Angry driver knocks local radio host off his bicycle during charity ride

Cyclist was protecting paraplegic riding partner
Posted at 7:06 PM, Oct 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 15:37:28-04

CARLSBAD, Calif. - A local radio host wants to know why Carlsbad police did not arrest a motorist who knocked him off his bike.

"He hit the gas, hit me from behind … threw me off my bike," said Bob "Sully" Sullivan, a local host on KOGO.

Sullivan was participating in the annual Challenged Athletes Foundation's 620-mile Million Dollar Challenge with his riding partner Eric Northbrook.

"Home stretch, we're coming from Dana Point," said Northbrook about the last ride they finished Friday.

Northbrook was leading their group and peddling up a small hill on the Coast Highway leading into Carlsbad. His pace was very slow.

"There was a guy just on the … on the horn, excessively on the horn," recalled Northbrook, a local real estate manager for Voit.

A man driving a red Ford Ranger truck was stuck behind a support van that was escorting Sullivan and Northbrook. The van had signs on the back, Sullivan noted.

"'Caution,' 'Cyclist Ahead'; lights are flashing, the whole thing," said Sullivan.

However, the man still blared his horn at the cyclists. Sullivan went back and explained to the driver that Northbrook is a paraplegic and can't go that fast because he hand-peddles his bike.

"'We've gone 590 miles, give me 90 seconds, I'll have him up and over this grade, you can be on your way,'" Sullivan said he told the man. "Completely agitated, he says to me, 'I don't care if it's f-ing God up there. Get out of the f-ing road.'"

Sullivan said that's when he stopped talking to the man and got back on his bike. The truck's driver accelerated and hit Sullivan's bike, causing him to fall to the roadway.

Sullivan sustained several injuries.

"Just at that moment, coming in the opposite direction, is a cyclist who happens to be an off-duty Oceanside police officer," said Sullivan.

Sullivan said the officer called 911 and Carlsbad police arrived to speak with the truck's driver. However, the man wasn't arrested and was allowed to drive away.

"I think he needs to be arrested," Sullivan said. "Somebody who purposely hits somebody on a bicycle using his car is either assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, at the very least shouldn't be driving a car right now."

10News spoke with a Carlsbad police spokeswoman Jodee Sasway Thursday morning, who explained that neither the driver or Sully reported any injuries at the time of the incident. Sasway said the incident was reported as a “non-injury collision” and the officers acted in accordance with the law. 

However, the following Tuesday, Sullivan spoke with Carlsbad police. He explained his injuries and described his recollection of the incident. In response to that, police said they are now conducting a criminal assault investigation. They are interviewing the driver and witnesses.