think you might want to add a 10 minute major and an ejector seat for instigation.
posted by Rothko at 10:56 AM on January 27, 2006


I couldn’t imagine initiating an assault on a woman for any reason, fault, no fault, right, wrong, whatever. Unbelievable.
Of course I don’t litter in the first place, so my truck looks like a rat’s nest. (I don’t initiate force either. Mostly ethics, but partly tactics. Better to wait until your opponent commits himself)

But like most fights, fault is elusive to fully determine, usually shared, and it’s a big shitpile in any case.

I love the Canadian version of a “flamewar” though...there isn’t even profanity:

abbey: 27th Jan 2006 - 00:51 GMT:
“Buddy. This is the internet. If you like it or not I have a right to my own opinions. I'm not here to argue them with you or anyone else. People have been killed/injured for looking at someone the wrong way, stepping on someones shoes, having a ipod or any other "device" of the moment. Go out and read a newspaper.”

shyzer: 27th Jan 2006 - 00:53 GMT:
“Buddy, this is the internet. We're all here to argue. I'm not denying you your right to an opinion; I'm engaging it. Part of having an opinion is defending it.

I'm asking for one example. A specific example, not generalizations. I refuse to believe that there's a trend or people simply killing perfect strangers for looking at them the wrong way. It's simply an urban myth. And the ipod thing doesn't count - we're not talking about theft here. We're talking about unpremeditated murder (which would likely be considered manslaughter, but semantics semantics) provoked over something as simple as litter.”

FLAMEWAR!: ITS ON!!!


From now on whenever I’m going to throw down with someone I’m going to start with “Buddy, ...”

I mean them’s fightin’ words!
posted by Smedleyman at 10:57 AM on January 27, 2006


Her chain is too lose. Too much sag in the top run, should only be about .5"

This makes the whole thing worthwhile.

Oh yeah, about the subject at hand: I want to live to fight another day so I gave up fighting with motorists a long, long time ago. I don't flip people off and I wouldn't key someone's car. I sure wouldn't toss trash back into someone's car, particularly since so many people oddly view their vehicle as a sort of exoskeleton, like it is some extension of themselves.
posted by fixedgear at 10:58 AM on January 27, 2006


rxrfrx writes "No, not really. It's vigilantism, and it's totally inappropriate in a democratic society."

Give me a break. Tracking down a known rapist or murderer and then turning their crime against them is "vigilantism". Returning trash to someone who willingly tossed it out a window for everyone else to deal with is a courtesy. If only more people were willing to stand up to this petty act then maybe asshats like this will finally get a fucking clue.
posted by purephase at 10:58 AM on January 27, 2006


tossing trash in someone's car is a crime?

You bet. Could be assualt, battery and/or tresspas. You can't throw things at people or their property.

Where is this anyways? Looks like Kensington to me. Also, littering sucks, but sucking only slightly less are bike couriers. It's only a matter of time before I'm hit by one after the close calls I've had on the sidewalk, and I sue everyone from the city to the bike manufacturers for it.
posted by loquax at 10:58 AM on January 27, 2006


I think they both should have just apologized, eh? Then maybe gone out for a beer then, eh?

Seems like my city is succumbing to the American influence of road rage, probably from all the LA film crews taking of the advantage of the weak Canadian dollar, eh?

Damn shame, eh?
posted by theorique at 11:03 AM on January 27, 2006


I appreciate he was an asshat first, but from but from experience of inner city driving you only keep one window open. So, I assume, we are dealing with her response being to throw it back in his face.

And let's face it, a car is an intensely personal space, throwing something into it is a grand violation of that space. So I can understand, to a certain degree, why the guy did flip out.

She should have given him a lecture and then either handed it back or stuck it under his windscreen. And then got the hell out of there instead of hanging around.
posted by Navek Rednam at 11:04 AM on January 27, 2006


“Damn shame, eh?” -posted by theorique

Buddy, are you making fun of Canada?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:06 AM on January 27, 2006


They're Torontonians.

