By Anna Skinner and Noah Alatza
The Westfield Police Dept. is still seeking a bicyclist who allegedly assaulted a woman late last month. Police say they were dispatched to Carey Road and the 161st Street roundabout for reports of a road rage incident. When officers arrived, the subject had already fled on the bike. At least four witnesses were on the scene, one of which called 911 to report the incident.
Laura Koehler Euser said she was driving east on 161st Street. As she approached the roundabout, a cyclist allegedly veered in front of her car, forcing her to slam on the brakes. The rider then allegedly smashed out her side mirror before fleeing.
When Euser pulled over and exited her vehicle to view the damage, the biker returned.
“He came back around, back in my face, screaming and yelling obscenities. He grabbed both shoulders, pulled me forward and then slammed me back against the car and gave me a concussion,” Euser said.
Euser’s car door was still open. She fell back into her vehicle, leaving her with a sprained knee, which required surgery, a concussion and bruises.
“I wasn’t able to call 911. I was too foggy. It all came pretty quickly,” she said. “I remember the biker still there and people talking to him, but when he heard sirens he took off east down 161st (Street).”
Euser said the cyclist wore a red and white jersey red and white helmet and had dark hair and dark stubble. She said he was between 5-foot-8 and 6-foot and rode a dark colored bike. After the incident, Euser went to the hospital for a CAT scan and X-rays on her knee. A firefighter drove her car home.
WPD encourages motorists and cyclists to not engage and ignore the person who may be attempting to create a road rage incident.
“We always ask that bicyclists always be mindful of the dangers a particular road may have,” WPD Capt. Charles Hollowell said.
Euser said she’s never experienced a road rage incident but has observed cyclists holding up traffic. She said a firefighter with Westfield Fire Dept. recalled a cyclist not moving out of the road when the fire department was on an emergency.
“He caught me by surprise, definitely,” Euser said. “If they catch the guy, it would be great. I mean, share the road. Motorists and bicyclists have to abide by the same road rules. Share the road and be respectful. There’s just so much anger in today’s society. I feel grateful for the people who stopped and talked to the police, because in today’s society (people) don’t want to get involved.”
If you know who the cyclist might be, call WPD at 317-804-3200 or remain anonymous by calling 317-262-TIPS.