Cyclist Who Filmed Passenger Throwing Gatorade At Him Could Be Charged For 'Fighting Words'
An Orange County cyclist who turned in a video to authorities showing a truck passenger in a truck chucking a full bottle of Gatorade at him could end up facing charges, too.
Cyclist Bryan Larsen took the video while he was riding down the Pacific Coast Highway on May 31 in Dana Point. After sheriff's deputies reviewed the tape and investigated, they said they are recommending battery and assault charges against the passenger in the video and "words in public likely to illicit a violent reaction" against Larsen, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The video doesn't show the entire incident. Larsen said that he was riding with a friend on PCH on a Saturday afternoon. He told KCAL that he noticed every time he passed one truck, the driver blew exhaust at them. Initially, he brushed it off as a driver frustrated by traffic, but he says around the fourth time he turned his cell phone camera on. In the video, you can see a female passenger throw a bottle of Gatorade at him. Larsen curses at her and says, "That's you on video. See you later."
Officials told the OC Register they suspect the cyclist made “rude, disparaging comments” before he turned on his cell phone.
Larsen told KCAL, "I was in a lot of fear. They came into the bike lane. The tires were as big as I was, and I thought they were gonna run me over."
Biking advocates encouraged the Orange County Sheriff's Department to investigate the case (although they likely didn't foresee Larsen being charged). The Orange County District Attorney's Office rejected detectives' initial case, so these charges against both Larsen and the female passenger are their latest recommendation.