As far as the rest of the country is concerned, they're all asshats. Sorry, couldn't resist.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:10 AM on January 27, 2006


The real appropriate response would have been for the cyclist to lean into the guy's window and say something like, "Buddy, littering is against the law. Please don't throw trash out your window -- just wait until you can stop and toss it in a bin."

He's a jerk and she's a jerk. Neither of them were acting in a civil way.
posted by josh at 11:11 AM on January 27, 2006


rxrfrx - I don't think Canada is a democratic society.

;)

Guy is an asshat for losing his cool and assaulting the bike messenger (bonus points in douchery for assaulting a girl), however, vigilantes are usually cause for harm, not help. Had she simply stated her disdain for his littering rather than assaulting him w/ his trash, the episode wouldn't have happened.

[rant]

After spending many years in/around the DC metro area, I can safely generalize that bike messengers are not the sharpest in the calmness of head department. Taking risks and holding an absurdly/annoyingly bold "fuck you if you are in a car/truck" attitude towards that which can easily kill you by accident, or on purpose, is a death wish. Sure there are some that aren't bike Nazis, but, most, sadly, are extremists, and give all other bike riders a bad name. Those bike riders that actually OBEY traffic laws suffer due to these asshats.

Now, go wash your dreads and dig on some vegan, dude!

[/rant]
posted by mrblondemang at 11:13 AM on January 27, 2006


I don't really care about bike messengers either way. I'm still one of those "backwards" people who believe that roadways are for motorized vehicles. But, they serve a purpose so meh.

I don't really care about motorized vehicles either way. I'm still one of those "backwards" people who believe that roadways are for horses. But, they serve a purpose so meh.

If you're not walking, you should be on the road.
posted by maledictory at 11:16 AM on January 27, 2006


Friend of mine is walking on Carlton. Get's eggs thrown at him from a car because he's walking close to the Gay district so he must be gay.

Eggs don't break. He tosses them back at the car. He's at fault then?

Bikes belong on the road. Ever walked down a sidewalk and have bikes drive through you? The laws are such that bikes and cars can co-exist safely on roads. True, laws are seldom obeyed in regard to right of way but I guess you have to use your bells and your balls.

and I sue everyone from the city to the bike manufacturers for it.
posted by loquax at 1:58 PM EST on January 27 [!]


Another example of asshatery.
posted by juiceCake at 11:26 AM on January 27, 2006


Friend of mine is walking on Carlton. Get's eggs thrown at him from a car because he's walking close to the Gay district so he must be gay.

Eggs don't break. He tosses them back at the car. He's at fault then?


1. That's not the situation here. In this FPP, the motorist littered. He did not intentionally assault the cyclist with trash, and the cyclist (as far as we know) was never hit by the trash at all.

2. In your example, they're both at fault (assuming your friend doesn't believe he's in danger) though the guy who instigated the incident is more at fault. But again, it's a totally different situation.
posted by rxrfrx at 11:31 AM on January 27, 2006


Right, because escalating a minor shoving match is the right thing to do.

she decided to escalate when she keyed his car. my point is that if you are going to escalate, go nuclear or don't go there.
posted by three blind mice at 11:32 AM on January 27, 2006


Any guy attacking a much smaller woman (for getting food tossed at them?) is a jerk.

Looks like Augusta and Baldwin, right in Kensington Market. I think Toronto has been getting worse in terms of garbage and garbage collection, there are four categories (cans and plastics and newspapers, compost, yard waste, and misc. garbage) with the garbage only being picked up every two weeks. And I don't think there's a single trashcan on Kensington Ave.
posted by bobo123 at 11:37 AM on January 27, 2006


I'm just suprised his hand didn't freeze to her wheel.
posted by srboisvert at 11:38 AM on January 27, 2006


And I don't think there's a single trashcan on Kensington Ave.

Right you are. I just noticed this for the first time last week.

