POLICE in Bromley, Kent, are searching for the occupant of a car who leaned out and pushed 59-year-old Beckenham cyclist Tony Barrett off his bike, causing him serious neck and back injuries. The police are concerned that this may not have been isolated case and spoke of another reported incident in the area.
This particular attack happened on Shire Road, Keston, at about noon on Sunday, October 21, and made the front page of the local issue of ?newshopper?.
At first it was thought Barrett could be paralysed. He was taken by ambulance to the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough.
Barrett, who took up cycling this year, was out riding with friend Bob Bragginton who had got a little way ahead and had stopped to wait for him.
?A lady in a car stopped and asked me if I was waiting for another cyclist,? Bragginton told Cycling Weekly. ?When I said yes, she said there had been an accident with a car. I hurried back and found Tony by the side of the road.?
Barrett said a car went by him and he felt two hands push him. When he fell he hit his head and blacked out. Bromley police are appealing for witnesses to call investigating officer Detective Sergeant James Herron on 020 8284 8844. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
DS Herron told Cycling Weekly, ?We are particularly interested in speaking with the lady driver, to clarify exactly what she saw. This is a very serious incident and if we catch the person who did this they are facing a charge of GBH.?
He added that Shire Road towards Down, where the incident took place, is a local ?rat run? attracting fast moving vehicles.
It?s so bad, he said, that if they were to put up a sign appealing for witnesses, it wouldn?t be read because to slow down would risk being hit from behind. The ?Newshopper? story referred to another incident in the area, reported by a CTC member who was pushed off the road after someone in a car shouted at him. That was near The Spinning Wheel, in Westerham. In this case the rider was shaken up but got off lightly with scratches.