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Road Rage Driver Breaks Cyclist's Arm After He Refuses to Move Aside

By Gwynne Hogan | April 19, 2017 4:15pm
 Mitch Norgan, 31, had a broken arm and jaw after driver and passenger attacked him for not getting out of the way of their vehicle, according to him and police.
Mitch Norgan, 31, had a broken arm and jaw after driver and passenger attacked him for not getting out of the way of their vehicle, according to him and police.
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DNAinfo/Gwynne Hogan

BUSHWICK — A cyclist was attacked by two men in a car who broke his arm and jaw, after he refused to pull to the side of the road to let them pass around some double-parked cars, the victim and police said.

Mitch Norgan, 31, a dog-walker who runs Bushwick's Brooklyn Bow Wow, was riding north on Suydam Street between his apartment and business on April 5, when a driver tried to squeeze past him before the light on the corner of Irving Avenue turned red just before 4:30 p.m., he and police said.

Norgan, an avid rider who said he's "not afraid of arguing with drivers," refused to get out of the car's way, he said.

"If I don't think it's safe to pass I don't give people room," he said.

As he and the car both pulled up to the red light, three men inside the Nissan Maxima started arguing with him and told them they'd fight him if he scratched their car, he said.

Norgan told one of the men he should see a dentist for bad breath and started pedaling off, but the driver jumped out of the car and kicked him off his bike, according to police.

Norgan crashed to the ground, landing on the curb and breaking his arm, he said.

The driver jumped back in the car and tried to speed off but Norgan got up and stood in front of the vehicle so it couldn't get away, he said.

Then all three men, who were wearing baseball hats, got out of the car, surrounding Norgan while the man in the passenger's seat socked him in the face, sending him careening to the ground and breaking his jaw, he said. 

He had to have his jaw wired shut, he said.

Norgan said paramedics who arrived at the scene took a picture of the car's license plate before it pulled off, and a witness scribbled the same number down on a piece of paper — which he turned over to police.

But as of Wednesday, two weeks after the attack, no one had been arrested, police said. A police report from the day provided to Norgan and shared with DNAinfo New York had no description of the vehicle.

Norgan said detectives at Bushwick's 83rd Precinct contacted him to schedule an appointment to look at driver photos from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Norgan, who rides about 15 to 20 miles a day, said aggressive confrontations with drivers aren't anything new to him.

"All types of people threaten my life all over this city," he said, adding someone lobbed a beer can at his helmet, and twice he'd been intentionally hit by drivers, though this was the first time he'd sustained serious injuries.

As a cyclist who doesn't think people should be able to have their own cars in New York City, he often chases after drivers who cut him off and demands an apology.

"I'll have them roll the window down [and say] this is my life you're risking," he said.

He hoped his attackers would be caught and that drivers all over who intimidate cyclists on the road would be taken more seriously by police, or else he'll have to take matters into his own hands and defend himself, he said.

"[I can] get the police to help me or I can carry pepper spray and when someone threatens my life, I can ruin the interior of their car," he said.