A half-dozen or more separate incidents of cars allegedly "dooring" bicyclists took place in the lead-up to and the wake of Friday’s East Bay Bike party, and the bicyclists say 14 of them were targeted and at least two suffered serious injuries.
The East Bay has its own version of the Critical Mass bike ride, a second Friday of every month event called East Bay Bike Party. But KTVU reports this past Friday’s East Bay Bike Party saw several “dooring” attacks, where motorists intentionally swung their doors open at bicyclists riding to the right of them. There's video of one of these attacks, and there were allegedly other dooring attacks this weekend on Thursday and Saturday as well, spanning Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and Rockridge.
According to KTVU, "At least 14 [bicyclists] were targeted and eight actually hit. In two separate incidents, the suspects would swerve directly into the bicyclist as opposed to using their side doors."
The victims suffered varying degrees of injury, and least two people were seriously injured and had to be taken to the hospital.— East Bay Bike Party (@ebbikeparty) February 12, 2023
At this time it appears that at least two different vehicles were used in these attacks, which occurred several hours apart in different locations....
The video below shows what the cyclists describe as one of these attacks, which allegedly took place just before 5:30 Friday night in Berkeley. There is a visible face of someone in the vehicle and license plate number visible on the vehicle. Though according to an Instagram post from East Bay Bike Party, “At least two different vehicles were used in these attacks.”
There’s also a different description of a vehicle in KTVU’s report, from an incident on Colby Street near Rockridge, and KTVU notes in that attack, “The suspected car is described as a gray Hyundai Elantra Sedan bearing a California license plate 8EDX27.” It’s unclear if there’s a motive in any of these attacks.
At least two bicyclists were injured seriously enough to be hospitalized, one of them named Ellie Mead, and KTVU has photos of the damage to Mead’s head. That station described the incident as happening “Saturday around 8 p.m. on Shafter Avenue and Forest Street.”
"I have eight stitches and this big gash in my forehead," Mead told KTVU. "There was this gray sedan. A passenger on the passenger side opened the door and slowed down the car. My bike rammed right into it. I fell to the ground. They drove away. As they drove away they were laughing."
We can say so much about the emotions going through our hearts right now but our largest concern are the victims. We’ll do everything we can to support them as they recover from the physical and emotional trauma inflicted on them.— East Bay Bike Party (@ebbikeparty) February 12, 2023
But it is troubling that witnesses describe what sound like more than two separate cars. KTVU reports that “The day before on Thursday, a light blue SUV driving southbound on King Street between Alcatraz Avenue and 63rd Street hit another bicyclist, Watson Ladd, around 5:30 in Berkeley.” The station also adds that late Friday night, “ a blue hatchback attacked multiple people riding bikes on Grand Avenue between Park View Terrace and Lenox Avenue and hit at least three riders.” Describing yet another incident, KTVU says that “On Saturday afternoon, EB Bike Party said a driver with at least one passenger of a Kia Soul attacked a man in Southwest Berkeley.”
East Bay Bike Party reps tells KTVU that "they believe the actions are being done with three separate and possibly stolen cars." They pointed to the cars being described as Hyundais or Kias, which are commonly stolen — and the occupants of the cars clearly were not concerned with causing damage to the cars.
East Bay Bike Party says in a statement that “Make no mistake — these were violent, targeted attacks with cars used as literal weapons. Last night was another frightening reminder that local governments must take immediate action to make the streets safe for everyone.”
They add, “If you are a witness or victim of any similar attacks please DM us or email [email protected] and contact the police.” We’re linking contact information for the Berkeley Police Department, Emeryville Police Department, and Oakland Police Department.
Related: 77-Year-Old Woman Intentionally Hit by Car in East Bay Church Parking Lot, Authorities Say [SFist]
Screenshot: dal211 via Youtube