Video Shows Driver Attempting to Ram SFSU Lecturer on Bike

Last night, Anthony Ryan was biking home from his job as a lecturer on fine arts at SF State University when he was nearly rammed by a motorist on Phelan Avenue. Ryan says the driver tried to door him and run him over multiple times. He posted footage taken by another driver showing the end of the encounter, when the assailant attempted to back up over Ryan.

The assault occurred outside City College’s main campus. According to Ryan, the aggression began as he was riding in the left-turn lane from eastbound Ocean Avenue on to Phelan. Ryan, who previously had a more violent run-in with a reckless driver in the area, relayed his account in a series of tweets:

A still from the video showing Ryan after he jumped off his bike to avoid getting struck.
A still from the video showing Ryan after he jumped off his bike to avoid getting struck.

I was controlling the lane from Ocean onto Phelan, driver drove up behind and gave a horn blast, pulled alongside me on the right and tried to open his door on me. I went to the opposite side of the street to evade him and he crossed the double yellow line to ram me. He sped off and was stopped at a red, I followed to get license plate, he reversed and tried to hit me again. Then he was behind me in the bike lane. I crashed my bike into a parked car and leapt onto the hood to take cover. He sped off.

Ryan says he attempted to record the driver’s license plate number when he was stopped at a mid-block red light on northbound Phelan. In the video, you can see the driver of a white sedan back up into the bike lane, then drive toward Ryan, then flee.

Ryan is seen at the end of the video standing up after having jumped off his bike. He said on Twitter that he was left only with “some scrapes.”

Ryan said a witness caught the license plate number. He “dealt with CCSF (City College) police […] they were great.”

Ryan was less fortunate several years ago, when he was hit at high speed by a driver who ran a red light at an intersection on Ocean, leaving him in the hospital for three days and requiring his jaw to be wired shut. The police blamed Ryan for the crash, as he explained at a 2013 City Hall hearing focused on entrenched anti-bike bias at the SF Police Department.

“I sometimes think doing all the legal things (helmet, lights, hi vis, controlling lane, stopping at lights) makes you more of a target,” Ryan wrote in a tweet today.

When a Twitter user asked about his emotional state, Ryan responded, “It drives home how vulnerable we are when someone intends us harm.”

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A pedestrian was struck at Phelan Loop/Ocean yesterday evening. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

Pedestrian Hit at Ocean/Phelan Loop

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Yesterday evening around six I was waiting on the Ocean and Lee K-Ingleside inbound Muni platform, looking east, when I saw a man dash across Ocean from the direction of the Phelan loop. He was struck by an SUV, propelled some five feet into the air, and landed on the streetcar tracks about a car's length from the point of impact.