WICKER PARK — A clash caught on video ended with a bicyclist being hit over the head by a van driver using a drum in what is being described as a racially charged incident.
The cyclist, Trajan Vivens, 23, was hit over the head after he broke the back window of a van with a lock in an escalating dispute that started Sunday evening. Vivens said he was knocked off his bike by the van driver near Presence St. Mary's Hospital, 2233 W. Division St.
Vivens, a Pilsen resident, said he was leaving the hospital's emergency room after visiting a friend when he turned on Leavitt Street and was knocked off his bike by the van headed south.
"He clipped me as I was coming out of the hospital. I went up to him and told him that he clipped me," Vivens told DNAinfo Chicago. The driver then swore at him and used the n-word, he said.
"That term has a lot behind it. It was straight anger. That was what I was feeling," said Vivens.
The short video begins with the two arguing and cursing each other. Vivens can be heard calling the van driver the n-word, which, he said in the interview, "I used it back on him because I was angry."
The two separate and after the driver gets back into his van, Vivens runs up, breaks the window and runs away. In response to being called a racial slur, Vivens said, "I busted his window with my U-Lock."
The driver can be seen getting out of the driver's side front door, opening the van's hatch, and removing what appears to be a drum. The driver runs after Vivens, hits him in the head from behind and knocks Vivens off the bike.
The video, which ends with the driver walking back to his van and returning the drum to the rear area of his vehicle, was posted on Facebook late Sunday and has received more than 4 million views.
Vivens said he went to the hospital after regaining consciousness and suffered a broken jaw, a split lip, and a few loose teeth in the fight.
A police report was not immediately available on the incident, which occurred in the 1200 block of North Leavitt Street.
Vivens said he does not know who taped the incident.
A kitchen worker at a brewpub in Pilsen who bikes "all day every day," Vivens said he will need to take off some time from his job because of his injuries.
"I can't even speak... I can't even chew. I am stuck eating liquids for the next six months," he said.