The day 10,000 people rushed to the help of one cyclist thanks to Twitter

Injuries sustained by Jared Yesterday, I received an email from Jared who wanted help from fellow London Cyclists and passers by to back him up against the taxi driver who swerved across in front of him and caused a collision. The taxi driver then proceeded to strangle Jared until he fell unconscious. This happened on March the 9th at 4-5pm along Oxford Street.

Naturally you would assume this would be an “open and shut case” in Jared’s favour. However, the taxi driver is claiming that Jared attacked him. Due to the lack of witnesses or CCTV evidence the Crown Prosecution Service is taking the taxi driver’s version of events and Jared is being charged with assault. This is despite the fact that there was a witness who looked after him during the entire incident and assured Jared he would be his witness. However, the police now have no record of this persons details.

Jared is now facing legal fees reaching £5,000 and that is if the CPS find him not guilty. He has also had to cancel a long-planned research trip for his writing.

From Jared’s blog:

“This is a huge kick in the teeth to everything I have worked towards and leaves me on the brink of a criminal record for a crime I did not commit, while the person who was extremely violent towards me hasn’t even been cautioned. Somewhere out there in this wonderful London town is surely a cyclist, motorist or pedestrian who was passing on that day and witnessed an enraged taxi driver strangling me. If so, I really hope you are reading this.

I have canvassed all shops in the area for witnesses and private CCTV and return this week to speak to opposite shifts and put up notices. I have queried Westminster CCTV, along with their Traffic Wardens & Refuse Collectors who were working in the area at that time, and also queried London Transport about static and vehicle cameras. I am aiming to get ads and letters in the London press this week.”

Someone out there must have seen something. The sooner I find a witness the sooner I can bring an end to this unfairness and escalating costs.

If you have any information, please email: cyclewitness@gmail.com

I forwarded Jared’s website on my Twitter and asked people to help:

“Were you near Oxford Circus on March 9th at around 4-5pm – help out: http://bit.ly/9UD5TC

People started ReTweeting and on my last count the link has received 10,000 hits and has been retweeted by 100’s of Londoners. Tomorrow it will also be featuring in the Evening Standard.

I’ve contacted Jared to see if there has been any progress and will be keeping an eye on the story. Once again, if you know anything then please get in touch. Otherwise spread the message to anyone who may be able to help.

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9 Responses to The day 10,000 people rushed to the help of one cyclist thanks to Twitter

  1. Denis 03/06/2010 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi Andrea,

    Thank for your informative blog!

    I was in Brussel last week and I discovered that hailling a taxi is not permited there. People in need for a cab have to walk to “taxi stations” or phone for one. I find this much safer for other road users as well as reducing the “road chaos”.
    As most cyclists in central London, I have been involved in a number of near-misses of careless cabbies seeking for a fare/racing to pick up one.

    Also, below very informative stats from TfL:
    TfL counts show that over a standard weekday 75% of the vehicles on Oxford Street are cab!
    London taxies use more energy than the whole of London Underground (all included station, depots, trains, pumps, etc):
    in 2008, 1916 millions of Kw/h were used by the first one (100% diesel) and 1,226 millions of Kw/hused by the later (mostly from eletricity that can be made renewable easyly)!

    How many people are transported by london taxies each days? How many by tube?
    - Taxi and private hire cater around 600,000 people a day (500,000 cyclists enter central London everyday).
    - The LU caters for 1,073 million passenger a year so 2.9million a day in average so nearly 5 times as much as cabs

    sources:
    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/environment-report-2008-data-tables.pdf
    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/modesoftransport/7311.aspx

  2. Loving the Bike 03/06/2010 at 8:55 pm #

    What a terrible incident….I hope a few good witnesses come forward soon. Good work on getting the word out there and good luck. Keep us posted as to how it all turns out.

    Darryl

  3. Claire 04/06/2010 at 11:02 am #

    I feel that taxi drivers are the worst offenders in trying to rid the streets of London of cyclists.

    I have almost ceased to be amazed at how many times black cab drivers put my life in danger, but this truly is an appalling crime. I really hope Jared finds someone who can corroborate his story.

  4. William K Wallace 05/06/2010 at 12:58 am #

    I have a severe dislike of taxi drivers and cyclists…but I hope Jared finds someone to corroborate his version of events, because it is only a matter of time before this taxi driver kills someone. He needs to be banned for life and given some prison time. There must be some witnesses out there, it did happen on Oxford Street the busiest street in London…

  5. Andreas 06/06/2010 at 6:03 pm #

    Update from Jared…

    The Evening Standard ran the story in Friday’s paper and also online via the chief correspondent’s blog.

    http://lydall.standard.co.uk/2010/06/cyclist-strangled-unconscious-in-oxford-street-by-taxi-driver-appeals-for-help.html

    The response has been pretty overwhelming, and I admit it’s left me a tad spun out. I know I wanted this to happen, and the exposure is obviously good, but if there’s one thing all this has confirmed it’s that I definitely prefer to be behind the camera rather than in front of it. I have the urge to runaway!

    Fingers crossed that something comes of it. I pleaded not guilty yesterday and now have to wait until September for my case to be heard. I’m waiting on a supposed witness to contact me – a stall holder on Oxford St remembers his friend telling him he saw a “cyclist being strangled by a taxi driver” and so I’m hoping something positive comes from that.

    Thank you again for your help. You were directly responsible for the Evening Standard contacting me – their Chief Correspondent is a cyclist and follows your tweets! :) The scary power of social networking.

  6. craig durkee 11/06/2010 at 10:49 am #

    I hope all this works out for you, I cannot offer you any real help other than encourage you and other people to always report incidents like this.

    I have also been the victim of bad drivers and I hope this helps everyone be more community minded

  7. brodog 14/06/2010 at 7:16 pm #

    This story sounds dodgy to say the least,

    1 – there are many ‘street’ cameras along Oxford st.

    2 – to gorot someone to an unconcious level will take at least 45 seconds in the hands of a professional.

    3 – the marks around the neck look more like ‘noose around the neck whilst having kinky sex with a labour party MP’.

    No witnesses for someone being strangled on Oxford Street…..I doubt it!

  8. Pip 15/06/2010 at 6:57 pm #

    that sucks Jared. this is the third i have heard about just around the people i know. all cabbies all lost it and attacked the cyclists.

    I have had two flip at me but i was in a bit of a hurry so switched off

    brodog – if you got 45 seconds to spare pm me…

  9. Paul 20/10/2010 at 7:59 pm #

    Cyclist is cleared of assault thanks to Standard readers

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23884814-cyclist-is-cleared-of-assault-thanks-to-standard-readers.do

    “at a hearing at South Western magistrates’ court he was cleared of assault after the cabbie’s evidence was found to be not “credible”.”

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