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No excuses for 'stupid' cyclist attack - trail official

Published: 10:42AM Tuesday April 10, 2012 Source: ONE News

There are no excuses for an alleged assault on a cyclist on Christchurch's Port Hills which was caught on camera and posted online, a volunteer trail official says.

Police said they have still not identified the accused assailant and are investigating the altercation, which took place on the popular Flying Nun trail, in the hope he will be identified.

Jordan Brizzell, who had a camera strapped to his helmet, said the leading biker took offence when he was asked to move aside to let him pass.

Do you know the two men involved? Email news@tvnz.co.nz

Brizzell said he was frightened by the incident and reported it to police. He posted the footage online to help identify the man.

Port Hills track liaison and development officer Graham Allan said it was "stupid behaviour" from the biker who allegedly assaulted Brizzell.

Allan said although he was in "no way excusing the alleged assault" he said both mountain bikers could have prevented the situation from escalating.

He said "the guy in front had plenty time to stop and move over and then carry on his merry path and not be belligerent" and that the "guy from behind could have taken options not to antagonise the guy in front".

Allan said the incident was not typical behaviour at the Port Hills trail and was in fact "quite the opposite".

"It was very much an exception," he said.

Trail etiquette

Brizzell uploaded the video on YouTube and on social news website Reddit, where he explained the incident.

"I started out by me asking him to let me past on the track. He kept saying 'yes' but wouldn't give me a space. He was holding me up pretty badly. Trail etiquette says you pull over to let faster riders by," he said.

Brizzell said that when being polite stopped working, he told the slower cyclist he was "rude" for not letting him pass.

"You can see how it unfolded in the video. He tried to strangle me with my helmet while he was trying to steal my camera, and when I started yelling for help he put his hand over my nose and mouth. It was like he'd done it before.

"I was getting pretty fearful for my life by that stage so I did the only thing I could do without letting go of the camera, bit down on his finger. That got his hand away."

Brizzell said when he eventually managed to make it to a nearby road to call police, the man turned up again and tried to get him to delete the video.

"He then tried to get the other two guys I was with to turn on me, by saying I assaulted him and showing them his finger. I was just like, if you didn't assault me, what was your finger doing in my mouth."

The footage has been viewed 93,000 times to date on YouTube.

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