UPPER NYACK—October 12, 2012 at 12:33 PM
An Upper Nyack cyclist who was knocked off his bicycle on Rt. 9W told Patch he believes a motorist struck him intentionally.
Robert Helmke, 41-years-old, was pedaling along Route 9W in Upper Nyack near the Christian Herald Road intersection Saturday, Oct. 6, when the incident occurred.
"I was heading southbound, and the light was red," Helmke said. "I passed a Mercedes to turn into a gas station. As I passed, I heard him rev his engine."
The Mercedes was a late model CL 500, two-door coupe with New York plates and tinted windows.
What happened next, according to Helmke, could only have been purposeful.
He said the driver pulled out in front of two cars using the northbound lane. The motorist then cut in just in front of Helmke, clipping his tire and sending him tumbling onto the pavement, Helmke said.
Helmke suffered a bruise on his right hip, road rash, and a cracked helmet.
"I've been riding for four years, and I've never experienced something like this," he said. "It was, no doubt in my mind, deliberate. He wanted to send me a message."
Nyack Community Ambulance Corps. responded to the incident, checking in on Helmke. Although the scene was in Clarkstown Police jurisdiction, Orangetown Police initially responded due to Clarkstown Police Officer Terrance McCruden's funeral in New City and burial procession in Nanuet.
The report was soon passed to Clarkstown Police, who are currently investigating.
"Mr. Helmke was contacted yesterday for a follow up interview," said Sgt. Jo Ann Fratianni.
Fratianni said local police sent a request to the state DMV to run a partial plate on the suspect vehicle's make and model.
"Results are pending," Fratianni added.
Helmke said he had to check his cycle into Toga Bike Shop for repairs, but won't be off the road for long.
"I'll be out again Saturday—if my leg is moving right," he said.
NYSDOT Puts Cycling Safety Signs on Route 9W [VIDEO] (Aug. 2012)
Opinion: New 9W Bike Safety Signs Not Enough (Aug. 2012)
Police Probe Cyclist's Death; Victim Had 2 Daughters (June 2012)