Bicyclists make plea to drivers after traumatic road rage incident in Bradenton caught on camera

Updated: Feb. 19, 2020 at 6:19 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Two bicyclists were involved in what they’re calling an extremely traumatic experience that was all caught on camera Sunday.

Deborah Coupland said now she just wants to raise awareness, asking drivers to be more patient and considerate of bicyclists on the road.

Coupland said the incident happened on Riverview Boulevard and 64th Street Northwest while she and her fiance were out on their normal bike ride through the neighborhood.

In her video, a driver pulls extremely close to Coupland’s fiance, seemingly agitated.

“He flew around us on the corner and as we were turning the corner, then he started yelling and threatening my fiance and I," Coupland said.

She said the driver was screaming at them that they weren’t allowed to be on the road and at one point he’s even seen in the video pulling in front of them, then slamming on his brakes, almost causing them to run right into the back of his car.

“He kept moving in towards my fiance,” said Coupland. "I thought he was gonna kill him, so it was just very traumatizing.”

There are signs painted on Riverview Avenue that are an indication to drivers that there’s no bike lane, so they must be extra cautious of bicyclists who also use the road.

But on Sunday this driver was clearly not in the mood to share.

“There’s been episodes when people yell get off the road, they get frustrated because we’re taking the road while we’re taking the corner or something like that, but nothing like this,” said Coupland. "I literally felt like our lives were in danger.”

The Florida Highway Patrol said beautiful weather means more people are likely to go for a bike ride.

While drivers are responsible for being aware of their surroundings, Trooper Watson recommends that bicyclists don’t use the road if there isn’t a bike lane.

“If you’re on a bicycle, you want to make sure that if there is not a designated bike lane, it might be a good idea to stay on the sidewalk," he suggested.

Coupland said when the driver took off, she called police and filed a report with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. The driver was never caught and Coupland said even the deputy who was on the case doesn’t sound like they’d be looking into this much further.

“They called me today and said that they don’t want to press any charges,” she said. "They don’t think that anything was harmful or criminal.”

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office told ABC7 it’s still investigating this incident.

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