I held onto my coffee cup until i could find a garbage.
posted by avocet at 11:48 AM on January 27, 2006


1. Motorist litters. (Minor infraction)
2. Cyclist throws litter back in car. (Unjustified escaltion - initiates direct personal confrontation)
3. Motorist throws coffee at cyclist. (Further escalation crossing line into assault)
4. Cyclist keys car (More escaltion - Damage to property and overall stupid move)
5. Motorist attempts to damage bicycle (Justified response to keying - not an escaltion)
posted by rocket88 at 11:50 AM on January 27, 2006


Never send an asshat to do a cute blonde wife's job. It would been more entertaining to see the catfight pics that would have ensued.
posted by sfts2 at 12:02 PM on January 27, 2006


and I sue everyone from the city to the bike manufacturers for it.
posted by loquax at 1:58 PM EST on January 27 [!]

Another example of asshatery.


Are you kidding? If I get hit by a bike on the sidewalk where bikes are illegal, you'd better believe I'll be bankrupting at least the courier company, and suing the city for not enforcing their laws and failing to ensure the safety of their citizens. You just said that bikes belong on the road, I agree. Why am I an asshat?
posted by loquax at 12:07 PM on January 27, 2006


I did that once to an old man who'd flicked a cigarette butt out of his car. I stomped it out before I threw it back, and I knew I could take him in a fight, so figured it was worth the risk. He gaped at me and I stomped back to my car, unharmed.

Nowadays I just report it instead risking a beating. I'd look into finding (or getting) a program like that in your community.
posted by stefanie at 12:08 PM on January 27, 2006


You know, whenever I see someone litter I'm tempted to pick up their garbage and say "Excuse me, I think you dropped this." or "Excuse me, I think you meant to put this in that trashcan right over there."

Even though it's often middle-aged respectably looking old ladies or business types clearly on their way to or from work, I'm afraid they'll shoot me, so I've never said anything.

And yes, I'm from Toronto. And a McDonald's wrapper by the side of the road, encourages a cigarette butt in the gutter, which encourages a newspaper on the floor in the subway, which encourages gum on the sidewalk, which leads to a Tim Horton's cup in the bus shelter, etc. etc. etc. So put your McDonald's wrapper in the trashcan and if there's no traschan available, put it in your pocket or carry it around until there is one available.
posted by duck at 12:11 PM on January 27, 2006


Nowadays I just report it instead risking a beating. I'd look into finding (or getting) a program like that in your community.

Stefanie, that's awesome...but what about the people throw their butts on the floor when they're not driving. Boy, I'd live to report those guys always throwing their butts on the sidewalk in front of the restauraunt downstairs from me.
posted by duck at 12:13 PM on January 27, 2006


The real appropriate response would have been for the cyclist to lean into the guy's window and say something like, "Buddy, littering is against the law. Please don't throw trash out your window -- just wait until you can stop and toss it in a bin."

Yeah, cause of course, a guy like that would have immediately reacted like "Yeah, you're right, of course I'll do that. I'm so sorry. How horrible of me."

People like that litter cause they don't give a shit, not because they don't know where to put their garbage. If he got a ticket for littering, I'd bet he'd crumple it up and throw it on the ground too.
posted by evilangela at 12:25 PM on January 27, 2006


Yeah, cause of course, a guy like that would have immediately reacted like "Yeah, you're right, of course I'll do that. I'm so sorry. How horrible of me."

Probably not if he was in a car, but a person standing around and littering would probably apologize and think twice the next time. Why? Not because they suddently care and think that litterers are terrible people, but because it's *embarrasing* to be called out in front of others when you're clearly doing something wrong.

