Controversy Over Berkeley Critical Mass Video

Monday, May 14, 2007

The couple involved in an angry confrontation with cyclists taking place on Friday night in Berkeley talked with ABC7 News about what happened. The man who was driving says the cyclists went after him.

The driver of a minivan said a Critical Mass cyclist put his cycling cleat through the middle of their windshield and another one broke their windshield wiper. The Critical Mass cyclists say the couple drove their minivan into them as they pedaled through a Berkeley intersection. That portion was not caught on camera but what happened afterwards was captured by a Critical Mass cyclist.

Sunday the couple tells ABC7 News they were waiting for a green light at the intersection when they were surrounded by the cyclists who began shouting obscenities and accusing the couple of ramming them. 72-year-old driver Harlan Head says he believes the incident was loosely staged and they were targeted. Critical Mass cyclist Jason Meggs who shot the video would only agree to give ABC7 an edited version of the raw footage.

Harlan Head, minivan driver: "They wanted some good reason to show that I had attacked them."

ABC7's Alan Wang: "What did we not see in the video?"

Harlan Head, minivan driver: "What you did not see in the video, and which is confirmed by independent observers, is that they were putting bicycles under the car."

Jason Meggs, Critical Mass amateur photographer: "I thought he was about to break through, really injure people and be gone, and so I wanted to record that so I missed some of the dramatic exchange that was happening on the ground where people were being trapped. Where as one bike got trapped another person came to help get her out of the way and his bike got trapped. So they were basically tangled and couldn't get out. Then another person came to help and his bike got trapped and that is how you see three bikes stacked up."

No one was charged in this incident.

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