East Bay Cyclists Say They've Been Intentionally Targeted by Drivers

In total, 14 people say they were targeted and eight were injured

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Several cyclists in three East Bay cities say they were intentionally targeted by drivers, leaving them injured and some even hospitalized.

All incidents happened back to back in the course of three days. While the motive is not clear, cyclists believe these are targeted attacks meant to both scare and injure those in the cycling community.

“It's incredibly frustrating that someone for no seemingly better reason then just to get the joy out of hitting someone would do this,” said cyclist Ross Judge.

Judge said a grey Hyundai ran into him just seconds after leaving his house on Shafter Avenue last Friday.

Judge was on his way to join the group East Bay Bike Party in Oakland when it happened. 

“I heard it continue to speed up and all of a sudden it was just bam it hit me, it took me a second to realize what had just happened and realized, ‘oh my god, I was just hit by a car!’” said Judge. “I saw the person open the passenger side door and look back and was actually pointing and laughing at me after they did it.”

The impact ripped his pants but didn’t cause any serious injuries. But other riders weren't so lucky. 

Several other cyclists reported the same car trying to hit several riders the same night. 

Bicyclists in the East Bay say they're being intentionally targeted by drivers and those attacks have sent at least two riders to the hospital. NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai spoke to Velena Jones for details.

They say the cars were doing something called “dooring,” where a car driver or passenger intentionally opens their door into a cyclist.

Someone in that same gray Hyundai is also suspected of putting a woman in the hospital after she was hit by a door, fell, and needed several stitches in her head. 

“I’ve been volunteering for bike party for about 10 years and bike party is 13 years old,” said Charlotte Hryse, East Bay Bike Party volunteer. “This does seem far and beyond anything that we have encountered before.”

Hryse says the attacks happened at the beginning and end of the ride. After posting the incident on social media, the group learned three other cars are suspected of the same kind of targeted attacks throughout Oakland, Emeryville and Berkeley from Thursday through Saturday.

In one case, a rider broke his foot. 

The group is calling for immediate action from local governments to protect cyclists.  

“Let's set things up so that these conflicts are less likely to happen,” said Hryse. “You know physical barrier in a bike lane so a car can't really open a car door onto a bike.”

In total, 14 people say they were targeted and eight were injured.    

Cyclists believe at least some of the suspects are teenagers and they suspect the same people may be involved in multiple attacks.  

“I would love to see that person off the streets, never with the option to drive a car again,” said Judge.

OPD is investigating and East Bay Bike Party says they are looking to possibly host their rides outside of Oakland for now.

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