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Road rager in CA calls cyclist homophobic slurs and threatens to beat him up

Road rager lays into a Southern California bicyclist.
Photo credit:
Mark Friis - YouTube

As San Diego is becoming even more bicycle friendly, one altercation between a Southern California cyclist and a motorist may be a warning to people who must learn to share the same road. 

A cyclist in Corona Del Mar was verbally accosted by a driver who calls him homophobic slurs and threatens to beat him.

Mark Friis posted the altercation on his Facebook feed from a friend who is afraid to come forward because he's "worried about retribution."  

A Newport Beach Police Department investigation is underway based on the content of the video. 

According to a post by Friis, his friend was riding his bicycle northbound on Pacific Coast Highway in Corona Del Mar.

He was utilizing a “Sharrow” lane which is to be shared by both vehicles and cyclists.

His friend claims he was going 20 miles per hour, staying about four feet from parked cars to his right to avoid getting hit by an unexpected opening driver-side door.

According to Friis’ post it was during this time a white SUV passed the rider aggressively honking his horn.

“After passing me the Ford moved right and applied it’s brakes to block my way,” Friis writes. “Because I could not slow down and go to the right of him, I was forced into the #1 lane to move around him.

As I passed by him on the left, his window was rolled up and he was flipping me off. After I was in front of him I moved back to the same position in the #2 lane and proceeded northbound on PCH.”

Once the cyclist was ahead of the vehicle, the same driver approached the cyclist  dangerously close to his left, this time allegedly striking his left elbow, then pulling his car over and getting out.  

Friis posts the account of the biker in the video:

“The man got out and headed my way. Sensing trouble, I pulled out my phone and started to record video.

He approached me in a threatening manner and told me several times 'I am making a citizens arrest because you were blocking traffic'. He raised his arms as if to restrain me and I thought he would try to do so. I moved onto the sidewalk and told him 'you can’t arrest me.'

He insisted he could and reached to my right hand holding my phone in an attempt to dislodge it from my grasp.

At the time these events were taking place I was straddling my bicycle in the sidewalk facing toward the building on the north side of the street.

I continued to hold the cell phone in my right hand and pointed toward him as I shot the video.”

Friis' post states that his friend was scared at the confrontation and feared for his safety.

After the verbal beating by the man who called the cycllist a "faggot," and a "Dead man Walking," the Newport Beach police were called, but Friis' post says they did nothing to help at first. 

"I went to the NBPD and spoke with officer XXXX in the lobby.

He did not want to take a report. I told him what happened before the video and then showed him the video.

 Afterward he said the video did not show any crime. He said it looked like two guys arguing.

I asked about the “dead man walking” words and he said there was no crime...Before leaving,

the cop told me that I shouldn’t get into arguments with people like that (as if it was my fault) because you don’t know if they are crazy or unpredictable. He did not take a report."

Response to the video, which has been viewed over 277,000 times, has been positive for the biker.

In a recent update, the road rager was identified as Robert Lewis and appeared on a CBS local news station saying, “I’m very embarrassed, I screwed up.”

Bill Sellin of the Orange County Bicycle Coalition said, "Road rage is one thing we’ve learned about on southern California freeways. Cyclists experience road rage quite often in areas where people are frustrated with thick traffic.”

The video below contains the entire confrontation but is NSFW due to language.