You can bet the "excuse me, I think you dropped this" apporach would work, if it didn't get you shot.
posted by duck at 12:28 PM on January 27, 2006


A few years ago I spotted some guy not cleaning up after his dog in Brooklyn. This was on the street I lived on. I chased after him yelling at him that he needs to go back and clean up his dog's shit. He tried to avoid me and ignore me but I caught up to him and got right in his face about it. I told him that it was against the law to not clean up after your dog in NYC and that if didn't I would follow him hme and then report him to the police. He was pissed that I had caught him red-handed and I refused to walk away until I had personally seen him go back to scoop up the dog shit. He muttered something about me "doing my civic duty" and wanted me to "leave him alone." I reminded him that I live in this neighborhood as well and don't appreciate it when other residents don't clean up after their dogs.
posted by camworld at 12:37 PM on January 27, 2006


Both of these people need anger management classes, hopefully as part of their deferred prosecution agreements. They should also be required to compensate each other for the damage they caused, bike, car, stained clothing, etc. Keying a car? Major escalation and definitely a crime which can get you into a lot of trouble. Plus, you pretty much guarentee a violent reaction with such behavior. On the other hand, chasing someone with a baseball bat is assault with a deadly weapon and can get you serious jail time. This guy is in deep, deep trouble.
posted by caddis at 12:47 PM on January 27, 2006


What is it about cars that make people feel like they're insulated from the rest of humanity?

The same thing that makes people feel like they're insulated from the rest of humanity when they're anonymously on the internet: they ARE.

In a car, you've got glass between you and "them", and you can pedal it out of there in a hurry if things get interesting. That makes you feel powerful and invulnerable, and so you behave the way you would if you actually were powerful and invulnerable.

If everyone rode around on bikes, or at least in tiny little convertibles (the kind where you feel vulnerable, like a Miata, not the kind where you feel sheltered, like an Eclipse) you'd see a lot less of this going on.

1. Motorist litters. (Minor infraction)
2. Cyclist throws litter back in car. (Unjustified escaltion - initiates direct personal confrontation)
3. Motorist throws coffee at cyclist. (Further escalation crossing line into assault)
4. Cyclist keys car (More escaltion - Damage to property and overall stupid move)
5. Motorist attempts to damage bicycle (Justified response to keying - not an escaltion


There appears to be a double standard in your breakdown. He throws the litter from his car into the commons, another commons user throws it back into his car, and you call it "unjustified" -- yet she damages his car, and he attempts to damage her bike in return, and you call that "justified"? Please explain. Also, calling the initial littering infraction "minor" might be downplaying it a bit.

I would have broken it down this way:

1. Motorist litters. (Inconsiderate misdemeanor, but not personal)
2. Cyclist throws litter back in car. (Satisfying and legal, but personal)
3. Motorist throws coffee at cyclist. (Felony assault, dangerous, and personal)
4. Cyclist keys car (Felony property damage, dangerous, personal and expensive)
5. Motorist attempts to damage bicycle (Felony property damage, dangerous, personal and expensive)

So the only "escalations" here are from not personal to personal (cyclist) and legal to illegal assault (motorist) -- the rest are actually downgrades or dead-even, at least in a court of law.

Of course, you hit the nail on the head when you say "overall stupid move", inasmuch as EVERY step of this confrontation overall, from the initial littering onward, qualifies as a stupid move.

Are you kidding? If I get hit by a bike on the sidewalk where bikes are illegal, you'd better believe I'll be bankrupting at least the courier company, and suing the city for not enforcing their laws and failing to ensure the safety of their citizens...Why am I an asshat?

My two cents would be that your actions amount to a massive over-response. If you got hit by a bike on the sidewalk where bikes are illegal, it would be appropriate for you to sue for medical expenses and whatnot, and for the courier company to pay a significant fine. Using the courts to bankrupt a company, and to milk money out of the city as well, amounts to a massive over-reaction -- very much like these two people over-reacted at least once in the situation -- hence asshattery.
posted by davejay at 12:59 PM on January 27, 2006


Are you kidding? If I get hit by a bike on the sidewalk where bikes are illegal, you'd better believe I'll be bankrupting at least the courier company, and suing the city for not enforcing their laws and failing to ensure the safety of their citizens. You just said that bikes belong on the road, I agree. Why am I an asshat?
posted by loquax at 3:07 PM EST on January 27 [!]


You conveniently dropped the bike manufacturers.

"I sue everyone from the city to the bike manufacturers for it..."

