Reports are coming out of Yuma, Arizona that a motorcycle rider may have cut off this motorist, who then worked up enough anger to attack the rider and his passenger at a stoplight. Violence escalated to the point where the biker put the road rager on the ground and hold him there, all of which was captured on his helmet cam.

You can watch the full clip above but be warned, it’s pretty scary due to visceral violence and sad reminder that this is what our society looks like.

Maybe the biker did cut the driver off, or as it sounds in the dialogue, split lanes next to him. But a situation like that is not the time to take justice into your own hands, especially when that involves aggressively shoving strangers.

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Was the biker right to put this guy on the pavement? If you truly believe violence is never the answer, then obviously not. But if somebody’s coming at me and my own this hard, better believe I’ll take initiative to defend myself — and I like my odds in body armor against a white t-shirt.

Further, while this could have been some epic beatdown, I actually think the rider handled himself well. He put the guy down, subdued him, and asked him what the hell he was doing. You can kind of see the realization in the driver’s eyes that he messed up. (Or it was because he was possibly on some kind of substance, as the rider claims in the video posting.)

We all know that some bikers can become sanctimonious assholes, seeking any opportunity to tell everyone else “they’re doing it wrong” while high some adrenaline-fueled crooked sense of righteousness. But based on everything we can see here, this doesn’t feel like one of those times.

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It’s also true that lanesplitting — if that is what happened here — is not legal in Arizona. That would definitely put the rider in the wrong too, no doubt about it. But it doesn’t put him in the level of wrong to where a physical assault is justified. Few things do. There’s fault with both parties here, but definitely more one than the other.

Maybe a quick squirt of the throttle could have just put these motorcyclists well clear of this guy’s old Accord and ended it right there. But once the bike’s rear passenger had dismounted, the rider had no choice but to stick around. From my perspective it seems like he did a pretty solid job employing enough force to arrest the situation without escalating it further.

Local TV news said no arrests had been made, but the original video’s poster claims “multiple charges against [the white-shirted assailant] including endangerment, threatening, and assault.” That caption, which you’ll see if you click through to the above video on YouTube, also says the guy broke his ankle in the fall “which is why he did not go to jail.”

Sounds a little fishy, but then again road-rage like this just makes me sad. Take care of yourselves our there, and each other.


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.