Students Accidentally Catch Cyclist Assault On Tape

A group of students on a field trip in Toronto investigating the pros and cons of public surveillance cameras ended up catching a slice of big city street hostility on their own cameras Tuesday.

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Published May 8, 2007 by City News

To see unedited video of the incident, click here.

Canada — A group of students on a field trip in Toronto investigating the pros and cons of public surveillance cameras ended up catching a slice of big city street hostility on their own cameras Tuesday.

The Grade 12 students caught a road rage incident between a driver and a cyclist on tape, and could play a key rule in the meting out of justice after turning their evidence over to police.

The kids' mini-cam was pointed at the scene near Queen and Bay when the driver on four wheels got into a dispute with a cyclist on two. As the students watched in disbelief, they saw the motorist get out of his still idling car, approach the cyclist and punch him boldly in the face. He pushed the stunned bike owner onto the sidewalk where the assault appeared to continue for several more moments.

Apparently the driver was enraged that the cyclist, who lost a tooth in the attack, had stopped at a yellow light and blocked him from going through.

"I'm going to pray for that guy, you know, because why he did it, I don't know. Maybe he's sick. Maybe he needs help," bike rider Andre Sokol said after he was assaulted.

Allison Mann, the media teacher at Ursula Franklin Academy, was with her charges when the incident took place. "We're on a field trip with about 40 students and looking at public and private space in Toronto. It's ironic this happened this morning because each group had a video camera."

"Surveillance is a hot-button issue in the media, so one of the things we're looking at is the usefulness of cameras. So it's interesting that they caught this on tape," she adds.

Mann, who gets rave reviews from her pupils on "Rate My Teacher.com", claims she's proud her students kept rolling and capturing clear images of the incident. A copy of that tape is now in the possession of Toronto Police. It will eventually be used as evidence in court.

"Initially when the cop came over, he didn't look like he would have believed him," said Gabriele, one of the students on the trip.  "With video footage, you can't deny it any more. It's right in front of your face."

To see unedited video of the incident, click here.

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Road rage: Canada Safety Council