Crime

James Ernst cited in case prompted by bike-rage video that went viral

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Trooper Josh Lewis, a Colorado State Patrol spokesman, says no charges have been issued in this case, adding that the trooper investigating this inquiry has not yet been able to make contact with a suspect; the state patrol went to the house of the possible suspect this morning.

"Obviously, we need to get both sides of the story," he says.

The video is a very extreme and unusual example of the tension that can exist on the road between cyclists and drivers as more and more folks are riding bikes. Bike advocates like to emphasize that most cyclists and drivers -- and many people use both modes of transportation throughout a typical week -- try to be courteous to each other and get along well. In their opinion, the more cyclists there are on the road, and the stronger presence they have, the safer the streets become.

Still, situations like this one -- or, in a somewhat reverse case, stories about drunk cyclists antagonizing drivers -- make people uneasy and heighten road tensions.

"It's not going to deter me [from biking]," says Friel. "There's danger in everything we do.... It definitely makes me more and more aware and conscious of cars in different situations."

Friel adds that when he lived in Europe, where he biked all the time, he never had these kinds of confrontations.

"This is an American issue," he says.

Some good, he says, will come out of this. Friel has put ads on the video, which is getting more and more attention as additional news outlets write about the case, and he plans to donate any money raised through the footage to Bicycle Colorado, the state's bike advocacy group.

"Bikes aren't going away," Friel says. "There are going to be more and more bikes on the roads in Colorado.... Tourists come here from all around the world to ride our beautiful roads."

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "James Holmes railroaded...for running a red light, says traffic-ticket critic"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at [email protected].

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Sam Levin
Contact: Sam Levin

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