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Woman says she fended off attacker while biking to work on Dexter

A woman emailed Seattle Bike Blog Tuesday to report a scary attack she said happened while she was biking northbound on Dexter around 6:45 6:10 a.m. She said she was headed downhill in the bike lane when a man stepped into the bike lane in front her and slammed her into the fence of the bus island just east of the Aurora Bridge.

She said she fended him off by brandishing a knife. He was after her bike, she believes.

She reported the incident to police, who searched for but did not locate the suspect. Here’s the text of her email, shared with permission.

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I have been cycling to work (now about 15m one way) now for about 5 years. I am a 53y, slightly fat woman. I have the normal caution about cars but never thought I would be attacked while moving on my bike.

6:45 6:10am this morning a black man stepped in front of me then slammed me against the bus stop fence on Dexter. He punched me twice in the face and grabbed my bike. I punched back and shoved him off me and my bike. As he stumbled I pulled my knife out of my front pack. He came at me again until he saw the knife. That backed him off. He jumped on bus 28. I have my bike and a black eye.

I reported this to the police and posted on Bikewise. I would like to get the word out to be careful around the fenced bus stops on Dexter and be aware if this type of attacks begin to become popular.

I will also say while I was reaching for my knife he was taunting me “go ahead and pepper spray me” He was wearing sport goggles. I don’t know enough about pepper spray, would the goggles have protected him? As it was I think if all I had was pepper spray he would not have backed off.

Also if this happens again using the Metro fence Metro may want to rethink these types of bus structures.



She says she wants to spread the word to make sure this has not happened to anyone else. Seattle Bike Blog has not received reports of similar incidents. Have you heard of any attacks like this recently?

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11 responses to “Woman says she fended off attacker while biking to work on Dexter”

  1. That is scary. What kind of knife was she carrying? If this person was wearing goggles then maybe they tried to attack someone in the past who did pepper spray them or maybe it’s just the attackers fashion sense.

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      It’s this one: https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209027894998262833969.0004da936f34b13646df1&msa=0&ll=47.643331,-122.345552&spn=0.007243,0.01663

      Google images have it still under construction. I can’t remember, but is this one of the stops that has the bus shelter with the little fence next to it?

  2. kommish

    I think you guys are talking about the same bus stop. They got fences awhile ago, likely to stop people at the bus stop from stumbling/stepping into the bike lane (though that last bit is just a guess).

    Nice job fighting back! I ride this stretch a lot and live very close by, and normally feel very safe, but I’ll remember to be a little more aware now.

  3. Gary

    A knife vs Pepper spray? Pepper spray has the distance factor. Googles would help protect the eyes but not the nasal cavities and lungs. Still that he thought the cyclist would be armed but not with a deadly weapon. And I always figured a knife wouldn’t be much use in a situation like this, but it looks like I’m wrong. Still sounds like he got resistence more than he bargined for.

    (http://www.ehow.com/facts_5505262_effects-pepper-spray-humans.html looks like it might slow them down but not disable an attacker.)

    Oh, if he caught yhe 28 bus, I’d be interested to know if there is video of him on that bus.

    1. Leif Espelund

      Seriously, she knows the exact time. The police should be able get video from the busses that were there at or around that time. Not sure if KCM busses have forward facing cameras for traffic accidents, if so they may even have footage of some of the attack.

      1. Tom Fucoloro

        Note that the time was closer to 6:10am, according to the police report. I updated the story. She confirmed that 6:10 may be more accurate, and that she had estimated the time she originally said (6:45).

  4. CL

    Yikes,. Why didn’t the bus driver notice something bad was happening when this guy stepped on?!

  5. Leif Espelund

    Also, don’t rush to conclusions here. That neighborhood is generally very safe and those little fences help force people to look before they cross the bike lane. I’m guessing this was a fluke.

  6. bill

    The victim is lucky she could get her bike back long enough to get her knife out of the bag. A weapon is not much use if you can’t get to it; it needs to be on your person.

    I’m with Gary, pepper spray would attack the nose and mouth and some would surely leak past almost any goggles. It would also mark the perp until he could change clothes. Everyone on the bus would have known the guy got sprayed. Pepper spray is less dangerous for everyone than a knife. If an assailant gets control of your weapon, he could kill with your knife but almost certainly can’t kill you with pepper spray.

    I’m not a big fan of the bike alleys behind the bus islands. Downhill I take the traffic lane.

  7. Wow! I’m sorry that happened to her, but what a way to fight back!

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