There's your answer friend.
posted by juiceCake at 1:01 PM on January 27, 2006


1. That's not the situation here. In this FPP, the motorist littered. He did not intentionally assault the cyclist with trash, and the cyclist (as far as we know) was never hit by the trash at all.

2. In your example, they're both at fault (assuming your friend doesn't believe he's in danger) though the guy who instigated the incident is more at fault. But again, it's a totally different situation.
posted by rxrfrx at 2:31 PM EST on January 27 [!]


I don't pretend that it's different. Nonetheless, where it's similar is in the act of throwing something out of a car and the implication that throwing something back into it is strictly forbidden in all cases.
posted by juiceCake at 1:03 PM on January 27, 2006


"I sue everyone from the city to the bike manufacturers for it..."

Hey, if gun crime victims can sue gun manufacturers...

Ok, I was kidding and exaggerating in my original comment to express my disgust at couriers (and anyone else) riding at breakneck speed on the sidewalk and nothing being seriously none about this health risk. This thread, however, is not about that so I will shut up.
posted by loquax at 1:09 PM on January 27, 2006


Her chain is too lose. Too much sag in the top run, should only be about .5"
Especially if she's not running a front brake.

I live in Vancouver, and nothing drives me bananas like littering. And I've done this same thing: chased after someone and given it back to them. Luckily I've never been beaten up, but it's bound to happen.

But this guy is INSANE. I've seen that look in people's eyes (like the guy who chased after me with a hammer after I yelled at him to not park in the middle of the street while making a phonecall) and it never ends well.
posted by monkeymike at 1:13 PM on January 27, 2006


Of course exaggeration can be difficult to pick up online, and this was one example. If it wasn't exaggeration, it would mirror very much the topic of this thread.

I agree with you, of course, about the sidewalk bikers and wouldn't mind seeing some tickets handed out. Unfortunately, tickets usually go to the common violations of speeding, forgetting license stickers, etc, rather than the asshats of the road and sidewalks (which is a great band by the way.)
posted by juiceCake at 1:15 PM on January 27, 2006


Ok, I was kidding and exaggerating in my original comment to express my disgust at couriers (and anyone else) riding at breakneck speed on the sidewalk and nothing being seriously none about this health risk. This thread, however, is not about that so I will shut up.

Nono, Loquax, this is MetaFilter: You should have responded by attacking us for some unrelated transgression, or something. ;)

Seriously, though, if you're going to be all reasonable and not-argumentative, please don't shut up.
posted by davejay at 1:18 PM on January 27, 2006


Reminds me of a recent eve, waiting at the bus stop, watching an altercation between an older man who'd parked in the middle of the bus stop, and a fiesty punk. After the initial verbal back-and-forth, old guy goes to walk away, still illegally parked, punk keys the crap out of car, old guy comes back and calls 911, punk walks off. Best part was the stupid old guy left his car illegally parked while he waited for the cops to come, and ended up getting his car impounded because he had unpaid parking tickets outstanding.
posted by nomisxid at 1:22 PM on January 27, 2006


MetaFilter: Buddy, this is the internet. We're all here to argue.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:44 PM on January 27, 2006


"A few years ago I spotted some guy not cleaning up after his dog in Brooklyn. This was on the street I lived on. I chased after him yelling at him that he needs to go back and clean up his dog's shit."

So was this some young, muscular, tattooed guy with a pit-bull or an old fart with a poodle? Just curious as to how brave your outrage over dog shit makes you. Not to be snarky or anything but I find that people will let some tough looking guy get away with shit that they would jump all over some pauchy middle aged dude about. I used to get uptight about stuff like this, but now, meh.

