RICHMOND, Va - A Richmond cyclist was assaulted in a case of road rage Friday night in Richmond's Northside. The cyclist said she was yelled at, spit on, thrown to the ground, and then punched and kicked in the head by two people driving a Maroon SUV.
Summer Orcutt, a courier for the delivery service Quickness RVA, was cycling down Overbrook Road around 7 p.m. Friday on the way to her final delivery, when she said the SUV nearly hit her.
"Car came up behind me, and almost clipped me. They started screaming at me, yelling out their window at me, and threatening to hit me if I didn't get on the sidewalk," Orcutt said.
The SUV continued on, but Orcutt caught up to the vehicle at the traffic light at the intersection of Overbrook and Chamberlayne Avenue. While she was stopped at the red light, Orcutt said the man and woman inside the SUV exited the vehicle, continued cussing at her, and even spit on her. The altercation quickly turned physical, she recounted.
"Both of them starting beating me. I got punched right in the neck. When I was on the ground, they just started both punching me and kicking me in the head." Orcutt said. "I was kicked at least six or seven times, and punched more than a dozen times."
Other drivers and bystanders rushed to assist Orcutt, and she said the two attackers got back in the SUV and drove off. Orcutt snapped several photos of the two attackers before they left the scene. Richmond Police were called, and RPD said they are investigating the incident.
"It can't be like this. There is no situation that ever warrants you getting out of a vehicle to confront a somebody on a bike. There is no situation that ever warrants this kind of aggression and violence," Orcutt said.
Orcutt said she did initially snap back at the SUV, but only after it nearly struck her.
The veteran cyclist said being on a bicycle on Richmond roadways is her "happy place," but since the assault, Orcutt said she has mostly stayed at home, which means much more than a few missed shifts at work. It took her several days to feel comfortable riding again.
"It's back to my happy place, but really just jumpy on a bike and anxious the whole time I'm riding," she said.
Orcutt said unfortunately this is not the first time she has been attacked or accosted while cycling in the city. While some drivers are frustrated when slowing down for a cyclist, Orcutt said operators of vehicles of all shapes and sizes need to respect another person's space.
"We all have to share the roadway. Cyclists are supposed to ride in the road. If it slows you down 15 seconds, it slows you down 15 seconds," Orcutt said.
The assault occurred just weeks after a Richmond father was struck twice by a car while biking with his kids. Days before that incident, a Richmond cyclist was biking in Henrico when a mostly-full bottle of liquid was thrown at him from a moving car.