I once chased a carload of high school aged boys that threw a bag of empty beer bottles on my lawn hoping to return the bottles in much the same fashion that the courier did to the guy in the article but now I realize that had I caught up to them it probably would have gotten pretty ugly. I just can't get worked up about littering anymore, sometimes you gotta pick up the trash throw it away and forget about it.
posted by MikeMc at 2:58 PM on January 27, 2006


It's funny when someone let's their dog shit on your lawn and they're about to leave without cleaning it up but then you walk out of your front door and they ask you for a bag.
posted by juiceCake at 3:46 PM on January 27, 2006


Bikes are so cool until it comes time to fumble around trying to get off of one while some jerk is trying to kick in your spokes and you're wearing cycling shoes and sport glasses and a helmet... then it all just looks really awkward.
posted by cusack at 4:11 PM on January 27, 2006


From the horses mouth ]as they say[... the story.....

Leah: 27th Jan 2006 - 22:45 GMT

Hello all! I am the girl in the pics. My name is Leah and although I am a courier, I was WALKING my bike up Agusta when the incident took place. He was driving and opened his door (while driving) and yelling profanities he threw his beef patty on a bun out of his door. I walked over to his car, and right or wrong, I opened the door and "gave" him back his food (which he MUST have dropped by accident!) He then lost it, and jumped out of his car and threw 2 large Timmies at meand then grabbed me by my helmet and tried to toss me around a bit.It was at that point that my bike lock key (that I wear on a bracelet around my wrist) scratched his car. I have read all the postings about people sympathetic to the car driver due to the expense of repairing the scratch but sorry folks, i doubt that it will cost him anything to repair as it was a 1.2cm mark in the clearcoat only(did not damage the paint) but regardless a scratch none the less. Then with some "encouraging" from some helpfull bystanders he got in his car and drove away...or so I thought! People were comming up to me and saying that I should have him charged but at that point I just figured I had made my anti-littering point and and eye for and eye with the coffee shower, I mean I did throw that patty right. But just as I was getting on my bike to ride home he came running back and thats when the photos start. He had driven half a block and decided that the scratch was worthy of a more thorough beating I guess.
Now for a bit of clarity on a couple of things...
The blonde girl is his girlfriend...she also makes a pretty good shield from an angry mob!
I was NOT punching anyone! especially not with keys in my hand! I was just trying to save my bike (I just built it a week ago!!)
And as for the police charging him....
He took off in his car as soon as he heard the sirens....they chased him down but it is not a crime to leave the scene. They were going to charge him with a variety of things including assult with a weapon x2, mischief x2, aggravated assult, etc, but the police informed me that if I went ahead and placed those charges then they would have to charge me with mischeif for the scratch.
So in the interests of good karma (and my own sanity) I have opted to "let it go" and allow the universe to repay this angermanagement case in its own way.
And finally to those who say that i must have had a sudden case of self ritousness in regard to littering.....YOU ARE WRONG! I hate littering and NEVER do> In fact I am constantly picking up litter and make my son pick up litter at the park. I just feel that it is such a fixable issue in the world today. If everyone would not throw their own piece of litter then there would be none!! What a concept eh!?
enjoy the beautiful winter riding!


Leah: 27th Jan 2006 - 23:07 GMT

I see more "keys in my hand" nonsense...I did NOT have keys in my hand...what appears to be keys is actually the earbud to my mp3 player...it just happens to look like it is in my hand but is not, its just suspended in the air near my hand in this pic. And Etc, etc- It was a beef patty in a bun in paper and its bag...regardless...of what kind of food it was or whether it could be eaten by any one of T.O.s starving pidgeons...we all know that wasnt this jackasses intention when he popped his door and threw it out!





What I find more troubling, is the 'advice' from the Police.... they aren't judges or lawyers by any stretch of the imagination, any male assaulting a woman needs to be fucking charged. Period. WTF?

Leah getting charged with mischief? Big fucking schmiel compared to an assault, premeditated if he returned. Her first offense, discharged.

I have an issue with predators and their complicit Police ]who may have wanted to avoid a day in court?[.
posted by alicesshoe at 5:45 PM on January 27, 2006


Is garbage in a neat pile no longer garbage?

Move to the country.
posted by strawberryviagra at 6:01 PM on January 27, 2006


I wish Leah would take the mischief charge. It would be worth the sacrifice in order to make sure this guy is known to be a potential violent offender. Hell, is a violent offender, at least in this case.

aside: I had no idea there were such strong feelings about litter in Canada. No wonder so many cities are reasonably clean!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:08 PM on January 27, 2006


What are 'Timmies?' Is that some Tim Horton thing?
posted by fixedgear at 6:11 PM on January 27, 2006


It's nice to hear her side. I get the impression the cops wanted no part of this mess. Perhaps the guy who took the photos will press charges for the bat swinging incident. That was the biggest crime anyway.
posted by caddis at 6:40 PM on January 27, 2006


Timmies: Yeah, It's Tim Horton's. She means 2 Large Coffees.
posted by jdot at 7:54 PM on January 27, 2006


Wow. If Leah is to be believed, this guy has just totally lost the plot. I do wonder about this:

He was driving and opened his door (while driving) and yelling profanities he threw his beef patty on a bun out of his door.

If the cute blonde isn't his wife or girlfriend, and he was alone (which I assume, since neither the photographer nor Leah mention anyone with him in the car), who was he yelling profanities at, or what posessed him to open his door while driving and fling a hamburger to the ground while bellowing curses? I guess batshit crazy people do batshit crazy things.
posted by Meredith at 8:31 PM on January 27, 2006


Legs scream at bikes and bikes scream at trucks
and motorists curse their lousy luck
Crossing Guard's not doing his job
and traffic's not about to stop for the first casualty of thought
it's the rules
it's the rules


~The Tragically Hip
posted by bwg at 10:38 PM on January 27, 2006


Meredith: From Leah's post: The blonde girl is his girlfriend...she also makes a pretty good shield from an angry mob!

Welp, there's yet another jackass who needs his license taken away. Can't deal with other people on the road? No drivey! But they'll give a license to any fool with a pulse, US or Canada.

I cycle to work, and I had a guy get out of his car earlier this week and try to start a fight with me over the fact that I had yelled at him when he almost merged into me. If you haven't ridden a bicycle in heavy traffic, you really have no idea how much hate there can be, in addition to the casual, life-endangering obliviousness. Cars are the physical equivalent of the internet: enclosed, anonymous, and everyone's there to argue.
posted by Coda at 12:59 AM on January 28, 2006


5. Motorist attempts to damage bicycle (Justified response to keying - not an escaltion

Are you fucking serious?
posted by I Love Tacos at 1:11 AM on January 28, 2006


If you haven't ridden a bicycle in heavy traffic, you really have no idea how much hate there can be, in addition to the casual, life-endangering obliviousness.

Have you even read the cycling threads on this site? You don't even have to leave your computer to see the hate. I've had people here state they would run me over if they could.

Riding a bicycle seems to really set some people off.
posted by srboisvert at 3:05 AM on January 28, 2006


Riding a bicycle seems to really set some people off.

But not this guy:

"When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race."
H. G. Wells
posted by fixedgear at 4:53 AM on January 28, 2006


Coda: Whoops, thanks. Read that wrong, obviously.

I would hope, however, that after this incident, she might be no longer.
posted by Meredith at 6:23 AM on January 28, 2006


It might be nice if contributors to this thread would avoid suggesting that assaulting a female is worse than assaulting anyone else (male, child, adult, whatever). Women are not more or less important or worthy of legal and other protection than men – and vice-versa. Chivalry is, in fact, dead; we have this thing called equality now.
posted by joeclark at 1:17 PM on January 28, 2006


While I have no sympathy for this jackass, those of you saying that drivers are the devil, blah blah blah, have no idea what it's like trying to be a driver downtown. The number of times I've almost run over cyclists who were riding on the wrong side of the road, going the wrong way down one way streets, riding across crosswalks, running reds, and weaving in and out of traffic, I can't even count. I spent a year cycling to work in the city too, so I know that it's tough being a cyclist, but if you're not being INSANE it makes me a lot more likely to be sympathetic towards you.
posted by antifuse at 1:26 PM on January 28, 2006


"It might be nice if contributors to this thread would avoid suggesting that assaulting a female is worse than assaulting anyone else (male, child, adult, whatever). Women are not more or less important or worthy of legal and other protection than men – and vice-versa. Chivalry is, in fact, dead; we have this thing called equality now."—joeclark



Sorry Joe, Women ARE more important. It has nothing to do with 'chivalry'. Jeebus.

In order, then, Women, Children and Men.

Guess the percentages....

That's what it's about. The percentage of Women being abused by males needs to be addressed. Perpetrated by 'men'.

It's about power, control..physically.
Fair isn't in play here.
posted by alicesshoe at 9:34 PM on January 28, 2006


If it's about the percentages, then we should be more worried about men. Men are far more likely to be the victims of men's violence than woman are. Where did you get the idea that it was otherwise?

This incident wasn't about "power or control" in the sense that much domestic or sexual violence is about power or control, so it's just regular old asshole-hitting-someone-cause-he's-an-asshole. He would have done the same if it had been a man, and it would have been just as bad if he'd one it to a man.

The same assault is equally culpable regardless of the sex of the victirm. Some assaults against are different because they seek to make the assaulter (male or female) feel powerful by making the victim (male or female) feel powerless or taking advantage of a sense of powerless already groomed in the victim. Those assaults are most often, but not exclusively by men to women. And yes, that's worse, but it's not what happened here.

And as for the "Women, CHildren, and Men." order, where did that come from? It's certainly not in order of power (surely women have more power than children, which is how so many of them get away with abusing children).
posted by duck at 6:54 AM on January 29, 2006


Speaking of the female/male thing, I wonder if she assumed she'd get a pass because she was female. I know that if I (being male) were to throw garbage in a guy's car, I'd better be prepared for the possibility that I was going to have my ass handed to me. On the other hand, my ex-girlfirend used to do this kind of thing all the time, and say things like, "what's he going to do, hit me?". To which , of I course, I would respond, no, he'll hit me. Which almost happened once or twice.

Also, women are not more important in the eyes of the law. Fight a woman, a man, a pretty man or even someone with glasses, it's the same crime, and you'll do the same time.
posted by loquax at 10:37 AM on January 29, 2006


duck, We weren't discussing violence vis a vis men-men.

The physical difference puts men at an advantage over women, overall.

If the bike courier looked like they could bench press 275lbs, would the van driver even bother?

I seriously doubt it. If the courier was a skinny male, he'd probably try and intimidate him, till maybe he found out differently.


That's what I'm talking about.

In the eyes of the law, yes, it's the same crime ]assault is assault[, but maybe I meant morally.

I find it morally repugnant that he would even dare.
posted by alicesshoe at 1:48 PM on January 30, 2006


Aliceshoe: My bad. It looks like I misunderstood your "percentages" comment. I took you to mean it was worse because it's more common, which is why I was pointing out that it's in fact much less common.

If you think it's wrong because he's picking on someone weaker than him, sure I agree with that. But none of the comments to which I was referring say "it's worse because he shouldn't hit someone weaker than him." they say "it's worse because he shouldn't hit a woman." So yes, he shouldn't hit anyone weaker than him -- man or woman, it would be just as wrong if he'd hit a similarly-built man.

And while it's 'true that physical difference puts women at a disadvantage to men overall, any given assault isn't "overall" it's an assault by one particular person to another particular person. So why not look at their individual physical advantages and make our moral judgement based on that rather than making blanket statements about sex?
posted by duck at 3:23 PM on January 30, 2006


Aliceshow: Also, even in the context of physical advantage, the women, children, men order doesn't make sense. Can you explain what you meant by that? [I swear I'm not being a snark, I really just can't figure out on what basis they're being ordered.]
posted by duck at 3:25 PM on January 30, 2006


As an update, the story has been featured in this morning's Toronto Star.
posted by phirleh at 8:30 AM on January 31, 2006


Kensington! I was right!
posted by loquax at 8:33 AM on January 31, 2006


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